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Ecclestone hopes for close title fight

ESPNF1 Staff
January 23, 2012 « Horner hails Ricciardo and Vergne | Raikkonen takes to track in Valencia »
Bernie Ecclestone does not want Sebastian Vettel to easily defend his title © Press Association
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Bernie Ecclestone admits that he would like to see a close battle for the world championship in 2012 after Sebastian Vettel dominated last season.

2010 saw one of the closest championships in recent years with four drivers in with a chance of winning the title going in to the last race, but after Vettel came out victorious he went on to ease to back-to-back championships last year. When asked by Salzburger Nachrichten if Vettel could repeat that performance, Ecclestone admitted: "I hope not!

"Of course, Red Bull are still going to be there," Ecclestone said. "I would much prefer a fight for the world title right to the end of the season ... (But) the TV viewers care more about the tension of the race than the championship."

Ecclestone admitted that if Red Bull continued to have the dominant car then he hoped Mark Webber could make life more difficult for Vettel.

"I don't want Red Bull to dominate in the same way but I fear that's what will happen. That's why I put my hopes on Mark Webber's shoulders. This year we will see a situation where he can show his talent much more."

With Ferrari only winning one race in 2011 and the rest of the victories being shared between Red Bull and McLaren, Ecclestone said he'd like to see four winning teams this season.

"I would be surprised if Mercedes don't win a race this year. As for Ferrari, I can only hope they improve significantly. Alonso is super-talented and deserves a perfect car."