Formula 1 has confirmed Bernie Ecclestone is no longer involved in the sport, and his ‘Chairman Emeritus’ title expired earlier this year.
F1 issued a statement on Friday distancing itself from Ecclestone after he commented on the sport’s new initiative aimed at delivering equality for all within motorsport.
Ecclestone also spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement and Lewis Hamilton’s involvement, which he called “wonderful”, but also made some divisive comments during an interview with CNN.
“Lewis is a little bit special,” Ecclestone said.”First, he’s very, very, very talented as a driver and he seems to be now extremely talented when’s he standing up and can make speeches.
“This last campaign he’s doing for Black people is wonderful. He’s doing a great job and it’s people like that – easily recognisable – that people listen to.”
Ecclestone went on to add: “I don’t think it’s going to do anything bad or good for Formula 1, 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.”
In response to Ecclestone’s comments and its #WeRaceAsOne initiative, F1 released the following statement.
“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.”
The interview referred to Ecclestone as Chairman Emeritus, but the statement went on to confirm this is a title the 89-year-old no longer holds.
“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.”