Bernie Ecclestone has played down reports he has already earmarked the popular Spa-Francorchamps venue as the most likely to be axed in Europe.

In a recent interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, the F1 chief executive was quoted as saying the much-loved Belgian track could "absolutely" make way for new international hosts like the US and Russia.

And Ecclestone reportedly confirmed "Yes, Spa" when asked for confirmation that at least one European race will need to be taken off the calendar in the near future.

But he has now told Belgian television RTBF that the Guardian journalist "misinterpreted" his comments.

"The Guardian twisted my words," the Briton insisted.

"I am sure that in the years to come, we will lose a few races in Europe. It is almost certain.

"Which ones?" said Ecclestone. "I have no idea. But from our side, we want to keep Spa. There are long discussions about the Grand Prix there, but if it does go, it will be because of the government, not me."