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Bernie hopes every GP like a wet race

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IOL mot pic mar11 F1 Ecclestone

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Bernie Ecclestone has been running Formula One as if it was his personal property for decades. Here he tells Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery, right, exactly which way is up. Picture: Lars Baron

London, England - Bernie Ecclestone is looking forward to an unpredictable 2014 season when new engines threaten to overturn the established order,

The Formula One boss said on Monday he would be able to keep on top of running the sport despite going on trial for bribery in Germany in April.

He also added he did not think that CVC, the largest shareholder in Formula One with a 35 percent stake, planned to sell its holding.

“I hope every race is going to be like a wet race,” Ecclestone said when asked about prospects for the new season which opens in Melbourne on Sunday.

“Unpredictable is the word.”

Formula One is facing the biggest technical change in years following the introduction of a new turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems.

All eyes are on Red Bull and champion Sebastian Vettel to see if they can maintain their dominance after struggling in pre-season testing.

Eighty-three year old Ecclestone's enthusiasm for the new season seems undiminished despite the court case that will take up some of his attention from late April and could run until September.

“We'll be able to deal with that internally.”

“We will attend as and when we have to, a couple of days a week,” he said of the trial, adding that such a schedule should not disrupt the business too much.

Ecclestone could be jailed if convicted in a case linked to the sale of a stake in the business in 2005. CVC has also said it will fire him if he is found guilty of wrongdoing.

Despite his age and legal problems, Ecclestone gave no indication he was preparing to step aside or was ready to hand over to a successor.

“At the moment I'm quite fit.”

“I wouldn't say that this was going to be one of my last seasons,” he said.

Media reports last month said American groups Liberty Global and Discovery Communications had approached CVC about buying a major stake in Formula One but Ecclestone played down the talk.

“CVC don't want to sell out,” he said.

Ecclestone was in the Black Sea resort of Sochi at the weekend, the Winter Olympic venue which will stage a Grand Prix for the first time in October.

“We're looking in great shape, they've done a good job,” he said of preparations, suggesting the Russian race could be fitted into an earlier slot in the 2015 calendar to make more of an impact.

Reuters


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