Two words for you: Ron & Bernie. What don’t they say?

This is one conversation I did not expect to see at the official Formula 1 site.

Bernie Ecclestone and Ron Dennis. And whether it is Ron talking about Fernando Alonso’s not expecting Lewis Hamilton to be so competitive or Bernie talking about one specific thing (can you guess? it starts with “m” and ends in “y” and has “one” in the middle), this seems like gold for all of us here. Ronspeak meets Bernie? I’m breathless!

I also don’t know where to start. So, some highlights:

Q: Ron, did you ever think of Bernie as an idol, a hero of your youth?
RD: No. How could he be? He only had one thing on his mind, which was to make money. My heroes were drivers. In a way they were gladiators for me, and unfortunately many lost their lives in those days. To name one, it would be Jim Clark. He was a real hero for me. I saw him at an event at Goodwood. He raced in three categories in one day – and was always on the limit. He was special – his aura, his talent, his way of driving.
BE: Very true.


Q: Has anyone ever been reluctant to pay?
BE: We had little problems in Spain for a while. Bang went the money once. In the end we got it back.

Q: Did you really carry the money away in a bag? We are talking here about millions, right?
RD: Of course! For example after the US Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, Bernie went to the local bank on Monday morning to pocket the dough. In Mexico he crossed the whole city with the money bag and deposited it in the hotel safe. It’s unbelievable nowadays. Today everything is totally different. It’s simply a different time. Not better, not worse – just different.
BE: Remember Monaco? The teams had their garage in a musty car park…
RD: Oh yes, and the mechanics had to drive the cars down the hill to the pits…
BE: The teams that didn’t exist in those days have no idea how it was back then. They have no clue how good they have it now.


Q: What would you both say were your biggest Formula One successes?
RD: Let’s answer that question from the other’s perspective. Bernie Ecclestone had two business lives. As a team principal there was only one thing on his mind – to win. He was a real racer then. When he quit his team career to concentrate on the business of Formula One, he still wanted nothing more than to win – he wanted to win at making the most money. More than anybody else! It was his substitute for the on-track action. I still find it remarkable that he sold parts of his business without ever giving up control. When you think of how difficult it is to sell your car but still keep the ignition key. It was brilliant.


Q: What was the problem between Hamilton and Alonso?
RD: It was very simple – Alonso didn’t expect Hamilton to be that competitive in his first year. He told me at the beginning that it was my decision to sign a rookie like Hamilton, but that it could cost me the constructors’ championship. Fernando was calculating everything, but not that Lewis would challenge him. That affected him massively.

Q: What do you make of the driver rivalry at Red Bull that culminated in their crash in Istanbul?
RD: Only that every promoter, including Red Bull, should be happy about it. For weeks they have been in the media. Obviously nothing sells better than ‘bad news’. Am I right Bernie?
BE: Absolutely!

I think those are the best parts, anyway. Seems to reinforce our stereotypes of Bernie, at least. But Ron? Maybe not so much? Or maybe more so in that he’s smarter about what he says — Ronspeak at its best.

Man, Max Mosley must be spitting mad right now.

Reactions? Anyone see anything in there I’m missing?

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