Hamilton ‘sad and disappointed’ over Ecclestone’s comments

Lewis Hamilton has reacted with frustration via social media to controversial comments made by former F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone regarding race and inequality.

In an interview with CNN, Ecclestone praised six-time F1 world champion Hamilton for his public leadership on the subject and his plan to establish a commission to increase diversity in motorsport. However, he went on to minimize the effect the commission would have on F1. “I don’t think it will do anything good or bad for Formula 1,” said Ecclestone, 89, who was replaced as F1 CEO by Chase Carey after Liberty Media’s acquisition of the sport. “It will simply make people think which is more important. I think it is the same for everyone. ‘Well what the hell. Someone is not the same as whites and blacks should think the same about whites. In many cases, blacks are more racist than whites. ”

Hamilton turned to his Instagram feed in response to Ecclestone and posted: “Damn, I don’t even know where to start in this case. So sad and disappointing to read these comments.

“Bernie is out of sport and from a different generation, but this is exactly what is wrong: ignorant and uneducated comments that show us how far we must go as a society before true equality can occur,” added Hamilton. “It makes a lot of 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 played the sport for decades has a lack of understanding of the deep-seated problems that we as black people deal with every day, how can we expect all the people who work with him to understand? Start at the top.

“Now is the time for change. I will not stop pressing to create an inclusive future for our sport with equal opportunities for all. Create a world that provides equal opportunities for minorities. I will continue to use my voice to represent those who do not have one and to speak for those who are underrepresented to provide an opportunity to have a chance in our sport. “

For its part, F1 issued a statement away from Ecclestone’s comments, which he pointed out that he no longer holds any position within the sport after his honorary presidency ended last January.

“At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that they have no place in Formula 1 or society,” the statement read.

“Sir. Ecclestone has not played a role in Formula 1 since leaving our organization in 2017, his title of President Emeritus, being honorary, expired in January 2020.”