Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone (R) smiles after giving the start to (L-oR) Ferrari's drivers Brazilian Felipe Massa and Spanish Fernando Alonso for an exibition on January 15, 2010 during the "Wrooom 2010, F1 and MotoGP Press Ski Meeting" Ducati and Ferrari annual media gathering in Madonna di Campiglio, famous Italian ski resort in the Dolomiti Alpes.    AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Bernie Ecclestone swaps pit lane for ski slope
01:20 - Source: CNN

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Ecclestone is director of charity ski race

CNN  — 

He may have been removed from his position at the head of Formula One, but Bernie Ecclestone still has control over one race.

The former motorsport supremo has been “director” of the Kitz Charity Trophy, a celebrity ski race on the famed Kitzbuhel course, for 20 years.

The annual event, set up to support farming families in the Austrian state of Tyrol, takes place during the celebrated Kitzbuhel World Cup week, when the world’s best take on the feared Hahnenkamm downhill.

“Have you been at the top (of the course),” Ecclestone asks CNN’s Christina Macfarlane. “You need a lot of courage.”

One man renowned for pushing himself to the very limits of F1 was in awe of the professional skiers hurling themselves down the “Streif” slope during the World Cup’s showpiece downhill.

“It’s amazing,” Dutch F1 driver Max Verstappen told CNN after watching the action on the Hahnenkamm.

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“You have a lot of respect for the skiers because it’s pretty impressive with the speeds they do to make the corners on such a difficult layout – it’s very cool.”

The 19-year-old was also one of the celebrities taking part in the charity event, along with former skiers Benjamin Raich and Armin Assinger, former F1 driver Gerhard Berger and Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi.