Ecclestone planning new F1 masters series

Bernie Ecclestone is planning to launch a 'masters' series for former F1 cars and drivers.

With drivers like Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipaldi and Riccardo Patrese at the wheel, 'GP Masters' was launched in 2005 but it folded after only 2 races.

Now, business journalist Christian Sylt reports that F1 chief executive Ecclestone is planning his own series, to be called 'Historic Formula One'.

Forbes quoted Gerhard Berger as saying: "I am sure that it will be successful and that all former drivers would like to participate."

Martin Brundle said he would like to take part, "especially if it was supporting the F1 calendar".

Sylt said Ecclestone, who has been highly critical of the new turbo V6 era in F1, plans to have the masters cars powered by deafening V10 engines.

"We have talked about it and it is something we ought to do," Ecclestone told the Wall Street Journal.

"Many of these old drivers are still absolutely good enough."

Ecclestone said that, unlike the defunct single-make GP Masters series, his idea would be to form a grid of real F1 cars.

Brundle said: "To attract the household names of decades past I suspect the cars would need to be safer and less physical to drive."

1996 world champion Damon Hill agreed: "I think most old drivers want to get home to bed early with a good book."

(GMM)

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