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Ecclestone dismissive of young F1 fans, small teams in wide-ranging interview

Octogenarian billionaire, briber and Bond villain caricature Bernie Ecclestone is not popular with the fans of the sport he oversees with an iron fist, and somehow, we don't think that's set to change after the 84-year-old gave a pretty wide-ranging interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific.

It all starts rather nicely, with Ecclestone discussing, quite poetically in fact, his fortunate rise to the top of Formula One.

"I think most of us are just lucky and happy to be in the right place at the right time," Ecclestone said. "I grasped the opportunities that were in front of me, whereas a lot of people don't but afterwards say, 'I could have.' The people that have become successful have seen an opportunity and taken it, whatever it is."

"I'd rather get to the 70-year-old guy who's got plenty of cash." – Bernie Ecclestone, on young fans.

He then gets onto the troubles facing Marussia and Caterham, the sport's two struggling backmarkers. After claiming that the sport didn't need the pair, because "they're not front-running teams," Ecclestone used the example of another formerly struggling F1 outift to illustrate the mistakes made by Caterham and Marussia.

"Years ago, [Frank] Williams had a very small budget and was generally in trouble. Yet he always paid every dollar that he owed. He ran the team accordingly with the amount of money he could come up with," Ecclestone said. "Eventually things got better and he built the business and now he's where he is today."

Like a moth to a flame, though, Ecclestone can't resist making some sort of controversial comment, finishing his response by saying, "It's the same for everything in life, isn't it, really? It's the same problem with ladies and credit cards."


When asked about social media, Ecclestone basically showed his old guy card, saying, "You're right that we should use social media to promote Formula One. I just don't know how."

Ecclestone's statements on younger fans, meanwhile, are quite dismissive, although he has a pretty airtight reason for his stance – they aren't going to make his sponsors any money.

"Young kids will see the Rolex brand, but are they going to go and buy one? They can't afford it. Or our other sponsor, UBS – these kids don't care about banking. They haven't got enough money to put in the bloody banks anyway," Ecclestone argued. "I'd rather get to the 70-year-old guy who's got plenty of cash."

There's much more from Bernie, including a few other controversial and sexist remarks, in the full interview. Head over and have a look.

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