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Bernie picks Vettel

Greater Noida: “I’d pick Sebastian (Vettel) to win, but if I had a few dollars to spare, I wouldn’t know who to put my money on... Any of the other four-five top drivers could stand in the centre of the podium...”

That came from the F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, during a chat with The Telegraph in his private lounge at the Buddh International Centre.

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, after the German again took pole, Ecclestone said: “Sebastian’s an excellent driver and has a good car... The really good drivers are consistent in a race and in the season... It’s more or less a flat line for them, not up and down... Sebastian sits in that category.”

The maximum speed in the qualifier was, however, recorded by Williams’ Bruno Senna (265.6 kmph), nephew of the legendary Ayrton.

Ecclestone turns 82 on Sunday and is remarkably fit. “I should actually be exercising, but I don’t,” he pointed out.

Asked what it felt to be turning 82, Ecclestone quipped: “First, let me turn 82... I’ll tell you tomorrow!”

Footnote: Sachin Tendulkar, who waved the chequered flag last year, is unlikely to be here this time.