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Formula 1: Ecclestone bets against Schumacher and Button

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Formula 1: Bernie Ecclestone in Monaco
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I n Monaco is celebrating the Formula 1 World Championship 60th birthday. Of course, Bernie Ecclestone is also right in the middle of the hustle and bustle in Monaco harbor. Whenever Formula 1 calls to the Principality, the rich and beautiful are not far away. And they all want to meet the charismatic Formula 1 boss.

The representatives of the clammy teams also regularly queue up at the luxurious Ecclestone motorhome. 'Everyone wants to see me. They think I can help. That's why they call me the godfather,' Ecclestone told the British Daily Telegraph. The theme melody for the cult film 'Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod' by Ennio Morricone sounds when Mr. E's phone rings.

Ecclestone: 'HRT has problems'

The current problem child is called HRT. The Spanish Formula 1 newcomer had difficulties financing the entry into the premier class even before the season. 'HRT has problems,' admits Ecclestone. 'I'll take care of it. I want to see twelve teams end the season because they made a commitment with the one-time. We could lose one. But I will do my part to ensure that this does not happen.'

Another topic on Bernie Ecclestone's agenda is the expansion of the calendar to include new Grand Prix locations. Formula 1 could be on the road in Russia as early as 2013. The Olympic city of Sochi has the best chances in the former Eastern Bloc. The city race in Rome is also not yet out of the discussion, as the F1 boss revealed to the 'Telegraph'.

Schumacher was written off too quickly

Despite all the trappings, he loses the 79-year-old Brit does not lose sight of the current events on the racetrack. 'Michael (Schumacher) seems to be in damn good shape. He looked strong in Barcelona. People were too quick to write him off. Why do you keep pissing him off? His return was brilliant for Formula 1.'

Ecclestone himself did not believe in the success of the seven-time champion. Neither Schumacher nor McLaren newcomer Jenson Button had the bustling businessman on the list: 'I was so stupid and made a bet with someone that neither Jenson nor Michael would win a race this year. Now I'm broke,' Ecclestone takes on himself the shovel.

On the other hand, he is disappointed with Lewis Hamilton, even if the Formula 1 boss admits that the McLaren driverlast had bad luck in Barcelona. 'This happens when things go bad for you. People appreciate his overtaking maneuvers, but unfortunately no points are awarded for that.'

Ecclestone misses Briatore

After the Disputes about budgets and pirate series, which reached a high point in Monaco last year, Formula 1 is now swimming in calm waters again. In 2009, all the team bosses met on Flavio Briatore's yacht to discuss their strategy in the fight against the FIA. 'Yes, I miss the fact that Flavio is no longer here,' Ecclestone looks back somewhat wistfully. 'He was always good company and he was good for the sport. People always associated him with Formula 1. He was just a character.'

But also for Briatore's archenemy, the retired FIA- President Max Mosley, says Ecclestone kindly. 'We miss him too. He did more right than wrong. The biggest problem with Max was that he couldn't package things nicely. If you tell people: 'Eat or die', it doesn't work. It is now Quieter with the FIA, just as we like it. '

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