SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Ecclestone: thumbs-up for Vettel, thumbs down for Ferrari/FOTA
Bernie Ecclestone has hailed Sebastian Vettel as the best driver in F1 at the moment.
In a discussion with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner on F1.com, Ecclestone, discussing Mark Webber, says: "It is not right to belittle Mark. Driving with Sebastian, he hasn't the easiest of jobs because in my view Sebastian is the best driver on the grid right now."
Asked to comment on a story that Alonso has supposedly told Vettel he should join Ferrari, Ecclestone had a swipe at Maranello.
"Seeing the situation as it is now," he commented, "it could be an appropriate means to slow him down..."
There is some poison for the Formula 1 Teams Association (FOTA) too.
"I try not to think of them," said F1's commercial supremo. "It's an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars onto the grid. It's just more of what they don't have to think of. I look after that, so there are enough financial resources."
And, asked in conjunction with Horner about the secrets of success, Ecclestone presumably had tongue firmly in cheek when he said: "We were the masters of cheating and never got caught. That's not possible nowadays..."