May 1 (GMM) A respected Formula One correspondent has played down reports the sport could return to Long Beach.

Following reports Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed talks with the iconic street race's owners, Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio admitted he suspects it is just one of the F1 chief executive's classic negotiating ploys.

"It will be surprising if these preliminary negotiations develop," said O Estado de S.Paulo's Livio Oricchio.

"Ecclestone's statements sound more like a message to the organisers of the race in New Jersey," he added.

Jean-Pierre Jarier and Mario Andretti, Long Beach 1979
Jean-Pierre Jarier and Mario Andretti, Long Beach 1979

Photo by: LBGPA

Indeed, a street race amid the Manhattan skyline should have been on the 2013 calendar, but delays pushed back the event to 2014, even though there remain uncertainties it will ever take place.

Officially, the New Jersey promoters said they had trouble collecting all the necessary permits for the 2013 race.

"The real reason was the necessity to find the funds for the works and the fee charged by Formula One," Oricchio claimed.

He said Ecclestone's comments about Long Beach "make clear" to the New Jersey promoters that F1 has alternatives as it pushes to add more American races to the calendar.