CRASH & BERN
Ecclestone's amazing claim: Title should be won in smash-up
Bernie Ecclestone has amazingly revealed he wants to see Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso settle their rivalry for the world title - with an explosive high-speed smash.
And Hamilton admits he should have slammed bitter rival and McLaren team-mate Alonso into the wall at their previous showdown in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Ecclestone, the sport's most powerful and also most controversial figure, says a tangle of metal and carbon fibre would be great for the sport's publicity. The duel has all the hallmarks of the sport's late 1980s golden era when Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna put on a lavish spectacle of racing, only for their rivalry to twice cause smashes in Japan.
"It could easily end up like Prost and Senna," said Ecclestone.
"I can see them going off together. I'd love to see that.
"Just like McLaren's Â£50million fine it would bring a lot of publicity to the sport and it'd be very dramatic. That'd be great."
But on the eve of tomorrow's Japanese GP the billionaire promoter, who has made the sport what it is, does not want to see Ferrari nip in and steal the silverware.
"If they crashed on the last lap the guy who is leading in the points should be the winner," he added.
"That would be fantastic. The drivers have got to be careful no one gets hurt.
"The cars have always been bloody quick but at least they are 10 times safer now."
Hamilton was only half joking as he reflected on his first corner confrontation in Belgium with Alonso that left him fuming for a fortnight after the Spaniard, 26, pushed him off the circuit.
"I gave him plenty of room. I should have pushed him in the wall," said Hamilton. "I want to be fair but I'll just try to do the talking on the track, do it with the results.
"Beating him is going to hurt him more than putting him in the wall. I won't be leaving him any room next time, it's as simple as that."
Hamilton, 22, ratcheted up the pressure as he ended the first day's practice faster than his team-mate by a tenth of a second.
But Jenson Button warned the warring team-mates the big danger could still come with Kimi Raikkonen lurking on the fringes.
Honda's ace fears a repeat of Nigel Mansell's title heartbreak when his 1986 duel with Williams' team-mate Nelson Piquet handed the title to Prost at the very last race.
"Kimi is not going to win the championship unless they collide," said Button. "And there is a possibility that is going to happen because they are so close."
Just two points separate the pair with three rounds remaining.
The mutual dislike grows by the hour and Ecclestone fanned the flames with his verdict on Alonso's controversial move at Spa.
"He tried to take him off. It certainly looked like that to me," added Ecclestone. British rookie Hamilton is so annoyed he plans face-toface talks with Alonso before tomorrow's race which will be his last chance to face the Spaniard on equal terms.
This Fuji circuit is new to both drivers as it has not been used for F1 in three decades, while Alonso will have the upper hand from previous experience in China and Brazil.
Japanese Grand Prix: Alonso 9/4, Raikkonen 5/2, Hamilton 3/1, Massa 13/2.
CRASH & BERN - Sport - Mirror.co.uk