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FEBRUARY 6, 2017

Berger, Briatore doubt Ecclestone will return

Two experienced F1 pundits do not believe Bernie Ecclestone will mount a comeback.

The deposed F1 supremo has already dismissed claims he might set up a rival 'breakaway' series, but retired reigning world champion Nico Rosberg is not so sure.

"Ecclestone has said that but you can't believe it because he's done it (returned) before," Rosberg told Spain's Marca sports newspaper. "And Toto Wolff has said that he (Ecclestone) will come back somehow."

Asked if a 'breakaway' would be a wise move for Ecclestone, F1 legend Gerhard Berger told Auto Motor und Sport: "Bernie doesn't need advice.

"He knows exactly what he is doing and whether he can succeed. He is the cleverest person I've ever met in motor sport.

"He has only one drawback," Berger said. "And that's time."

Indeed, Ecclestone is 86, and a man who knows him well, former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, calls the breakaway talk "gossip that makes no sense".

"I hear from him every day," Briatore told the Italian broadcaster Sky Sport 24.

"Becoming honorary president now, the apprentice when he was the master, is the worst thing that can happen," he added.

"But Bernie is 86 years old and he now has to enjoy life -- because if you are 90 you are already lucky."