Bernie Ecclestone in an interview

Interview with Bernie Ecclestone
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H you watched all the Grands Prix on TV ?

Ecclestone: Yes. It's more relaxed today because I'm no longer involved. That's why I see more things that I wouldn't do or would do better.

Is Formula 1 still your child?

Ecclestone: That's too big a word. It's something I helped develop. With all teams. I want to see how the product continues to grow.

No bitterness?

Ecclestone: The opposite. I am proud of Formula 1 and want it to be fine.

At the beginning of the year you were still on site at a few Grands Prix. In the end not anymore. Why?

Ecclestone: I have the feeling that my successors no longer want to see me on the track.

Die Audience numbers have increased this year: in the stands, on the TV screens.

Ecclestone: I've waited five years for Ferrari to wake up. That has finally happened now. The duel Ferrari against Mercedes mobilized the fans. Recently, I have repeatedly apologized to the organizers because I had sold them something for a lot of money that did not meet their expectations. They paid for the old Formula One. All they got was Mercedes victories. Now I congratulate you. You get good value for your money again.

Was the Ferrari comeback a surprise for you?

Ecclestone: They were smart enough to look at what other teams are doing better. And they brought good people on board. Mercedes supplies three teams. There are enough people there who can be poached, who know what makes Mercedes so successful.

Liberty has invested a lot of money in marketing and events to make Formula 1 more popular. What do you think of that?

Ecclestone: I see a conflict of interest. It is important for the teams to market themselves and important for the organizers to promote their event. If the FOM is involved as a third party, it will only cause confusion. Who does what? Who says what? How am I supposed to know what is important to the teams and organizers?

Now the difficult things come to Liberty Media. They want to rebuild the rules by 2021. Already atThere was a headwind on the subject of the engine. Did that surprise you?

Ecclestone: Two years ago I told the teams: You can keep that damn engine if you increase the gas flow and the gas. But if it had been up to me, I would have crushed this engine. It was a disaster from the day it was introduced. Formula 1 should return to an engine that allows good racing, and if it's a V12.

Sergio Marchionne threatens Ferrari to leave Formula 1 if he doesn't like the rules. Is that to be taken seriously?

Ecclestone: If it had been Luca di Montezemolo, it wouldn't have had to be taken so seriously. Motorsport was Luca's life. Sergio can live without Formula 1. He's only interested in business. The most important thing for him is that he can offer shareholders a good business result. If Marchionne doesn't like the path that Formula 1 is taking, then he'll stop. I'm afraid Ferrari could live without Formula 1 - not the other way around.


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