Amid a controversy over the future of the Australian Grand Prix, it seems Bernie Ecclestone will attend the 2011 edition.

The F1 chief executive declared recently that F1 doesn't "need Australia", after Melbourne's Lord Mayor and premier questioned the value of the Albert Park event for taxpayers.

The state Victorian government has since committed to the F1 race, but Ecclestone's lack of enthusiam is symbolised by the fact that he hasn't made the long haul to Australia for several years.

The local Herald Sun newspaper therefore interprets it as "a mercy dash" the 80-year-old's plans to attend this March.

"I am sure that it is Mr Ecclestone's intention to be in Melbourne," a spokesperson for the Briton confirmed.