Formula One title battle is win-win for Ecclestone

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Fuji (Japan) Sep 29: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone believes he is on to a winner whoever takes this year's drivers' championship.

But his ideal scenario would be for it to be settled by a last lap collision between two feuding frontrunners in the final race.

''Like the $100 million fine, it would generate a lot of publicity,'' he told British reporters at the Japanese Grand Prix, referring to McLaren's recent sanction as a result of a spying controversy that has hung over the season.

''Imagine if that happened on the last lap of the last race, then the guy that was leading at the time, points-wise, would be the winner. So it would be a controversial end to the championship.'' The Briton said he could see no downside in 22-year-old McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton, reigning champion and team mate Fernando Alonso or either of the Ferrari drivers emerging triumphant.

Hamilton leads double world champion Alonso by two points going in to today's race at the revamped Fuji circuit, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen 11 points behind the Spaniard and China and Brazil still to come.

While not a title decider, it could still be the race that tips the balance.

''A lot depends on it,'' said Ecclestone. ''If McLaren run into bad luck and the Ferraris get going it could be a different championship.

''What if it rains? What if it's the other way round? What's good is that we are talking about it. If Michael Schumacher was here we'd be saying 'Will he be on pole and will he win the race?' Now we are talking.

''Lewis is obviously good for the sport, the new kid on the block. In his first year he comes into F1 and does so well. It's wonderful,'' continued Ecclestone.

''If Fernando won another world championship it would be another one. That would be three, which is good.

''If Kimi Raikkonen or Felipe Massa win, that would be Ferrari winning and that would be good, too. There's not a negative in any of those results.''


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