Ecclestone has no sympathy for Ferrari "clowns"


There are some who believe that Luca di Montezemolo's comments regarding the Singapore Grand Prix smacked of sour grapes, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is clearly among them.

Following a race in which Ferrari's World Championship hopes came well and truly off the rails, thanks largely to a pit-stop which some have described as "pure farce", the Maranello outfit's President described the sport's first-ever night time race as a "circus".

Ecclestone, rarely lost for words, and never backward in sharing them, has hit back, landing a low blow that will hurt the Italian team but delight its many critics. "If the Ferrari president is right about the Singapore Grand Prix being a circus, then we have to be grateful to him for providing the clowns," the Englishman told the Daily Mail.

To a certain extent, feelings towards Ferrari were already running high even before the Singapore event, courtesy of what happened at Spa and what many see as the farce that was Lewis Hamilton's appeal hearing in Paris. Many of those same people will no doubt have felt that Singapore - where Ferrari failed to score a single point, the first time that this has happened since Australia 2006 - was the Maranello outfit's come uppence.

"After the weekend Ferrari had, their President should have shut up and kept his head down," added Ecclestone, sticking the knife in just a little further. "If Massa loses the World Championship, he will know the team were responsible. He would have destroyed everybody in Singapore if he had kept going."

Referring to the pit stop incident when Felipe Massa was released early with the refuelling hose still attached, thereby wrecking his race and leading to what has been described as a 'Keystone Cops moment', when the Ferrari crew had to run down the pitlane to remove the offending hose, Ecclestone said: "If I wanted to be a smart-arse, I'd have devised a system so that the light goes green to release the driver at the same time as the coupling hose comes off the car. If it's a matter of turning a switch, which I am led to believe is how it works, then why not stick with the 'lollipop' man of old? Why do you want to have some other piece of technology that can go wrong? It's over the top."

The Singapore debacle, which also saw Kimi Raikkonen crash out, means that Ferrari lost the lead in the Constructors' Championship, while Lewis Hamilton extends his lead in the drivers' title fight to seven points.

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Published: 06/10/2008
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