Ecclestone: F1 Needs a Beckham!

Bernie Ecclestone criticized the F1 drivers once again for not doing a better job promoting the sport worldwide. As the 78-year old Englishman is also co-owning London football club Queens Park Rangers alongside Renault boss Flavio Briatore, he made a quick comparison between the two sports he is currently involved in.

While admitting the world of Formula 1 is quite glamorous as compared to football, he also agreed the Great Circle fails miserably when it comes to world promoting. According to Ecclestone, the reason why football is way ahead of Formula One at this chapter is because they have greater characters to contribute to the image of the sport.

As argued by the F1 supremo, football has a Lionel Messi to rely on when it comes to exciting and spectacular plays, while also a David Beckham when it comes to advertising and promoting football within the world of fashion. Certain other footballers have also flirted with the fashion world in the past, Barcelona's Thierry Henry being the most conclusive example. Back when he was playing for Arsenal, the Frenchman was named “the most elegant footballer” in the world.

In formula one we do not have a Messi. Or Beckham. He would be ideal,” said Ecclestone in an interview for Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Furthermore, Ecclestone jokingly characterized the perfect driver to enter an F1 cockpit: “Ideally she would be Jewish and black.”

Better promotion of the sport has been on Bernie's mind for years now, as the retirement of former 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher in 2006 left the sport without a leading figure. While urging the F1 drivers to start taking their promoting role (of F1) more seriously, he also worked with the FIA on implementing a new set of rules targeted at making the sport more friendly for the fans.

Starting this year, the drivers were obliged to take more interviews during both practice and qualifying, while also dedicating more time to autograph sessions.
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