Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the Bahrain government paid the hosting fee for its Grand Prix this year despite the race being cancelled due to unrest in the country. The annual fee is estimated at £25m and Mr Ecclestone said he expected that F1's revenue and profit would not reverse this year now that the money had been paid.
Earlier in the year Mr Ecclestone predicted a fall in revenue because of the cancelled race but he has now said: "I don't think turnover will be down this year. I think it will be flat because we were paid for Bahrain. I said we will give them the money back and they said don't bother." He added: "I think the turnover and profit will be more or less the same as 2010."
Last year, F1's Jersey-based parent company, Delta Topco, which is majority owned by the private equity firm CVC, made an estimated £335m net profit on turnover of £1bn. Its three biggest sources of revenue are race hosting charges, television rights sales and trackside advertising fees.
Next year's Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled for 22 April and Mr Ecclestone said he hoped it would not need to be cancelled again. "I spoke to the Bahrainis yesterday and they said everything is going to be fine. I hope they are right for their sake, not ours."
A race in America will return to F1's calendar next year for the first time since 2007, and a Russian Grand Prix will be added in 2014. Mr Ecclestone revealed: "After Russia I would like to go to South Africa and Mexico. Both countries are trying to do something." A delegation from the Mexican beach resort of Cancun visited Mr Ecclestone recently and he added that, despite its economic problems, "Greece are also trying to do a Formula One race. The Germans will lend them some money".