Ecclestone ‘always has upper hand’ – Barcelona chief image

May 11 (GMM/ Race chief Sebastia Salvado says his “worst memory” in the quarter-century history of the Spanish grand prix at Barcelona features none other than Bernie Ecclestone.

Last weekend, the Circuit de Catalunya announced it has extended its deal to keep organising the formula one race at the track in Montmelo.

But when asked by El Pais newspaper to nominate his “worst memory” of the race that now dates back to 1991, key official Sebastia Salvado answered: “The worst?

“The negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone. Have no doubt — they are tremendous.”

For years, Salvado – who like Ecclestone is in his mid 80s – has been chairman of the Catalunya automobile club, and Ecclestone’s main point of contact.

It has always been thought that Ecclestone and Salvado are friends, often meeting up and dining together.

“That’s true,” said Salvado. “And when we dine or have coffee the atmosphere is very warm and friendly.

“But when we begin to negotiate, he says ‘You know we are entering another world now?’ ‘Yes, yes, I know’, I reply.

“And then it begins. As he always has the upper hand, if you say ‘Hey, here’s a problem’, his answer is blunt: ‘It’s not a problem, it’s your problem’.

“I can assure you that dealing with Bernie Ecclestone is a lesson in humility. You beg, plead, insist, and from time to time he gives you a piece of bread … without cheese! And then you see what he is eating.

“Do not laugh! It’s the truth,” Salvado quipped.