By Chris Lines, AP, 13 March 2013
|© EPA/Kerim Okten/AP Images
The off-track politics of Formula 1 will be put on hold for the season-opener, with series supremo Bernie Ecclestone opting not to attend the Australian Grand Prix.
Local organizers were keen to dispel talk of any rift with series officials despite F1's eagerness for a night race and local resistance to spending the required eight-figure sum to install lights around the temporary circuit.
"Bernie Ecclestone runs a business that spans 19 or 20 races, and he is simply unable to come this weekend," Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott said, stressing there will be efforts to extend the race contract, which expires in 2015.
"The government has always said that the negotiations are going to take place early next year or later this year, so it changes nothing from our point of view."
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