Bernie Ecclestone believes that next season’s World Championship will be “jaw-dropping” with the recent return of Michael Schumacher having a massive boost for the sport.
Although the on-track action of the 2009 season was largely overshadowed by the political wranglings between the teams and the governing body as well as the untimely manufacturer pull outs, Formula One remains in rude help – thanks to Jenson Button’s move to partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, Fernando Alonso’s move to Ferrari and of course the return of the seven-times champion.
According to Ecclestone these events prove the strength of Formula One and predicted a classic season next year.
“I always said that Formula 1 is a strong brand,” Ecclestone told the official F1 website. “It has demonstrated time and again that it can pull itself up by its own bootstraps. And yes, all indications point to a jaw-dropping season. Fans will love it.
“I think it is fantastic for Formula 1 that [Schumacher] turned into a comeback kid. But at the same time I also think that it’s good for Michael.
“When drivers have put in many years they sometimes lose focus and motivation – probably that was one of the reasons for his retirement in 2006 – but now he has again put all his strength together and has a 100 per cent motivation level and that will give us many exciting races in 2010.”
The FOM-chief is also confident that Michael Schumacher will be as strong as ever in 2010 and fight for the World title.
“Forget about winning races – I have him on my bill for winning the championship,” Ecclestone replied when asked if he thought Schumacher would be a winner next year.
“He will be of immense value for the team to push the development of the car. We have all seen in the past that he was never satisfied unless the car was in perfect condition. With his drive for the optimum and his deep technical understanding he will save the team precious time.”