Ecclestone: Max is the best driver in history

In an interview with DailyMail, former Formula 1 owner Bernie Ecclestone spoke about the calendar, Liberty Media and the drivers…

Bernie Ecclestone: “I think 18 races are enough. When we did twenty events a year, I often thought that was too much. You have to think about teams. Soon they will have to hire double staff. With 22 or 23 races, there will be a lot of separations in employee families.

No, from a business perspective they are doing the right thing. They sign long-term contracts that make more money. But I would leave the 18 most prestigious Grand Prix on the calendar, because no one knows how long these contracts will actually last, and whether their partners will decide that everything is not going so well.

In Singapore they were about to leave Formula 1. They called me and asked what I thought. I told them to wait and see how things would turn out, but not to stop now.

Stefano Domenicali called me when he got the job. I told him that when I ran the company, I made all the decisions myself. CVC let me do what I thought was necessary. I think Stefano is much more dependent on Liberty Media. This is clearly seen in the racing example in America. The way they ran the race in Miami was crazy, they tried to be American, and I always tried to keep Formula 1 clean, as it is.

Maybe they are absolutely right and I was wrong. But I watch every training session and every race and think: “God, are we trying to show Formula 1, or something completely different?”

They are fascinated by Netflix and follow this course too much. But Netflix will do it as long as they care. They are not like our old broadcasters that have always been with us.

Max is the best racer in history. Without any doubt. I always said the best is Alain Prost. Now I’m calling Max. He is the best. He knows how to get the most out of a car. He is higher on my list than Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis is definitely super smart and super talented. Lewis understands people and gets the best out of them, and Max gets the best out of the car. They are very different. If Lewis stops racing, he could move on to another world – entertainment or something else, but this is clearly not Max’s path.

George Russell? I haven’t decided yet. I like him. He is very talented. The question is what he is willing to do to win. He hoped that Carlos Sainz would retire in the last race. I don’t think he thinks about his race the way Lewis does.

If I were a team owner, I think I would sign Oscar Piastri from McLaren. He’s very good. But Max is the best I’ve ever seen.”

Source: F1 News

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