Ecclestone: F1 to keep 20 races in 2013

Ecclestone: F1 to keep 20 races in 2013
By Eurosport

28/07/2012 at 21:20Updated 28/07/2012 at 21:23

Formula 1 will stick to 20 races next season, the sport's commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone confirmed on Saturday.

Although there has been speculation that Ecclestone may look to expand the schedule for 2013, he says he has drafted a calendar that is very similar to this year.

Despite not confirming specific dates, it is expected that the campaign will kick off in Australia on March 17 and have its finale in Brazil. This comes despite speculation that the race in Austin could be moved to the end of the campaign.

Ecclestone said that Valencia was being dropped, as part of its race-share deal with Barcelona, while the New Jersey race was pencilled in - despite him having questioned its future recently.

"It's 20 races," said Ecclestone. "All the same more or less."

When asked if New Jersey was going to be part of the 2013 schedule, he responded: "It is supposed to be."

Ecclestone said that talks were ongoing with Nurburgring chiefs to try and resolve the financial issues that have hit the track – but he ruled out any talk of buying the circuit outright.

"We are talking to them, so will see," he said. "We need to keep the German race – so we have to do the best we can.

"We will try and save it – but I don't think the property is for sale."

When asked what would happen if the Nurburgring's difficulties meant the 2013 race could not go ahead, Ecclestone said: "We will be at Hockenheim."