Bernie says Alonso not yet ‘great’

Thu, 9 November 2006, 07:52

Bernie Ecclestone has tipped Fernando Alonso to secure a third successive drivers’ world championship in 2007.

“Now that (Michael) Schumacher has gone the door is open for all of them,” he said, “although I see Alonso as the one with the best chance.”

But in the city of Madrid this week, the F1 supremo insisted to Spanish newspapers that even another Formula One crown will not in his mind make the 25-year-old Spaniard ‘great’.

“For me, (Ayrton) Senna was great because of the way he enthralled the public,” Ecclestone, 75, said.

He added: “Fernando is still lacking that connection with the people, but he could achieve it finally with his third championship.”

Bernie did, however, credit Alonso with reinvigorating Spain’s interest in four-wheel racing.

“A few years ago nobody (in Spain) was interested,” he said, “but thanks to Alonso it has all changed.”

Meanwhile, with a succinct ‘yes’, Bernie answered a reporter’s question about whether he is still looking into bringing his circus to Russia and India.


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