The http://www.formula1.com website belongs to the Formula One group although, ironically, it has never been able to negotiation deals to acquire either http://www.formulaone.com or http://www.grandprix.com. Thus any interview with Bernie Ecclestone that appears on the http://www.formula1.com is somewhat akin to reading propaganda dropped from aircraft at time of war.
Nonetheless such things do provide a useful insight into the psychology of the folk at the Formula One group, and what the message is that they wish to deliver. Thus, after some headline grabbing waffle about Michael Schumacher and a mild complaint about drivers not being allowed to have character, plus a plug for the documentary film about Formula 1, called “1”, the real messages were delivered.
What would Mr E like to change in F1?
“Nothing really,” he said. “We have to understand that we are in the entertainment business and this year we have entertained. All sports today are show business and it gets dangerous for a sport if people start to forget that.”
There is a message also about the calendar.
“I suppose the next big thing will be Russia. Then we have to get this New York thing picking up again. There’s lots of unfinished business – no time to waste one thought on retirement! Look at the Austin race: it was phenomenal. Everybody agreed that it is great that Formula 1 is back in the States. Maybe we’ll get the Europeans to wake up instead of thinking that it (a race) is a God-given thing. When Europeans perform and do their job we are happy to stay.”
And an “I’m here to stay” message at the end.
“I am – still – a fan of Formula 1. Probably the bad thing with me is that I put in lots of effort to build Formula 1 the way it is now, so this is my baby and I want to look after it. Sooner or later we’re going to have to get a babysitter. When that will be, who knows? I am in very good shape.”