Bernie Ecclestone on Thursday joined forces with F1 drivers who are complaining about the governance of the sport.
Sections of the media had interpreted the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association’s rare letter this week as a scathing attack on authorities including the F1 supremo.
But in a typed reply to the drivers on Thursday, the 85-year-old told them: “It is not always easy to agree with you but you are correct in stating that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured.”
Actually, Ecclestone’s own criticism of the current structure is not new, as he often hits out at FIA president Jean Todt’s hands-off approach whilst ruing the days when he and Max Mosley ran F1 in a less democratic fashion.
“We must as you have stated urge the owners and all stakeholders of formula one to consider restructuring its own governance,” the Briton continued to tell the drivers.
“You state that every individual acts with the very best intentions. I am not sure if this is a misprint. If not, it should read ‘with their very best intentions’,” Ecclestone concluded.
The latter is almost certainly a reference to F1’s team bosses, who can rarely agree on issues and rule-changes as they are competing against one another.
But Ecclestone has even said Mercedes and Ferrari are abusing their position of dominance by effectively running a “cartel”.
In Melbourne, Ferrari’s Maurizio Arrivabene dismissed the accusation as “simply ridiculous”.
His Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff agreed: “Bernie is always good for controversy and throwing one in.
“Some of us are part of multinational global companies and we’re taking compliance very seriously. So it just causes headlines but nothing else,” he added.
© RIF | GMM