Bernie Ecclestone is, he always said, a man of his word. A man whose word is his bond.
So, when he said "let's talk in Bahrain" during his pre-Australian Grand Prix telephone call to me, I had expectations of interviewing the 86-year-old. I certainly did not, though, believe our chat would last 45 minutes, and end only when a race promoter called with some urgent business.
We meet in Bahrain circuit's executive tower on Saturday at 4pm, two hours ahead of qualifying, and I open by quipping that "You're on the fourth floor; last year you would have been on the roof."
OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season
OPINION: The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...
The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score
The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull
The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners
The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman
Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past
After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again
How Rossi highlights Raikkonen's shortcomings
Bahrain F1 test: Mercedes' Bottas leads the way on second morning