0:00 - Hamilton Slams “Ignorant and Uneducated” Bernie Ecclestone
3:00 - Russell Hopes Hamilton Regrets Giving Him Advice
3:47 - Fast Feed
Formula 1 seemed to be mired in hot water last week when Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had apparently called reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton’s fight against racism a distraction. It turned out that a website had misquoted Marko and things had settled down. Now it seems that Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone's recent comments may have once again muddied the waters as some back and forth has taken place between Bernie and Lewis this time around.
Bernie Ecclestone initially praised Hamilton’s fight against racism and how it has opened up discussions but went on to add a few things that seemed to question the efficacy of the current movement.
"I don't think it's going to do anything bad or good for Formula One"
He then gave his opinion on the various statues of people associated with racism being taken down
“I think it's completely stupid taking all these statues down. They should've left them there. Take the kids from school to look and say why they're there and what the people did and how wrong it was what they did"
He then summed up his words in his own unique way
"In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are"
Lewis Hamilton responded to this on his Instagram account
"It's hugely sad and disappointing to read statements like this. Bernie is no longer in the sport and comes from a different generation, but that's exactly what's not right. Ignorant and uneducated statements that show how far we have to go as a society before we can get real equality"
He then connected Bernie’s mindset to the lack of diversity in F1 so far given that Bernie Ecclestone was for a long time the CEO of F1
"It makes complete sense to me now that nothing was said or done to make our sport more diverse or to address the racial abuse I received throughout my career"
Formula 1 has also released an official statement regarding this
“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. 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”
Bernie had a reply for this statement from F1
“When Chase asked me to step down, he made a big thing about how important the title he was giving me was. People in America would kill for it, he told me. It didn’t matter to me. I’m not bothered about titles”
He also gave his comments on the #WeRaceAsOne initiative
“I’m glad he said I have no involvement in Formula One, so I can’t be credited with all the things they’ve not done. They have jumped on this racism thing suddenly because of events in America.”
There have been rumors that F1 is looking to ban Bernie from attending F1 races in the future. Bernie had a retort for that as well
“I wouldn’t advise them to do that. They might want to try it in Russia”
He then concluded by giving his response to the reactions his earlier comments on racism had garnered
“Over the years, I have met a lot of white people I didn’t like, but never a black person I didn’t like. I don’t think of Lewis as black or anything else. He’s just Lewis to me”
“It’s not my fault I am white, or that I am a little shorter than the next man. I was called Titch at school. I realised I had to do something about it. Black people should look after themselves. When I lost my driving licence, I had a black driver, not because he was black, but because I didn’t care whether he was black or white. Now it’s suddenly fashionable to talk about diversity. Willy T [Ribbs] was the first black man to drive an F1 car, for me, in the Seventies”
Russell Hopes Hamilton Regrets Giving Him Advice
Williams’ George Russel began by revealing how he had received advice from Lewis Hamilton during his F2 days
"I had a little bit of advice from Lewis about two years ago when I was racing in F2. We were in a debrief and I was struggling a little bit with something and I was talking to some of the engineers and he just gave me a bit of advice from the driving side"
"It was mainly about the tyres, and how to try and get more out of them. I’d say that was a little thing that helped me find that little bit extra, what I was just missing at the start of my F2 career"
He concluded by revealing how this advice has helped him and how he hopes to challenge Lewis on the track some day in the future
"That’s actually pushed forward into F1 as well and has benefitted me as I moved into F1. That little piece of information triggered something in my mind and I think a lot about it and how I can get even more out of it. I hope I can make him regret giving me that advice one day"
Who do you agree with in regards to the recent drama regarding Bernie, Lewis and F1?