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Bernie keeps A1 company on Monaco grid walk

NEWS STORY
30/05/2006

British race fans watching ITV's coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix, will be aware that having courted a number of F1 people for their opinion of Michael Schumacher and Rascasse-gate, Martin Brundle was keen to seek out F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, for a controversial soundbite before the race got underway.

Having done interviews Kimi Raikkonen, Flavio Briatore and Mark Webber, Brundle desperately seeking Bernie, but the diminutive Englishman was nowhere to be seen, clearly 'lost' amongst the various celebrities, team personnel, drivers and media people packed into the most expensive 'car park' on earth.

However, sharp-eyed fans may have noticed that Ecclestone was on the grid, but who was the swarthy, burly gentleman accompanying him on this most prestigious of walks.

While Prince Albert, enjoying his first Monaco Grand Prix as Sovereign of the Principality, made his way around the grid, with an entourage that included opera legend Plácido Domingo, movie star Kevin Spacey was preparing for his first taste of Formula One, as were fellow Superman stars Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth. Renault President Carlos Ghosn was also out there, keen to see his team continue its impressive form.

However, the gentleman being guided around the Monaco grid by Bernie, was none other than A1 Grand Prix Deputy Chairman, Tony Teixeira, who was introduced to a number of high-profile F1 people, including Flavio Briatore and Jean Todt, which would appear to debunk the myth that Ecclestone has an animosity towards the new series. Indeed, Ecclestone appeared quite keen to have his picture taken with the South African businessman.

Teixeira's visit to Monaco came just two days after A1 Grand Prix revealed that it is to launch a public floatation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, A1 Grand Prix Chairman, Sheikh Maktoum, was enjoying his first Indianapolis 500, where he was no doubt cheering on Al Unser, who was driving the Dreyer & Reinbold car, which featured the startling 'We The People' livery seen on the A1 GP Team USA car.

Sadly, Unser crashed out after 145 laps, having run over debris from another car, which cut his tyre. The American, who'd started from 27th on the grid, had climbed as high as 13th before the incident happened, and prior to the accident reported that the car was handling well.

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