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CVC man appalled by Ecclestone's Hitler comments

NEWS STORY
15/07/2009

Sir Martin Sorrell, who serves on the board of (F1 owner) CVC Capital Partners, last night voiced his disgust at comments made by Bernie Ecclestone over a week ago, when the F1 supremo appeared to praise Adolf Hitler.

'I am appalled by what he said about Hitler,' Sorrell told the Daily Mail. "His comments were disgusting. He issued a full apology after taking advice. Any other CEO in any other business would be gone."

Sorrell's comments come at a time when the Hitler gaffe appeared to have been settled, fellow CVC board member Donald Mackenzie having dismissed talk of Ecclestone being asked to stand down.

However, with the future of F1 still far from settled, there is speculation that some within the sport might make use of the Hitler comments to drop Ecclestone at the same time as others are trying to oust Max Mosley, the two men who have run the sport for as long as most people can remember.

Following reports in the Telegraph at the weekend, sections of the media ran stories claiming that at an emergency meeting last week, members of the board of CVC discussed dropping Ecclestone as Chief Executive and handing him an honorary role.

However, just 24-hours later, the Telegraph ran a second story virtually dismissing the first, with McKenzie saying: "There was no meeting at any time last week between Sir Martin Sorrell and Peter Brabeck to discuss Bernie's future. And to suggest that his position is in doubt is incorrect.

"I can't understand where that information could have come from," he added, "although it is obviously from a malicious source."

Despite McKenzie's comments, the newspaper remained unconvinced, quoting a source as saying: "There is no question that extensive meetings took place in London in the middle of last week between F1 team lawyers and CVC's lawyers and there is no doubt that Ecclestone's future position within F1 was discussed. It is coming from too many directions now to be untrue."

At the same time as sections of the media followed the Telegraph's lead, Pitpass' Chris Sylt revealed that in anticipation of the ongoing threat of a breakaway, Ecclestone and CVC have designed and applied to protect logos for GP1 and 'GP1 Series' in addition to registering trademarks the words 'Formula Grand Prix' and 'Formula GP'.

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