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Ecclestone revises 'good cop' role

NEWS STORY
05/05/2009

As Max Mosley turns up the heat on Ferrari, Bernie Ecclestone is revising an all too-familiar role, that of the 'good cop' to the FIA President's bad.

We've seen it all too many times before, the duo having perfected their double act over the many years they've ruled the sport with a united fist of iron.

While Mosley warns of a "war" with Ferrari, claiming that the sport can survive without the legendary Maranello outfit, Ecclestone offers the Italian team some respite from the onslaught, the promise of a satisfactory deal with the (FIA) D.A.

Reacting to Mosley's claim that F1 doesn't need Ferrari, Ecclestone told the Times: "The trouble with Max is he's not capable, like in the past, of wrapping things up nicely with a pink ribbon and things. He wants to put it in an old cardboard box and tie it with string."

With some claiming that Mosley is out to oust Luca di Montezemolo at Ferrari, much as happened with Ron Dennis McLaren, Ecclestone kindly assures the Italian... "I won't let it happen!

"The trouble with Luca," he continues, "is that you shouldn't let Max ever be in a position where he can start a debate or an argument. He's reasonably clever and you won't win. Even if you do win, it's like you being in the audience and me being there with the microphone. You say something smart and I don't give you the microphone... it's as easy as that."

Referring to the budget-cap at the centre of the latest row, Ecclestone suggests that the revised limit of 40m could be raised again, possibly by as much as 50 percent to 60m. The F1 supremo insisting that the issues that need to be sorted out are "not monumental".

However, as Ecclestone attempts to appease Ferrari, perhaps he should be keeping a careful eye on Mosley, who, as part of his warning to the Italian at the weekend, told the Financial Times... "There is an element of who is running F1. I'd like to make sure it's me."

As if we didn't know.

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