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Ecclestone would have opposed Alonso competing in Indy 500

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Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that he thinks it's a mistake to allow Fernando Alonso to race in the Indianapolis 500.

McLaren have released the two-time world champion to take part in the world's most famous superspeedway event. Jenson Button will deputise for Alonso at the Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place on the same day.

"I would have said wait until your contract finishes," Ecclestone told reporters at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday. "Then you can do what you like.

"You are in the middle of Formula 1 and you are a Formula 1 driver," he added.

The decision to let Alonso take part in the Indy 500 wouldn't have been in Eccleston's hands. But the 86-year-old was confident that if he'd still been in charge of the sport he could have exerted some pressure.

"I think if I could have persuaded McLaren not to go I would have done it," he said.

But from a different perspective, Ecclestone could see why Alonso was so keen to try something new at this point.

"I don’t like to see him at the back of the grid anyway," he said, adding: "I think it’s probably good for him."

Ecclestone has been given the title of chairman emeritus by the sport's new owners Liberty Media. However he says that he has little to do with the funning of Formula 1 today.

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