Formula One fans are in for a real treat this year as the sport will be broadcast in high definition (HD) for the first time. However, some say it comes too late as rival sports have already moved on. Earlier this month, it was announced that this year's men's and ladies' singles finals at Wimbledon will be screened in high definition 3D at hundreds of cinemas around the world following a deal announced between Sony and the All England Lawn Tennis Club. F1 is unlikely to follow suit any time soon.
"I've always said 3D will never be used," Ecclestone told Sylt and there is good reason for his hesitation.
It is well known that new developments in F1 don't pass muster unless they have Ecclestone's say so and too right too since he is the chief executive of the company which owns the rights to the sport. However, it may be tough for him to be able to assess 3D. The visual trick essentially works as a result of the left and right eye seeing slightly different views of the world due to the distance between them. Accordingly, the effect simply doesn't work if vision is obscured in one eye. The next time you see anything in 3D try closing one eye and you will notice the difference.
This presents somewhat of a problem for Ecclestone since, a little known fact is that he is nearly blind in his right eye. When he was just two years old Ecclestone's mother Bertha suspected that he had vision problems and, as his biographer Susan Watkins reveals in her recent biography of the man "Bertha's suspicions were proved right. Bernie was diagnosed with congenital atrophia, the lining of his right eye was underdeveloped causing, in that eye, near blindness."
It is remarkable that Ecclestone has managed to achieve so much yet no one really knows that he can hardly see from one eye. It may mean that 3D isn't on the horizon for F1 but in the context of what Ecclestone has done for the sport it is no great loss.