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23 Mar, 2021 10:00

‘Lewis needs to be careful’: Bernie Ecclestone claims F1 king Hamilton is being USED by Black Lives Matter

‘Lewis needs to be careful’: Bernie Ecclestone claims F1 king Hamilton is being USED by Black Lives Matter

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has reignited his feud with Lewis Hamilton by claiming that the British world champion is being “used” by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Last July, Hamilton accused billionaire businessman Eccleston of being "ignorant and uneducated" for claiming that "black people are more racist than white people".

Now, in an interview with the Telegraph, Eccleston has double down on his political views.

“I’ve said to his father, ‘Lewis needs to be careful. Because he’s being used by the people who are supporting this Black Lives Matter and they are taking a lot of money from it. And nobody knows where it goes,” the 90-year-old explained.

Also on rt.com 'It makes complete sense to me now': Lewis Hamilton says Bernie Ecclestone's comments explain F1's lack of action against racism

Later in the interview he developed his argument on whether or not sports and politics should mix.

“If I’d have still been around [as F1 boss] there wouldn’t have been anyone wearing [anti-racism] T-shirts on the podium, that’s for sure,” Ecclestone said.

“One hundred percent, there wouldn’t have been this business of kneeling before races. I agree the sport should do more to encourage diversity but it shouldn’t be used as a [political] tool.”

RT

He also stood by his claim that F1 is not inherently racist, stating that teams would be “falling over themselves to put a black driver in their cars,” before adding: “the same applies to female drivers too".

He referred back to his prior clash with Hamilton, explaining that the Mercedes competitor perhaps did not fully appreciate what he had meant.

RT

“I don't think he really understood what I was saying.

“I agree we need to give more people a chance. Don’t forget I was the first person to put a black guy in a Formula 1 car. And I supported him and have supported an awful lot of black people. But Lewis is entitled to his view.” 

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

Hamilton has been at the forefront of efforts to push the BLM cause in F1 and called out fellow drivers for supposedly not making more effort to promote diversity.

The seven-time world champion’s Mercedes team changed the livery of their cars to a predominantly black design to honor the movement last season.

Moving away from politics, Ecclestone reminisced over what he signaled were the sport’s golden years.

“I just feel sorry for people in F1 today who weren’t around in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s,” said the tycoon.

“I'm not saying that it was right then or wrong now. I’m just saying it was different. We would all help each other out. If somebody had an engine problem and somebody else had a spare they’d lend it to them.”

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He also passed comment on the recent death of commentating legend Murray Walker, saying: “I was sorry about Murray. He did an awful lot to promote Formula 1. A lovely guy.”

The Formula One season begins this Sunday in Bahrain. Hamilton’s stiffest competition will likely come from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Michael Schumacher’s 22-year-old son Mick, who will be making his F1 debut for Haas, should also be one to watch for fans of the sport.