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Q & A with Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone stirred up a media frenzy on Thursday when he made an appearance at Ferrari's annual ski camp in the Italian Alps

He spoke briefly to the media, adopting his usual cheeky humour to bat off some questions as he spoke about Luca di Montezemolo, medals in Formula One and why he should not pay the teams any more money.

Q. Does Felipe Massa have the personality to be world champion?

Bernie Ecclestone: Of course. Obviously. He is a gentleman.

Q. Who is your favourite for the championship?

BE: I hoped that Felipe would do something last year, so let's hope he does it this year. Lewis had bad luck the year before and then won the championship. Felipe had bad luck last year so hopefully this year can recover.

Q. Who is the most interesting young driver?

BE: Vettel.

Q. Why?

BE: Because he is interesting.

Q. What are your feelings on Ferrari and the FOTA discussions?

BE: This is nothing to do with Ferrari. It is to do with all the teams. They have an agreement. There will be discussions for the future but maybe now that we have really managed to reduce the costs a lot, we will be able to pay them less money! They don't need so much money.

Q. What about the medal system?

BE: Forget the word 'medals', I think the guy that wins the most races should win the championship. I don't think the guy who is second with a lot of points should be a world champion, that is all. I hope, upon hope, that the idea of the winner being champion will mean the drivers will race to win. This year a lot of them sat there being second and they didn't try to win because it was only worth two points. It is not worth the risk.

Q. Can you push that through for this season?

BE: It is up to the teams to push it through. They have all entered the championship and it is a change of regulations, so we would need them to agree. I hope they have enough sense to agree.

Q. But some of the drivers don't agree?

BE: Because they don't understand.

Q. Will you be seeing Luca di Montezemolo on this visit to Italy?

BE: I've no idea. It is not my intention. I am here; it is nothing to do with him.

Q. So why are you here?

BE: Two things, firstly I wanted to come here because I hadn't been here before. And my friend invited me - so really it is a cheap weekend for me.

Q. Do you like the new cars with the new regulations?

BE: With fashion you have to get used to things. I am pleased we have slicks again for a start, but I don't like the small rear wings. But let's see if they do the job.

Q. So it would be wrong to view your visit here as a diplomatic visit to smooth some ruffled feathers between yourself and Luca di Montezemolo?

BE: Not really. We are in show business.

Q. Is it right amid the economic crisis to be introducing KERS?

BE: Well I've never been in favour of the KERS, so it is not good to get me involved in that discussion. I don't think, whatever system they use in F1, it will be used in road cars. People really don't know how much it is going to cost and it could escalate the costs - we are trying to reduce the costs.

Q. What was your reaction to recent comments by Jackie Stewart about your running of the sport - taking too much money out, that the teams were not making enough, criticising the cancellation of the races in North America...

BE: Most times when people get older, they become a bit senile. He has just caught it a bit earlier, this is all.

Q. What about a new Concorde Agreement?

BE: Some of them have signed already - no dramas.

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