Sorrell: ‘Ecclestone Out Of Touch’

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Sir Martin Sorrell, influential board member of the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners which owns F1’s commercial rights, has unleashed a scathing criticism of F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone. The Daily Mail reported that Mr. Sorrell was nonplussed with Ecclestone’s comments this week regarding the penalty, or lack of, meted our by the WMSC against Renault and Flavio Briatore for their involvement in the Singapore race-fixing incident of 2008.

Ecclestone, who is a member of the WMSC and instrumental in the verdict against Renault and Briatore, then announced the penalty too light on Renault and too egregious on Briatore.

Is Mr. Sorrell new to F1? Duality in words is the Ecclestone gambit. No one endirses and admonishes a single issue quite like Ecclestone. His penchant for congratulating and then damning a team, race, track, person or country is legendary. Ecclestone knows that perpetuating the story, although a negative story, is free PR. Getting Briatore, a long-time close friend of Ecclestone’s, riled up for a lawsuit only furthers his goal of keeping F1 in the world media headlines.

but this latest comment from Sir Sorrell is scathing and could signal the CVC’s increasing displeasure with Ecclestone as the CEO of their commercial interests. Ecclestone, at 78-years-old, has no designs on stepping down but perhaps CVC could make that decision easier for him. Mr. Sorrell said:

‘First, we had Hitler did good, now we have cheating is acceptable. Where will it end? His latest comments are yet another example, I’m afraid, of Bernie being totally out of touch with reality.’

*UPDATED*

Bernie Ecclestone has taken a swipe at Sir Martin Sorrell’s comments today saying;

“The comments I made about Hitler…I apologised because they were taken completely wrong,” he told BBC television.

“As far as cheating, I haven’t made any comments.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Why should his (Sorrell’s) opinion be more important than mine? He’s not involved in the sport,” he added, saying that Sorrell was not involved with CVC.

“He doesn’t know, he doesn’t come to races, he doesn’t know the people that are involved.”

Speaking of the penalty for Flavio Briatore which amounted to a life ban from the sport, Ecclestone said a life sentence is too harsh, they don’t even give that for murder.

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