Proxis Grand Prix - Volume 45B - Wed 22 OCT 97 E-Mail: Internet: _______________________________________________

Ecclestone warns contenders about foul play [Wed., Oct.22, 1997, 1:08PM EDT]

Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear that he wants to see a clean run to the checkered flag this weekend at Jerez. He went public today and made it a point that if either Michael Schumacher or Jacques Villeneuve attempted to win the championship by punting one another, they would be severely punished.

"The guilty party can expect to be a spectator in the first few rounds in 1998," explained Ecclestone. "We will also hit them where it really hurts -- in their wallets -- if they step out of line."

The warning comes after recent comments from the Williams camp, where Patrick Head has been quoted as fearing what he calls a "repeat of what he did to Damon Hill in 1994," -- an incident in which Hill and Schumacher collided in the final round at Adelaide, knocking both cars out of the race and handing the title to Schumacher.

Comments from Schumacher and Ferrari boss Jean Todt about Villeneuve's recent tactics at Suzuka also contributed to the cause of Ecclestone's statement today.

The Formula One Constructors Association President ended his interview, "The perfect scenario now is to have them both on the front row of the grid and to see them battling all the way to the chequered flag... fairly." ________________________________________________ Copyright © 1997 by John E. Klender. All rights reserved.