Archive for the ‘What’s Bernie said now?’ Category

Bernie: F1 needs women drivers

May 3rd, 2009 No comments

Bernie EcclestoneFormula One has a two week break between the Bahrain Grand Prix at the end of April and the Spanish Grand Prix to be held in Barcelona next Sunday.

This has allowed plenty of time for Bernie Ecclestone to be let loose on the press and produce a couple of choice quotes.

According to the Guardian, at a dinner for local Spanish motor sport journalists, Bernie said that he would like Formula One to be “surrounded by controversy all the time.”

Obviously disappointed the whole McLaren controversy was dealt with so quickly, he decided it was time to give his enlightened views about the future of the sport:

Personally I don’t really mind who comes in, but if I had a choice I think that formula one needs a black, Jewish woman who, if possible, wins some races too.

This comes after he compared the signing of a new Concorde agreement to the Arab/Israeli conflict:

It’s like Israel and the Palestinians — always about to reach an agreement but never quite signing it.

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FOTA schmota

April 17th, 2009 2 comments

Bernie EcclestoneFrom James Allen’s Twitter feed:

Bernie – “I’m not fighting anyone.”

Journo – “What about FOTA?”

Bernie – “Who?”

(Tip o hat to Andrew.)





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McLaren and Renault threatened boycott

March 24th, 2009 No comments

Bernie EcclestoneThe Times is reporting that in a meeting between Renault team principal Flavio Briatore, McLaren chairman and CEO Ron Dennis, Toyota team principal and FOTA vice-president John Howett and Bernie Ecclestone, Dennis and Briatore threatened to boycott the Australian Grand Prix.

They allegedly told Ecclestone that unless he wrote them a check they wouldn’t put their cars on the specially chartered flights to Australia last Sunday and neither would the rest of FOTA.  The money in question is in payment for signing a new Concorde Agreement, something the teams are yet to do.

According to Ecclestone:

Flavio said, ‘we’re not going to put our cars on the plane, we’re not going to Melbourne.’  He – Flavio – started it, aided and abetted by Ron Dennis.

Unfazed, Bernie decided to called their bluff:

I picked up the phone to our people that handle all the freight to ask them to cancel the aeroplanes.  They were saying, ‘all the Fota-schmota are not going – nobody’s going to go.’ So I said what I’d better do is cancel the aircraft obviously. It costs a fortune to charter those things and almost as much to cancel them.

All the cars are now in Melbourne so the threat obviously wasn’t carried out.  The first race hasn’t even been run but we may already have the Bernie quote of the season:

If they come in here with a gun and hold it to my head, they had better be sure they can fucking pull the trigger.  And they should make sure it’s got bullets in it because, if they miss, they better look out.

The tensions between FOTA and the FIA/Ecclestone has undertones of the FISA-FOCA war of the 80’s.  Back then, Bernie Ecclestone as Brabham team owner and Max Mosley as his legal advisor were on the other side of the conflict that culiminated in a boycott of the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix.  Among the complaints of the FOCA teams were FISA’s handling of regulations and financial compensation.

Sounds familiar…

Bernie backs Button

March 18th, 2009 No comments

Bernie EcclestoneBernie Ecclestone thinks the new scoring system announced by the FIA on Tuesday could give Jenson Button a crack at the Championship in 2009.

Official Aussie bookmaker, currently has Jenson Button priced as favourite to win in Melbourne ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello and Lewis Hamilton.

When Bernie was asked by Autosport about his predictions for the championship at an Australian Grand Prix press conference he said:

I suppose an awful lot will depend on these regulations, but if Brawn has got it right, then there is a chance that for the first three races we could maybe see Jenson winning.

Now that it is not points that decides the championship, if he has three races in his pocket then it is not bad – although I suppose in the end you have to look at the old timers like Alonso, Kimi, Felipe and Mr Hamilton.

I think he’s right and I’d love to see Jenson challenging for the Championship this year.  God knows he’s been waiting a long time for a car that could give him a serious chance at it.  But my favorite Bernie comment from the press conference was this, when asked about the legality of the Williams, Toyota and Brawn diffusers:

I guarantee whoever wins the races in Melbourne will be told they are cheating, and it doesn’t matter who it is.

Unfortunately, I think he’s right there, too.

Bernie would only miss Ferrari

January 23rd, 2009 No comments

Bernie EcclestoneIn an interview with the Financial Times, Bernie Ecclestone has said that the only team he would really be sorry see to go is Ferrari.

He had previously said that Honda’s recent exit from Formula One was “no great loss” but these latest comments will do little to quell suspicions that Ferrari receive favourable treatment by the sport’s administrators.

Ferrari is the only team to have been in F1 since the inaugural Championship season in 1950 and Ecclestone has previously admitted that Ferrari receive more money than the other teams.

Ecclestone told the FT:

It’s bad for me to say this, but the only team we would really say we would miss is Ferrari.