Ecclestone: Time to do away with ban on team orders

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It appears Bernie Ecclestone has added his voice to the debate following the German Grand Prix.

I write “appears” because I can’t yet find his quotes among the usual, fully vetted media. But the Press Association has the following, and it sounds reasonably like what Bernie would say:

Ecclestone was naturally unable to comment on the specific incident as he will be sitting on any WMSC meeting should the case be heard.

However, the 78-year-old was able to offer his thoughts on the proposal, as mentioned by former driver David Coulthard after the race, that it is time for the rule to be scrapped.

“I must confess I would agree with anyone who thinks that,” said Ecclestone.

“We make people call it a team, we say it’s got be a team.

“All the cars have to be exactly the same, the drivers wear the same overalls, so everybody has to look like a team – a team of people that are racing.

“I believe what people do when they are inside the team, and how they run their team is up to them. That’s my opinion.”

Given his power, Ecclestone is obviously in a position to suggest the possibility of the regulation being written out of the rule book.

“I don’t know, we’ll have to see. It’s something that needs to be discussed,” added Ecclestone.

“As far as I’m concerned a team is a team, and they should run it whichever way they want to run it.

“Nobody should interfere as to how they run their team.

“But of course if they do something that’s dangerous then obviously they’re going to be in trouble, otherwise get on with it.”

I’m tossing this in the mix because it looks like there might be real debate about the ban on team orders, if not on the double championship. (I’d think the former is more likely than the latter to get series discussion by those who could make changes.)

And if Bernie is coming down on the side of “let the teams run their business their way” — again, that seems completely in keeping with his business approach — then those who want the ban overturned have a powerful ally.

Meaning David Coulthard, of course!


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