Formula 1 chiefs on Friday said Bernie Ecclestone’s view that “black people are sometimes more racist than white” has no place in the sport.
Ecclestone, the former ringmaster of F1 over four decades, was asked to comment on Lewis Hamilton’s recent anti-rascism initiatives.
While praising the six-time world champion for his campaigning, 89-year-old Ecclestone doubted the creation of the Hamilton Commission, which hopes to steer more black youngsters into motor racing, will have any great effect.
“I don’t think it’s going to do anything bad or good for Formula One,” he told CNN.
“It’ll just make people think which is more important. I think that’s the same for everybody. People ought to think a little bit and think: ‘Well, what the hell. Somebody’s not the same as white people and black people should think the same about white people.’
“In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are.”
When challenged to elaborate, Ecclestone admitted he was unable to provide any evidence for his opinion, saying simply that he had “noticed” it over the years.
F1, which has come under fire from Hamilton — the only black driver on the grid — for its lack of diversity, distanced itself from Ecclestone’s remarks.
“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,” a statement said.
“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.”
© 2020 AFP