Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he would like to see Michael Schumacher back in a car worthy of his talents, especially if it helped to end the dominant form of another of the German's countrymen.
While remaining a firm fan of Sebastian Vettel, who he has championed in the past couple of years, Ecclestone revealed that his personal F1 'dream team' would pair the reigning title holder with the man who holds the record for crowns, despite Schumacher now being 43 and the oldest man on the grid.
“It would be nice, wouldn't it, if he did [go to Red Bull Racing],” Ecclestone told Reuters
reporters at the weekend, “I'd like to see him in a good car [and] I'd like to see him in the second Red Bull. I don't think Sebastian would mind.”
Schumacher and Vettel are no strangers to teaming up, having successfully defended the Race of Champions title for Germany over the past couple of years, but have seldom raced against each other in F1, with the younger man's rise to prominence coinciding with Schumacher's period in retirement, and continuing when the two had machinery that was no match in terms of competition. Despite that, Ecclestone insisted that seven-time champion Schumacher could still be a winner regardless of whether he moved on from Mercedes, with whom he made a high-profile return to the sport three years ago.
“I'm just saying it would be nice to see him in the car where you know that, if he doesn't win, it's his fault and not the car's,” the ringmaster opined.
While Schumacher continues to chase his first podium finish since he retired as a Ferrari driver in 2006, the Scuderia itself is hoping to be able to turn its fortunes around after a difficult 2011 campaign which yielded just a single victory, for Fernando Alonso at Silverstone. A successful Ferrari, Ecclestone argued, would also help paper over the dearth of Italian talent now that both Jarno Trulli and Tonio Liuzzi had been ousted from seats at Caterham and HRT respectively.
“It's better that we do have a good Italian but, if Ferrari is winning, it doesn't make any difference,” he pointed out, suggesting that Italian fans would rather see their team, and not individuals, achieving success. And, while Ferrari appears to be struggling after two rounds of pre-season testing, Ecclestone is backing the Prancing Horse to get it right before Melbourne.
“They know what the problem is, and it's not a problem [that's difficult] to fix,” he insisted, “I think you're going to find that they are going to fix it quite shortly.”