Bernie Ecclestone has defended Vettel’s Malaysian Grand Prix behaviour and has said that he doesn’t think Red Bull will suspend the German driver for the Chinese Grand Prix.
“If I was Sebastian Vettel, having won three world championships with the team, and somebody came on the radio to me and started giving me instructions I’d probably do exactly the same as Kimi Raikkonen did when he came back when they gave him some instructions the other day and say “I know what I’m doing”,” Ecclestone told Sky Sports News.
“I don’t think he’s undermined Christian’s authority at all because Christian knows exactly what should have happened and didn’t happen. Put yourself in Christian’s position. What should he now do? Did he give orders in the first place and if he did how could he then give more orders?
“I think what you have to do is think very carefully and I always say “show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser”. Sebastian is not a loser. Sebastian is a winner.
With John Watson having recently said that he believes Vettel should be suspended by Red Bull for a race, Ecclestone was asked what he thought of the idea.
“Leave Sebastian out?” he said. “No, I don’t think I’d give that any consideration.
“I’d say to Sebastian, just don’t make me look like an idiot.”
It is possible Marussia will be notably missing from next weekend’s coverage of the 2013 season opener. That is because Bernie Ecclestone is yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement with the backmarker team.
The F1 chief executive said recently that he has agreed bilateral financial deals with every team, Marussia included. But, apparently, that deal does not include provisions for images of the Marussia car and driver to be broadcast on television.
Asked by ESPN whether it is a crucial missing element for Marussia just a week before opening practice in Australia, team boss John Booth answered: “No.
“It’s vital for Bernie because he won’t be able to film us without it.”
A team spokesperson confirmed that talks are now taking place.
“Nothing is signed yet,” agreed Booth, “but it’s getting pretty close now.”
A new deal for the Canadian grand prix could be delayed, as organisers discover the renovation of the ageing Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will cost more than expected.
Bernie Ecclestone has said he is happy to ink a new long-term deal for the Montreal race, so long as the track is brought up to standard with some renovations.
La Presse newspaper reports that the original estimate of the renovation was $25 million, but a source ‘very close’ to the discussions now reveals that the actual quote commissioned by the government has come back at $40 million.
The quote has reportedly forced a “reassessment”, and the delay of a definitive deal with F1’s chief executive for now.
F1 powerbrokers Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt are set to meet on Thursday, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. The topic? The unsigned 2013 Concorde Agreement.
Although F1 chief executive Ecclestone has inked bilateral financial agreements with all the teams, the signatures are still missing on the crucial pact between the teams, the commercial rights holder, and the FIA.
As the world championship belongs to the FIA, the Paris federation’s president Jean Todt might not be too worried. At the moment, with no Concorde in place, the FIA is completely free to dictate and change the rules and regulations, whilst still collecting the teams’ entry fees.
According to German correspondent Michael Schmidt, Ecclestone might not be worried either.
Not having a tripartite agreement signed and sealed might be working in his favour at a timely moment.
The 82-year-old Briton’s grip on power might seem under threat by the legal implications of the Gribkowsky corruption scandal, but at present – with no Concorde in place – he is perhaps the only man who can keep the entire circus working seamlessly.
It is “100 per cent” certain this year’s Bahrain grand prix is going ahead, according to Bernie Ecclestone.
However, violence has kicked off once again in the island Kingdom, as thousands of anti-government protesters mark the two-year anniversary of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.
The latest international reports say at least two have already died in the new clashes between the protesters and security forces.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone said earlier this month that he was “100 per cent” sure his sport will race in Bahrain as scheduled this April.
“We’re scheduled to have an event there so we’ll be there the same as last year,” the Briton, referring to Bahrain, said during a recent visit to Dubai.
Bernie Ecclestone has summoned the chiefs of F1’s smallest teams to his London headquarters.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said representatives of Marussia, Caterham, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso have been invited to the meeting on Thursday.
With HRT now folded and other small teams ousting salaried drivers in favour of ‘pay drivers’ for 2013 and worrying about the cost of buying an engine in 2014, the meeting follows speculation F1’s smallest teams are buckling under the pressure of financial problems.
“The situation is serious,” said German correspondent Michael Schmidt.
Mercedes boss Ross Brawn, however, said he is not concerned.
“We have always had these phases, and formula one has always found its way out of them,” he is quoted as saying.
Referring, however, to Thursday’s meeting with Ecclestone, journalist Schmidt continued: “There is much to discuss.
“It’s quite possible he (Ecclestone) will remind them of an old idea: throughout the paddock the words ‘customer car’ are doing the rounds again.”
Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that F1’s 2013 schedule will feature only 19 rounds.
Until New Jersey’s demise, this year’s calendar was set to have twenty grands prix.
Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive, opened up the twentieth slot to a potential new European venue, but he said on Tuesday that he could not now fill it “at this late stage”.
“(I’m) disappointed it (the 20th race) didn’t happen,” he said in Dubai on Tuesday, where he announced the airline Emirates as a major new F1 sponsor.
“(But) you can’t suddenly slot it in.”
However, the 82-year-old Briton was quoted by the Gulf News as saying 20 is the ideal number for future F1 calendars.
“Twenty races is more or less what we should aim for in a season,” he said.
Ecclestone said he was adamant Bahrain would host its grand prix as scheduled this year, because things seem “a little more peaceful” in the Kingdom in 2013.
Finally, he definitively dashed the hopes of a group of Canadian and American investors, who had hoped to buy up defunct HRT’s assets and race this season.
Bernie Ecclestone is tipped to sign up the airline Emirates as a major F1 sponsor on a visit to Dubai on Tuesday.
The Financial Times said the five year deal is worth “about $200m”, making it “one of the biggest” in motor sport.
The report said Emirates would join formula one’s clutch of official sponsors, including UBS, Rolex, Tata and LG.
Emirates, who sponsored McLaren in 2006, would not comment.
Meanwhile, F1’s new official timekeeper – Rolex – has signed up as title sponsor of the 2013 season opener in Melbourne.
Bernie Ecclestone on Monday was on the spot at Sochi, the scene of next year’s inaugural Russian grand prix.
There had been some doubt about whether the resort city would host its first ever formula one race on schedule, following reports construction had stopped.
“It’s a fantastic track,” Ecclestone, F1’s chief executive, was quoted on Monday by the local R-Sport news agency.
“I was here before the building work started on the track and I was already impressed then,” he added. “Now I’m super-impressed with what’s going on here.”
Ecclestone, 82, met on Monday with Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Kozak.
Kozak acknowledged that Sochi’s concurrent preparations for the 2014 winter olympics had presented challenges to the scheduling of the grand prix.
“But we’ve solved all those problems and entered, in my view, the final straight,” he said.
Bernie Ecclestone is banned from using Twitter.
Former Olympic chief Michael Payne now works as the F1 chief executive’s special advisor.
France’s RMC Sport quotes him as saying: “I suggested to him (Ecclestone) that he should be on Twitter.
“But he told me that his lawyers have forbidden him, fearing a catastrophe,” Payne laughed.