Ecclestone Tips Massa for F1 Title

Bernie Ecclestone revealed that he has a clear favorite for the F1 title this year. Looking back on what happened in 2008, the 78-year old Englishman sees no reason why Felipe Massa won't go all the way to become the new champion this year. The Brazilian won the most races in 2008 and, under FIA's new title awarding system, should have become F1 champion from as early as last season.

Considering he has now gained the necessary experience to take the title fight to the end – while also the fact that some of championship's great talents will not benefit from very competitive cars in 2009 – Ecclestone admitted he would put all his money on Massa. The main condition for that to happen, however, would be for Ferrari to keep themselves from making the foolish mistakes they did last year (and eventually cost Massa the title).

“Red Bull could be a big surprise with Sebastian Vettel. Put him in a Ferrari and he'd be as quick as anyone they have got. Brawn are going well too, but my money is going on Felipe Massa again. I don't see why he shouldn't get the job done. He was quick last year but Ferrari cost him the title with their mistakes,” said Ecclestone in an interview for The Daily Express.

In addition, the F1 supremo expressed his thoughts on the title chances of several other drivers aiming for the championship crown this year.

“If Kimi Raikkonen wins a couple of the first three races, you will see a different Kimi. Lewis Hamilton, who has been a good world champion, is obviously going to be there if the McLaren improves but, if they miss out on the first few races, he has a mountain to climb,” added Ecclestone.
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