Formula 1 issued a statement, yesterday (26 June) condemning controversial comments made by former CEO Bernie Ecclestone on the sport and its attitudes towards racism and diversity.
Ecclestone told Amanda Davies, in an interview with CNN that he believed: “In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what White people are.”
He also suggested it was down to the fans to make the largest impact on tackling racism, not the teams and organisers.
The brief statement issued on Formula1.com, read:
“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.”
Formula 1 launched the We Race As One initiative, on Thursday, which aims to improve diversity and inclusion in the long term of the sport.
Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton who launched The Hamilton Commission in a bid to improve diversity and equality in Motorsport, also criticised Ecclestone saying he was “sad and disappointed” by his remarks.
In an Instagram story, Hamilton said: “Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong
“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.
“If someone who has run the sport for decades has such a lack of understanding of the deep routed [sic] issues we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work under him to understand? It starts at the top”
Lewis added, referring to The Hamilton Commission: “Now the time has come for change. I will not stop pushing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunity for all”
Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver, Hamilton, then went onto share photos of fans in blackface from the grandstands in the early part of his F1 career.