Insider says Ecclestone’s corona advice ‘disingenuous’

Bernie Ecclestone with Luca di Montezemolo back in 2013
Bernie Ecclestone with Luca di Montezemolo back in 2013

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone's advice that Formula 1 should cancel the 2020 season altogether is "disingenuous", according to an insider.

With so much at stake due to the sport's shutdown for the corona crisis, Liberty Media is working desperately on a plan to start running again from July with 'ghost races'.

Alexey Popov, the commentator for Russia's Match TV, thinks Formula 1 should even experiment further with the weekend format in order to squeeze in more racing this year.

"I would not be afraid to put on short races – double races on Saturday and Sunday," he told Ria Novosti news agency.

"They could also easily race in the middle of the week, like the Champions League in football. Almost the whole world is in quarantine, so you could absolutely race during the week."

He thinks former F1 supremo Ecclestone was not being serious when he suggested on multiple occasions recently that the entire world championship should simply be scrapped in 2020.

"I think that's disingenuous," said Popov. "I'm almost 100 percent sure that if Bernie had still been in charge, despite the dangers from the outside, then at least the first two races would have been held on time.

"They would have happened without spectators, but they absolutely would have happened. I am sure that Ecclestone understands perfectly that this forced downtime threatens the survival of some teams."

Meanwhile, Popov said he thinks Ferrari will not be too concerned about whether Sebastian Vettel accepts the team's offer of a new two-year contract with a substantially lower fee.

"If not Vettel, then who? I'm sure the team isn't too worried about that," he said.

"For the next ten years, Charles Leclerc firmly has the place of the number 1 driver. In their position, I would try to come to an agreement with Seb for another year."