Formula One - Lewis Hamilton condemns 'ignorant' Bernie Ecclestone comments

Tanya Simon
June 29, 2020

Lewis Hamilton says the lack of action to improve diversity in Formula 1 under Bernie Ecclestone "makes complete sense" following the sport's former supremo's comments about racism.

The ex-Formula 1 boss, 89, found himself in hot water after a TV interview for CNN Sport on 26 June.

Lewis wrote on Instagram: "So sad and disappointing to read these comments".

His comments were condemned by the sport, and Hamilton branded his words as "ignorant and uneducated".

Ecclestone was at the helm of F1 for 40 years before exiting when F1 was taken over by Liberty Media in January 2017.

"It makes total sense to me now that nearly nothing was mentioned or carried out to make our activity much more diverse or to handle the racial abuse I gained through my profession". It starts at the top. I will not cease pushing to build an inclusive foreseeable future for our sport with equal chance for all.

Lewis Hamilton will begin his bid for a record-equalling seventh Formula One world title, feeling "lonely and uninspired".

Earlier Formula One also released a statement distancing themselves from Ecclesotne's statements. His title of chairman emeritus, which was honorific, expired in June 2020'.

Hamilton has joined protests, set up The Hamilton Commission to increase diversity in motorsport and called out F1's "biggest stars" for "staying silent ... in the midst of injustice".

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Bernie, however, thinks that it will only make little difference to the Formula One, saying, "I don't think it's [the Hamilton Commission] going to do anything bad or good for Formula One".

Just days after making controversial comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has doubled down with more unpopular comments.

"I think we all need to make sure we arrive utilising all the tools we have like race simulations - I probably will get in the simulator, which I don't always love - but utilising those tools to make sure that when we come to that first race, we hit the ground running and we're ready as if we've not missed any of the races". People ought to think a little bit and think: 'Well, what the hell?

Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the only Black driver in F1, was shocked by Ecclestone's claim during an interview with broadcaster CNN on Friday that "in lots of cases, Black people are more racist" than white people. I don't think you're gonna easily change people's attitude. 'I wouldn't advise them to do that. So, they grow up not having to think about these things.

"I don't know why the people did all of that anyway".

'If a black person or a white person gets turned down for a job you have to ask why.

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.

"For me, and so many others around the world, seeing George Floyd's murder triggered a sense of deep pain, anguish and frustration", said the only black driver in racing, now representing the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.

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