Bernie Ecclestone on Sunday vowed to try to woo Michael Schumacher out of retirement and back onto the formula one grid.
In an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the 76-year-old F1 chief executive admitted to missing Schumacher, who retired at the end of last year as a seven time world champion, in 2007.
“I would of course be very happy if Michael came back,” Ecclestone said, admitting that the loss of the former Ferrari star was potentially a big blow for his sport.
He continued: “Thank God for Lewis. But can you imagine the duel of Michael versus Hamilton? That would be great — I’ll have to work on it.”
Speculation was already doing the rounds that Ecclestone was trying to entice Schumacher out of retirement after they met privately inside Bernie’s motorhome recently at the Nurburgring.
Ecclestone plays down the story.
“We just talked about his new life,” Bernie explained, “and we played backgammon — and as far as a remember, it was a draw!”
Ecclestone also admitted to enjoying the current spat between McLaren drivers Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
“It’s like Prost and Senna,” he said, “which is good for the fans. “I hope they continue to fight freely with one another with the fastest one winning — I hate team orders.
“I know it is not easy for the bosses to deal with but it is fascinating for us. These types of confrontations have been too rare recently.”
He also denied that the ongoing espionage saga is damaging formula one.
“I think it’s good,” Bernie said, “because it fills up the newspapers. Every big sport has controversies, which makes it exciting.”