Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at Sir Martin Sorrell, a non-executive director of Formula 1 shareholders CVC Capital Partners, claiming that he is in no position to question the 78-year-old’s opinion.
The verbal attack comes hours after Sorrell criticised Ecclestone for stating that Flavio Briatore’s lifetime ban from all FIA-governed championships was too harsh – an opinion which the CVC director believes champions cheating.
Sorrell also reaffirmed his displeasure at earlier comments made by Ecclestone, where the F1-Supremo made references to Adolf Hitler.
“First, we had Hitler did good, now we have cheating is acceptable,” said Sorrell in today’s Daily Mail. “Where will it end? His latest comments are yet another example, I’m afraid, of Bernie being totally out of touch with reality.”
However in an interview with the BBC, Ecclestone slammed Sorrell’s comments and claimed that he was in no position to give his opinion on the world of Formula One.
“The comments I made about Hitler were comments that were taken completely out [of context],” he said. “I apologise because they were taken completely wrong. As far as cheating I haven’t made any comments.
“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and why should his be more important than mine? He’s not involved in the sport so it’s difficult to know why. He doesn’t know, he doesn’t come to races, he doesn’t know the people that are involved.”
The CEO of Formula One Management (FOM) and Formula One Administration (FOA) also re-iterated his belief that Briatore’s ban was unfair and that the decision to give Renault no more than a two-year suspended sentence was the right one.
“Giving somebody life – they don’t even do that for murder,” Ecclestone continued.
“It would be nice to know exactly what crime Renault committed. Three people were involved, it was a conspiracy and if you look in the dictionary what a conspiracy is you will soon see what it is. And it wasn’t Renault that was involved in the conspiracy.”