Notably from Lewis Hamilton, a six-time world champion and the primary and solely Black driver to compete in F1, who has been a robust voice following Floyd’s dying in Minneapolis final month.
For his half, Ecclestone, who was changed as chief govt of Method One in 2017 after practically 4 a long time in cost, praised how Hamilton has spoken out for equality.
“Lewis is just a little bit particular,” Ecclestone, who nowadays has an advisory position with F1 as Chairman Emeritus, instructed CNN Sport’s Amanda Davies.
“First, he is very, very, very gifted as a driver and he appears to be now extraordinarily gifted when’s he standing up and might make speeches.
“This final marketing campaign he is doing for Black individuals is great. He is doing an awesome job and it is individuals like that — simply recognisable — that folks take heed to.”
READ: Former NASCAR driver Willy T. Ribbs says group is 50 years late however welcomes the tradition shift
‘Utterly silly taking all these statues down’
Nevertheless, Ecclestone does not assume incentives like The Hamilton Fee could have a tangible influence on the game.
“I do not assume it will do something unhealthy or good for Method One,” he stated.
“It’s going to simply make individuals assume which is extra vital. I believe that is the identical for everyone. Individuals must assume just a little bit and assume: ‘Nicely, what the hell. Anyone’s not the identical as White individuals and Black individuals ought to assume the identical about White individuals.’
“In numerous circumstances, Black individuals are extra racist than what White individuals are.”
CNN challenged Ecclestone over the assertion and he was unable to supply any concrete proof for the baseless declare past saying that he had “observed” it over time.
The 89-year-old continued by saying that altering attitudes in the direction of race will not come “simply,” scorning the dismantling of statues of slave commerce figures — a transfer Hamilton backed when the statue of Edward Colston was torn down within the English metropolis of Bristol.
“I believe they should begin being taught in school,” stated Ecclestone.
“So that they develop up not having to consider this stuff. I believe it is fully silly taking all these statues down. They need to’ve left them there. Take the children from college to look and say why they’re there and what the individuals did and the way unsuitable it was what they did.”
Throughout his time on the helm of F1, Ecclestone introduced in additional races in new areas and attracted recent curiosity within the sport.
The season previous Liberty Media’s $eight billion takeover in 2017 drew 400 million distinctive TV viewers throughout 200 territories. The 2016 championship noticed 21 races in 21 nations and 5 continents.
In April, billionaire Ecclestone and spouse Fabiana Flosi, 44, introduced they have been anticipating a child. Ecclestone’s fourth youngster shall be born this summer time and when the announcement was made, he stated he noticed no distinction “between being 89 and 29.”
The Briton isn’t any stranger to controversy.
In 2009 he praised Adolf Hitler for being “capable of get issues carried out” — feedback he later apologized for — whereas he has additionally backed Vladimir Putin’s controversial coverage in the direction of homosexuals and stated that girls ought to gown in white “like all different home home equipment.” READ: Lewis Hamilton attends Black Lives Matter protest, organizes fee to extend range in motorsport
‘No one’s carried out something’
Reigning world champion Hamilton just lately referred to F1 as a “white dominated sport,” whereas the governing physique has simply launched the #WeRaceAsOne initiative which seeks to struggle the challenges of Covid-19 and condemn racism and inequality.
A activity power has subsequently been set as much as improve range and inclusion in F1, alongside a basis to assist finance internships and apprenticeships for under-represented teams.
Requested whether or not F1 ought to have carried out extra to handle the difficulty of range and inclusion, Ecclestone stated: “I do not assume anybody bothered about it earlier than.
“I believe it is an vital situation, but it surely’s been there so lengthy [and] no person’s carried out something. Why did not somebody do one thing two or three years in the past?
“They’re too busy making an attempt to win races or discover sponsors or one thing.”
READ: Lewis Hamilton ‘fully overcome with rage’ following George Floyd’s deathIn a latest article for The Instances, Hamilton alluded to an incident in Spain in 2008 when he was taunted by followers in blackface. Ecclestone was criticized for not taking the scenario critically, though he later stated that he spoke to Hamilton’s father Anthony and that “every thing [was] nice.”
“I am stunned that it issues him,” stated Ecclestone reflecting on the incident, including that he by no means spoke to Hamilton himself, who was driving for McLaren on the time.
“I am actually sad if he took it critically. I by no means thought he did. I did not assume it affected him.
“I do not know why the individuals did all of that anyway. Was it towards him personally or what they thought?”
As proprietor of racing crew Brabham, Ecclestone invited Willie T. Ribbs to check drive in Portugal in 1986, an audition for a spot on the grid which may have seen the American turn into F1’s first Black driver.
In a latest interview with CNN Sport anchor Davies, Ribbs, who went on to compete in IndyCar and NASCAR, spoke of Ecclestone in glowing phrases.
“I do not even know if Method One would exist now if it wasn’t for Bernie Ecclestone,” stated Ribbs.
“He wished me within the automotive. He wished me in Method One […] His sponsors on the time have been Italian. They wished Italian drivers, and I completely respect him. I’ve no points with that.
“My purpose was to be in Method One, however Bernie Ecclestone made an announcement as a result of Bernie Ecclestone put the primary man of shade, first Black man, in a Method 1 automotive.”
It’s with a resolve to extend range throughout the sport that the brand new F1 season will get underway.
The primary race of the delayed begin to the season shall be in Austria on July 5, the place Hamilton begins his pursuit of a seventh world championship title that will see him draw degree with Michael Schumacher’s report.