By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

July 11 - The Olympics is a "second-class" event compared to the FIFA World Cup, Formula One President Bernie Ecclestone claimed today.

Ecclestone made his comments as he confirmed plans that Formula One is looking to expand its circuit to include Sochi, the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The 79-year-old admitted that the success of the World Cup in South Africa had shown him the potential that Africa offers but he was concentrating first on establishing a race in Russia.

Insidethegames revealed last month that Sochi's Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov had held talks with Ecclestone and that a $200 million (£137 million) circuit at Imeretinskaya Valley, close to the Olympic Park currently being built for the 2014 Games, has been earmarked to stage the race.

Ecclestone told BBC Radio 5 live: "It would be nice to have covered the world, but Russia is more important right now.

"Africa is limited for all the people who are involved in F1 for business, whereas Russia is wide open.

"We should be [there] and we are not."

But Ecclestone, speaking just a few hours before the start of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone won by Australia's Mark Webber ahead of Britain's Lewis Hamilton, admitted that generally he is not impressed with the Olympics.

He said: "The Olympics has become a little bit second-class now compared to the World Cup.

"The interest in the World Cup compared to the Olympics is extraordinary.

"Commercially I would much prefer to be involved in the World Cup than the Olympics."

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