Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has asked Jenson Button to do him a favour - by not clinching the world championship at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Button only needs a podium finish at Interlagos to guarantee himself the world title - and prevent rivals Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel taking the championship fight on to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
And although Ecclestone believes Button will be a worthy champion if he seals the crown, he does not want him to do so until Abu Dhabi.
"Button will be a good champion," said Ecclestone in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper. "Having said that, I'd like him to do me a big favour and wait for the last race of the year, in Abu Dhabi, to win it. It's always more fun when the title is decided at the final round."
With attention firmly back on events on track, following recent controversies, Ecclestone believes F1's image remains strong and has not been hurt by the scandals that have marred 2009.
"The same things happen in F1 as in life," he said. "Have recent events hurt us? I don't know. In sport, you need a minimum level of controversy to keep people happy. If the season's too dull, spectators don't follow it. It's well known that happy marriages don't make news, but divorces do."
Ecclestone also reiterated his belief that the lifetime ban handed down on Flavio Briatore for his involvement in fixing the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix was too much.
"I am one of the people who think that a lifetime ban is an unrealistic punishment," he said. "It wasn't necessary. These days, you don't even get life for murder."
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