Site logo

Ecclestone hits out at 'puppet' drivers

NEWS STORY
02/04/2016

Bernie Ecclestone has hit out at the drivers following GPDA letter, questioning their motivations.

When Bernie Ecclestone reacted to the GPDA's call for change in the way the sport is governed, many opined that the F1 supremo was agreeing with the drivers. He was not.

As we wrote at the time: "... it would seem that the Briton sees the open letter as a means to push his own agenda. Indeed, the very last line, in which he mentions "their very best intentions" will be aimed at the engine manufacturers and teams."

Sure enough, just over a week later, in the face of continued unrest at the state of the sport and the direction it is taking, Ecclestone has hit out at the drivers, questioning their motivations.

"The drivers can say what they like," he told reporters in Bahrain. "They can’t do anything.

"They can give an opinion," he added. "Everyone has got an opinion. Really their discussions are with their team and the team has got a voice. They are only saying what the teams have told them to say."

Asked if he considers the drivers to be windbags - a wonderful old English expression that refers to one who talks a lot, but little of importance - he replied: "Some of them".

Subsequently, when it was suggested the drivers genuinely care about the sport and are not looking to flex their muscles, to show their strength, he snapped: "They haven't got any."

Turning his attention to Sebastian Vettel, who on Thursday had eloquently compared the ongoing qualifying fiasco in terms of an ice cream shop ignoring customers’ demands, Ecclestone sniped: "Do you think he's going to win this race. He should go to his boss and tell him the same thing. They've been running an ice cream shop for a few years now." Ouch!

As ever, Ecclestone has history. In his world the drivers, though for many the stars of the show, are a means to an end, just a part of the 'circus'.

Fans of a certain age will remember his callous remark at the time Alain Prost first 'retired', before returning to the sport for one last season (and title), essentially the move that began talk of drivers taking sabbaticals... years out of the sport.

Asked about Prost's decision to retire, Ecclestone responded that in the old days there was "a natural culling", a crass comment that caused Max Mosley, then FIA president, to admit "that's gone down like a lead Zeppelin".

In Bahrain, the drivers have confirmed their support for the GPDA letter, even those who are not members, insisting that it was born out of their love for the sport, that there is no political agenda.

For as long as we can remember, Pitpass has been calling on the drivers to speak out more, and now under the guidance of (GPDA chairman) Alex Wurz they have found a voice.

We can understand that there will be fears that it is hard enough getting 11 teams to agree therefore what chance 22 drivers. However, these are the men who put their lives on the line for our entertainment - just think back two weeks to Melbourne, what F1 story dominated news coverage the day after - therefore it is only right they have a say.

To dismiss them out of hand as puppets, stooges and windbags is beneath contempt.

Check out our Saturday gallery, here.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by petes, 02/04/2016 19:18

"Hooray....
Clear from this piece Eccles is under pressure.
May the pressure keep increasing, so toppling the bent little troll."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Salms, 02/04/2016 18:37

"Too bad he's disqualified to run for office in the U.S. He'd be the prefect vice-presidential candidate to side Donald Trump. Buffoons all."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Jonno, 02/04/2016 16:26

"For all of his money, Bernies gaff looked more like a static caravan, than a stately home. I wonder if he could do me a deal on some pegs.
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Editor, 02/04/2016 14:35

"@ Jonno

Yes, but enough about Eddie Jordan.

How did Bernie come across?"

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Jonno, 02/04/2016 14:33

"I've just watch Bernie being interviewed by Eddie Jordan on CH4. For all his knowledge and experience, he came across a bumbling, incoherent, old fool. To claim that the Mercedes engine (note, not the Ferrari) be of no practical use outside of racing, show exactly how befuddled he is.
If he's not gone from F1 soon, the sport will be laughing stock - and dead.
"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by edllorca, 02/04/2016 13:46

"More driel from the drivel meister."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Sinnr, 02/04/2016 11:12

"Bernie is well past his sell by date. He is so out of touch with reality that he even believes the shite that comes out of his mouth.
Without these brave men who risk their lives every other weekend to put bread on his table, he should be thanking them every second on the day for their loyalty.
I wonder what he would have to say if they all refuse to race tomorrow to make a point that wind is a force to be reckoned with. "

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by Darvi, 02/04/2016 9:54

"It is about time CVC retired him and replaced him with someone that has a longer term view, a more conciliatory attitude and who gives a damn about the sport and those people who ultimately pay his wages, i.e. the audience."

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Jonno, 02/04/2016 9:25

"More proof, if any were needed, that Bernie is a miserly, little shit.
"

Rating: Positive (8)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms