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Ecclestone repeats call for 2020 season to be scrapped


Bernie Ecclestone, who last week called for the 2020 season to be scrapped, has reiterated his belief that this would be the best course of action for the sport.

Talking to Reuters last week he said: "What would I do? I think I'd have to say we're going to close down talk of having any races this year.

"That's the only thing you could do safely for everybody so nobody starts making silly arrangements which may not be able to happen," he added.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live he has repeated the call.

"We should stop the championship this year and start again next year, hopefully" he said, "because I can't see it's going to be possible to get the right amount of races in that count for a championship.

"There's got to be eight from memory," he added, "and I can't see them getting that in. It's a difficult situation."

Asked, should the season go ahead with the proposed 15 - 18 races that Chase Carey is seeking, whether this would invalidate Lewis Hamilton's seventh title - assuming he wins it - Ecclestone said: "I don't think it will make a lot of difference to Lewis, he would win whatever the race number, whether it be 8, 16 or 20.

"If it's a world championship and he wins, it would go on his record and say he has won a world championship," he continued. "The terrible thing is he could win all eight races. It wouldn't be a super championship."

At a time the British Grand Prix is in doubt, Ecclestone believes the Northamptonshire track could weather the storm of the 2020 race being cancelled.

"I think they've got themselves organised well and truly not to have to rely entirely on Formula One for everything,' he said. "They've got a very good brand and they do a lot of other things... though whether they would be able to continue all the stuff they do outside of Formula One, at the moment I don't know.

"It's no more easy for them than anyone else at the moment. I think everyone's having to look at what they've done and can do in the future."

Among the various ideas being put forward in order to get some sort of championship underway there is talk of races being held behind closed doors. Ecclestone believes that this could lead to all sorts of problems for the sport.

"Let's assume that you could do a deal with the promoters and they'd say 'OK, we run basically behind closed doors, we don't care' and come to some sort of financial arrangement with them to do that," he said. "You've then got to worry about will all the teams be able to participate. They might say 'let's see'.

"It's no good somebody putting on a race and spending all the money to put that on and then the teams say 'well we did tell you we couldn't confirm and we'd have to let you know later' but it's too late then. So it's a difficult situation."

The 89-year-old, who has a long standing relationship with almost all the current race promoters, revealed earlier this week that he and his wife, Fabiana, are expecting their first child, a boy.

Rumours that Ecclestone is already considering a train set or even a life-size Scalextric for the new arrival are probably wide of the mark however.


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1. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 06/04/2020 12:35

"Ecclestone is quote right - the FIA should bite the bullet and declare the season null and void. This pandemic is more than enough reason to declare Force Majeure.

One possibility, should the situation ease sufficiently, could be to runa a series of races, non-championship of course, later in the year at the classic F1 circuits like Silverstone, Spa, Imola, Monza, maybe Zandvoort, and the current Nurburgring. Call it something like Classic F1 Series. Tracks are all in Europe to minimise the travel issues - the races would probably be brilliant. Too simplistic? maybe, but given the dire situation everywhere, this might just be able to work - especially as agreements for GP's would not apply, so fees etc shouldn't be hamstrung by any previous contracts."

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2. Posted by KKK, 05/04/2020 20:26

"They should scrap the whole season. It would be the best thing to do. Fair on everyone, apart from Liberty Media and they will go broke..."

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3. Posted by BillH, 05/04/2020 19:17

"The longer the COVID-19 pandemic keeps going the more it looks like any sports event being unlikely to get going.
We are minimum 18 months away from a vaccine and also the critical components needed for more testing has a supply line problem as do many other drugs.
Ironically, the two main areas we get the things we need, including antibiotics from being in hospital for long periods of time and getting infections, are China and Northern Italy.
Unless everyone that goes to such an event has the right antibodies then I can't see it being safe to hold or attend.
Also, the amount of time required to get the planes in the air, the airports cranked up and the rest of the supply lines just to get the event going (see Pitpass previous article about promoters) then at a guess, it won't be March next year that the first race kicks off.
Add to that the discounts and incentives to get people to attend, F1 and the tracks are really going to struggle to bring in money.
Footnote: if You want to know more about COVID-19 then listen to The Drive podcast by Dr Peter Attia. He's also an F1 fan and Senna fan. There is an excellent Damon Hill interview there too.


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4. Posted by Lakota, 05/04/2020 18:56

"Wow !!! 89 and cranking out a kid . Bernie , you the man "

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