For oh-so-many years it was Silverstone which bore the brunt of Bernie Ecclestone’s dissatisfaction over flagging circuit and spectator facilities.
But the recent programme of upgrades at the home of British motor racing has decisively moved the track out of the ‘danger zone’ so far as its future on the calendar is concerned.
Attention is being urgently focused elsewhere as Sao Paulo’s Interlagos track looks like the next to come under extreme pressure to improve its overall set-up.
Ecclestone played a leading role in taking F1 to Brazil in the first place almost 40 years ago when the first world championship was held at Interlagos in 1973, but now the commercial rights holder has indicated that unless ‘significant improvements’ are made to the track before the expiry of its current contract in 2015 then the race might be pulled from the calendar even before that point.
Ecclestone’s hard line with Interlagos – long overdue in many peoples’ minds - dramatically underlines that no race promoter can take anything for granted in the current climate with a seemingly ever-increasing number of Middle and Far Eastern countries queuing for a date on the F1 schedule.