Mr. Ecclestone made the statement to CNN while referring to the trademark “Formula 1 Mediterranean Grand Prix” that was registered by his company Formula One Licensing On 30 May.
“The Greeks are keen,” Ecclestone told CNN. “They want me to go and see the Prime Minister or the mayor (of Athens)… We will have to find out if they have got any money,” he added.
Total investment of around $1 billion is required to build a track from scratch and cover the F1 hosting fee, which typically runs for 10 years.
According to CNN, private investors are interested in the construction of a track in the Keratsini-Drapetsona municipality, which is six miles to the west of Athens. “It would be hard for Greece to justify a publicly funded investment after receiving more than 150 billion euros in bailouts following the recent recession, with unemployment still above 27 percent — the highest in eurozone,” CNN noted.
Greece’s leading F1 journalist Dimitris Papadopoulos told CNN that private initiatives are looking at the possibility of funding the construction of a street circuit in the area of Drapetsona and the hosting of a race.
He added that Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sent a letter to the mayor of Drapetsona, by which he provided his full support to this attempt and that is based on private funding.