FEBRUARY 23, 2022
Ecclestone would have helped Verstappen says Tarquini
A Bernie Ecclestone-run Formula 1 would have seen Max Verstappen crowned champion "much earlier".
That is the view of former F1 driver Gabriele Tarquini, referring to the continuing controversy surrounding the way Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton's intense 2021 title battle concluded in Abu Dhabi.
"The stewards almost ruined everything," the Italian told Russia's Championat.
"In the past, battles such as theirs were the norm. It never occurred to anyone to consider what happened as any violation."
Tarquini, 59, thinks the road to the championship would have been much smoother under the reign of former F1 supremo Ecclestone.
"Without a doubt, Lewis deserved his eighth title," he said.
"But the dominance of Mercedes has dragged on for too long, so from this perspective, Max's victory is more interesting for the sport.
"Yes, the fate of the title was decided on the last lap of the last race, but I am sure if Bernie Ecclestone had been there Max would have become champion much earlier.
"Why? Because eight consecutive constructors' championships and six titles for Hamilton - well, this is too much," Tarquini added.
Much of the blame for the Abu Dhabi controversy fell on the shoulders of ousted race director Michael Masi, who will now be replaced by two new directors from 2022.
"I often spoke to Michael on the phone," former F1 driver Marc Surer told Servus TV. "The problem in Abu Dhabi is that he simply did what he was told by Red Bull Racing.
"But the real problem was that Charlie Whiting was so incredibly good. He could do everything - and Masi couldn't. Now let's try it with two people."