Bernie Ecclestone on why the public want to see Max Verstappen crowned champion over Lewis Hamilton, what worries him most about Formula One… and who he thinks is the greatest driver of all time

Few things put the current Formula One bosses on red alert more than this inbound ‘royal’ inspection. Ecclestone’s absence from the first part of the Middle Eastern double-header is no surprise as he has been away from the paddock since Covid engulfed the world. Ecclestone’s duties now include helping bring up his little son Ace — formally Alexander Charles Ecclestone, born last July. ‘It is difficult to say which one will prevail,’ Ecclestone continues. That is what I am saying about luck and it could be the difference between being champion or not. Ecclestone’s involvement in Formula One dates back to the 1950s, which is to say the start of the world championship itself. We might as well make the regulations say, “Don’t race”. I respect him and all the things he is trying to do, but he has to respect and believe that other people — and I am not just speaking about myself — have opinions. ‘I think the problem is that Christian relies a little bit on facts,’ says Ecclestone. That is what a few years of experience has told me.’.

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