icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

'His comments have no place in Formula 1 or society': F1 distances itself from ex-chief Bernie Ecclestone after CNN interview

'His comments have no place in Formula 1 or society': F1 distances itself from ex-chief Bernie Ecclestone after CNN interview
Formula 1 has distanced itself from its former chief executive Bernie Ecclestone after he claimed "in many cases, black people are more racist than what white people are," during an interview with CNN about racism in sport.

The sport's governing body adopted a stance of opposition to the comments made by Ecclestone in an interview with CNN, in which he offered his thoughts on the current race debate taking place in the United States and beyond.

Talking about six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton's activism to promote diversity in motorsport, Ecclestone praised the sport's only ever black world champion, calling him "special."

"Lewis is a little bit special," Ecclestone told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies. "First, he's very, very, very talented as a driver and he seems to be now extremely talented when's he standing up and can make speeches.

Also on rt.com 'Black people are often more racist than white people': Ex-F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone weighs in on racism debate

"This last campaign he's doing for black people is wonderful. He's doing a great job and it's people like that, easily recognizable, that people listen to."

Ecclestone, however, claimed he thought Hamilton's campaign wouldn't do much to change Formula One for better or worse, before making the statement: "In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are," later adding he was "surprised" that Hamilton took offense in an incident where he was confronted by fans in 'blackface' in Spain in 2008.

"I'm surprised that [the blackface in Spain] concerns [Hamilton]. I'm really unhappy if he took it seriously. I never thought he did. I didn't think it affected him," Ecclestone said.

His words were deemed objectionable by the current Formula 1 governing body, who released a statement in which they rejected Ecclestone's comments.

"At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society,” the statement reads.

"Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title chairman emeritus, being honorific, expired in January 2020."

The sports body's response to Ecclestone's comments comes amid a global discussion concerning racial issues and sport. Briton Hamilton has been vocal in his stance that the sport must do more in its efforts to hit back at racism, setting up The Hamilton Commission, a new research partnership aimed at making motorsport more diverse. 

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.