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Bernie: 'Give 'em a chance, Seb'

2012-01-23 07:37

WINNING YET AGAIN: Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull car lead the 2011 Abu Dhabi F1 GP. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone says he'd like Sebastian Vettel's rivals to break the World champion's stranglehold on the sport.

The F1 chief executive is an avowed fan and friend of the 24-year-old Red Bull driver but, for the sake of the sport, he wants the German to be chased down in 2012 after consecutive championships.

Asked by Austria's Salzburger Nachrichten at the Kitzuhel skiing event if Vettel would dominate again through 2012, the 81-year-old laughed: "I hope not! "Of course Red Bull is still going to be there. I would much prefer a fight for the World title right to the end of the season."

if Vettel did dominate, Ecclestone said the most important thing was that individual races would still be exciting.

"The TV viewers care more about the tension of the race than the championship," he believed.


It is very possible that Red Bull designer Adrian Newey has created yet another field-beater; in that case, Ecclestone will be cheering for Vettel's Australian team mate Mark Webber. "I don't want Red Bull to dominate in the same way but I fear that's what will happen.  That's why I put my hopes on Mark Webber's shoulders.

"This year we will see a situation where he can show his talent much more."

Ecclestone is also crossing his fingers for Red Bull's rival teams. "I'd be surprised if Mercedes doesn't win a race this year. As for Ferrari, I can only hope the team improves significantly. Alonso is super-talented and deserves a perfect car."

And as for the occupant of the other Ferrari, 1964 World champion John Surtees said the pressure was on the team's Brazilian "weak link" Felipe Massa.

"He'll either have to perform consistently well, or make way," he told The Sun.


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