Ecclestone doesn't believe F1 after Spa: 'Only commercial reasons'

01-09-2021 13:33 | Updated: 01-09-2021 15:13
F1 News
Ecclestone doesn't believe F1 after Spa: 'Only commercial reasons'

Bernie Ecclestone, the former boss of Formula 1, doesn't have a good word to say about the way things went during the Belgian Grand Prix. For hours the start of the race was delayed and after two laps behind the safety car, the race was decided with Max Verstappen as the winner.

Not taking responsibility

"It was a disaster," the 90-year-old Briton fumed at F1 Insider. "You can't influence the weather, but you can influence how you deal with it. You could see that no one wanted to take responsibility or decisions. And in the end, they did everything wrong."

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1's current boss, said there were no commercial interests at stake in the decision to drive two laps behind the safety car in order to arrive at an official result, but Ecclestone doesn't believe it at all. "That is not true. There are contracts. By starting the race and completing their two minimum laps for a result, their contract has been fulfilled. So the organiser is obliged to pay the rights holder. How can you just let the two laps run and then say, 'We had no commercial reasons to do that!'?"

Money back for the spectators

Ecclestone believes Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, should give the spectators their money back. "From the money made from their two cheating laps, they should compensate the fans who stood in the rain for ten hours. There would still be plenty of profit left."

Ecclestone would let race

When asked how he would have handled last weekend, Ecclestone is clear. "The same as always," after which he cites several examples from the past. "In 1976 at Fuji we had the first-ever worldwide television broadcast. It was raining cats and dogs, it was really unpleasant. Still, I wanted it to start. I told everybody: I said to everybody, "I'm not forcing you to race! If you don't want to do it, don't do it. But I will let the race start. Niki Lauda drove into the pits after the first lap and gave up. I thought that was consistent. The others went on."

Video player

More videos

  • Small
  • Big