F1 Racing special: 2010 according to Bernie

F1 Racing special: 2010 according to Bernie

In a wide-ranging interview, the man who runs Formula 1 discusses his fears for Michael Schumacher, his tips for the title and what will happen to the sport when he goes. "I hope they can find another good used-car dealer to run it," he tells Ed Gorman

Mister E, as his fleet of secretaries call him, is busy. Nothing new in that. The 79-year-old Formula 1 commercial rights holder – the man who runs the biggest show on earth with annual revenues of more than one billion dollars – is keeping F1 Racing waiting. An exclusive pre-season interview was booked for 11am at his impressively-appointed office in London's Knightsbridge, but it seems he is running late.

This is remarkable. Why? Because Ecclestone runs his working life – which is his life – as if by an atomic clock. It's entirely understandable though, as the billionaire impresario runs around trying to prepare for one of the most eagerly-awaited Formula 1 seasons in history. There's a lot on his mind, not least the fragility of one or two of the new teams on the grid. And he is juggling phone calls with signing contracts, which are soon being whisked off to the airport. "Could you please sign here Mr E – and here," he's instructed as his mobile phone rings to the theme tune of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. "I'm busy, busy, flat-out, that's all," he says when he finally sinks into his armchair.

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