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F1’sdoting father:
In an interview at a London restaurant, Formula One
supremo Bernie Ecclestone wonders how many more
surprises fans of the sport are in for before the end of the
season – and whether his heart can stand it.
ernie Ecclestone didn't have his hands free to use his fork and
spoon to twirl up his pasta at our lunch, because he was too
busy clapping themwith glee.
The Formula One powerbroker, plotting a stock market flotation
before the end of the year, could not be happier about his sport's self
promotion in the shape of its eye-catching showcase Grands Prix.
There were seven different victors from the opening seven races –
and one of them, rank outsider PastorMalondonado, was a no-hoper,
grabbing a slice of the action with a shock win in Spain. It just added
to the dramatic uncertainty of what has become a spectacle not to be
At the time of the interview, those triumphant were the 2009 title
holder Jenson Button, who has slumped puzzlingly and lamentably
since his impressive opener in Australia, double champions Fernando
Alonso and Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia and Bahrain, Nico Rosberg
inChina,MarkWebber inMonaco and LewisHamilton inMontreal.
Ecclestone, his uneaten spaghetti quickly cooling at our London
lunchtime venue, enthused: "In all my years in this business I've
never known anything like it. It's historic.
Every Grand Prix has given us something extra special to applaud
and be excited about.
The whole show, evidenced by the massive TV audiences right
across the world, as well as the sell-out circuit attendances, proves
that we are on a winner of a championship right now.
I wonder howmany more surprises we are in for before the end of
the season. I hope my old heart can stand it...."
He adds wistfully: "Wouldn't it be absolutely magical if Michael
Schumacher could be the eighth different winner and recapture his
unbeatable ways to take a victory before too long?
Who knows what might have happened in Monaco when,
amazingly, he took pole position - 18 years after he had done it for
the first time there – only to be penalised five places for a
misdemeanour in Barcelona, the race before?
Credit: Jonathan McEvoy/Daily Mail/The Interview People.