F1 »

Publicity from Senna death was 'good for F1', argues Ecclestone

The tragic death of Ayrton Senna in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola brought good as well as bad to F1, contends Bernie Ecclestone
The publicity generated by the tragic death of Ayrton Senna 15 years ago 'was good for F1' – that is the extraordinary pronouncement of the sport's commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone, who earlier this year was widely pilloried for having admired Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein as model leaders who 'got things done'.

On the weekend of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos – where home hero Senna twice triumphed, sending the partisan crowd into raptures – Ecclestone caused further controversy in suggesting that the accident that claimed the life of the legendary three-time F1 World Champion in the opening stages of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola actually benefitted the sport in some respects as well as taking away from it, both in terms of the exposure it guaranteed and the improved safety measures it precipitated.

“He was unfortunate,” the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive told Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, “but the publicity generated by his death was so much...It was good for F1.

“It was a shame that we had to lose Ayrton, but it happened. He was very popular, but the actual event interested so many people who did not know about the sport, and increased interest in F1 because of it.”

Ecclestone similarly used the interview as an opportunity to praise the way in which the top flight has responded to the ongoing global economic turmoil – “People talk about the crisis,” he mused, “but there is money out there – I just talked to a guy who wants to buy one of the teams” – and contended that 'Singapore-gate' protagonist Nelsinho Piquet deserves another chance in F1.

The 78-year-old also rubbished suggestions that Ferrari might be granted its wish of running three cars in 2010 – one for the recovering Felipe Massa, one for double world champion Fernando Alonso and a third for the record-breaking Michael Schumacher, who has again hinted that he may yet return to competition at the highest level after his summer test re-whetted his appetite for the fight.

“It's stupid,” the Englishman bluntly opined. “It will not happen – forget about it.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 4-6th, April, 2008
Sir Jackie Stewart honoured at Goodwood Revival   [pic credit: Adam Beresford]
Sir Jackie Stewart honoured at Goodwood Revival   [pic credit: Adam Beresford]
07.09.2014 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
07.09.2014 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd position  Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
07.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
07.09.2014 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
07.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
07.09.2014 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd position  Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
07.09.2014 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd position  Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
07.09.2014 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd position  Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
07.09.2014 - Race, Fans
07.09.2014 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
07.09.2014 - Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
07.09.2014 - Race, Fans
07.09.2014 - Race, Grid Girl
07.09.2014 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
07.09.2014 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


RaceFan - Unregistered

October 19, 2009 10:12 AM

Well done, Bernie, tact must be your middle name. So Ayrton Senna was more use to you dead than he was alive, eh? I am fairly certain there are millions of racefans who would rather he was alive and racing and that you were er, somewhere else.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.