During the race in Baku, a very odd thing occurred. The usually anti modern media, anti social media and anti anything not TV Bernard Charles Ecclestone took to Facebook with fellow ‘dodgy geezer’ Flavio Briatore, the deposed cheating ex team boss.
Who would have thought that one day we would see the longtime ex-Formula 1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone in a Facebook interview? Where the 86-year-old Englishman is a willingly ignorant man of great grandfather age, as far as social networks are concerned. A little more open-minded is the former Benetton and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore (67), who regularly answers questions from fans on his own Facebook site.
The interviewers were the city race circuit operators themselves putting some questions from some fans at the race.
Who will be World Champion in 2017?
Briatore: (Says nothing, looking at Ecclestone.)
Ecclestone: Why first, Flavio?
Briatore: Because I’ll say the opposite.
Ecclestone: Then I say Hamilton.
Briatore: I say Vettel.
Can anyone win the records of Michael Schumacher in terms of GP victories and world title?
Briatore: Yes, Hamilton.
Ecclestone: I think I would say that too.
In the coming year, Ferrari may have a vacancy for the cockpit of Kimi Raikkonen. Who would you choose, would you say at Ferrari?
Briatore: Alonso. (Flavio manages Fernando – TJ13)
Ecclestone: Sure. It is easy to answer that. And he is one of the best drivers in the world. So they would have to take him.
Would you also say that Max Verstappen is already one of the best drivers of all time?
Briatore: It’s too early to judge that. Without doubt, he has immense talent, he drives very aggressively, a great driver. But “all time” is a little high. He is certainly one of the best drivers in the current field. But he is still very young.
Is he faster than Ayrton Senna?
Ecclestone: Different drivers, different cars, other times.
What are the most beautiful Formula One cars ever?
Briatore: I do not know the 50s cars, which only Bernie has seen.
Ecclestone: Beauty always lies in the eye of the beholder. I personally found the cars from the 70s and 80s more pleasing than today’s racing cars.
Briatore: I liked the look in the 80’s better. Today the appearance of the wind tunnel are dictating the cars. Therefore, the current cars are not as pretty as the previous ones.
If a grandchild would say he was going to be a racing driver, what would be your reaction?
Ecclestone: Do not be so stupid!
Do you drive yourself?
(Ecclestone shakes his head.)
What would you say to people who have never been to Baku?
Ecclestone: Come here, it’s a beautiful city. The problem is that many people do not know Baku. Flavio has found Baku for Formula One. When he mentioned the city, I first thought it was south of Florida or something.
Briatore: I find the city great and the people very friendly. And the kind of circuit is unique with the area around the old town as well as the incredibly fast passages in this combination. The drivers like this circuit because it is so difficult.
Ecclestone: The fans love street circuits, because they can be closer to the cars here. We know this from Monte Carlo as the best example.