Bernie Ecclestone, 2013

Ecclestone supports Putin’s anti-gay stance

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bernie Ecclestone, 2013Ahead of the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone voices support for Vladimir Putin’s repressive legislation against gay people.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Bernie Ecclestone backs Vladimir Putin on gay rights issue (CNN)

“He hasn’t said he doesn’t agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn’t want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18.”

Who will pay the price when Sochi Games end? (Reuters)

“Some officials have tried to play down expectations of dismissals after the Games, with Putin’s Olympic organiser Dmitry Kozak saying there would be no “outbreak” of investigations after they end. Officials are mindful that any such outbreak could hinder efforts to develop the site further for a meeting of the G8 leading industrial countries in June and the Formula One Grand Prix in October, so it might pay to stay quiet.”

Judge clears Ecclestone over Formula One stake valuation (FT, registration required)

Ecclestone: “If he had had the witnesses that we will have in the next case [the judge] might have decided differently.”

Ecclestone presses on with points plan (BBC)

“Sources say [Jean] Todt is wary of the backlash against the plan and will only support Ecclestone in his push to extend the ploy to the final three races if the teams give their unanimous backing.”

Kobayashi: Renault can’t compete (Autosport)

“At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Nico Rosberg Q&A: Better to have problems now than later! (F1)

“We are slower. We are slipping more. The car is heavier. That’s a bit sad, as I would love to go faster, but that’s how it is.”

Alonso: More still to discover (Sky)

“We are not as good as we would like to be at this point and [there are] still many things to discover and many things to improve, but at least we are able to do 160 laps in two days with not big, big issues in the car.”

Meanwhile in Companies House (Joe Saward)

“There are ‘appointment terminated’ notices for Ecclestone with Formula One World Championship Ltd, Formula One Hospitality and Events Services Ltd, Formula One Management Ltd and Formula One Administration Ltd, the major operating companies of the group. These are all dated January 21.”

The lie of the land in testing (ESPN)

“The car would be illegal; below the weight limit; you name it. It would be stripped right down to the bare minimum. They would have removed the steering wheel and pedals if they could have got away with it.”

Tweets and pictures

Jenson Button: “Got a little bit of unexpected practice today here at Sakhir circuit Bahrain, touch too much understeer but hey that’s the least of my worries.”

Comment of the day

One reader has already succumbed to the temptation of placing a bet on the upcoming season:

Got exited and placed a bet on Magnussen taking the drivers’ championship this year.

McLaren seem to have a great car, consistently fast, reliable engine, have had plenty of time to develop the 2014 car cause of last year, and a talented driver. I think he will easily beat Button. Besides, odds were worth betting on.

Let’s see in 10 months how wrong I was!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lou, Nirupam, Phiwe, Saiesh, Keamo and Phiwe Maserumule!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonA major test ahead of the start of the 1994 season began 20 years ago today at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Eric Bernard led the early running in his Ligier ahead of team mate Olivier Panis, Eddie Irvine (Jordan) and Alessandro Zanardi (Lotus).

Image © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

187 comments on “Ecclestone supports Putin’s anti-gay stance”

  1. Yeah Bernie, Putin is right. Just like its right for the FIA President to have Nazi orgies and FOM chairman to be bribing bankers

    1. But they are such a lovely couple.

  2. Just keep digging deeper Bernie, just keep on digging… *sigh*

  3. Bernie, how much more attention do you need, honestly.
    C’mon Bernie give us a break and just keep quiet, while we still have some respect for you!
    I’m speaking for myself and don’t know if people agree with me.

  4. As those of is familiar with US history in the south know, the supposed intent of a law can sound so much more innocuous or fair than the actual implementation. I highly disapprove of Bernie’s statement.

    1. Sounds interesting @jooey-poey What law is/was that? I know nothing of the South’s history. And apologies to Keith for getting waaay off topic!

      1. I apologise if I’m putting words into @joey-poey ‘s mouth, @timothykatz , but I assume he’s referring to “Jim Crow” or “separate but equal” laws, i.e. laws that claimed it wasn’t discriminatory towards people of colour to segregate them as long as you provided them with the same facilities as whites. (e.g. separate drinking fountains, schools, benches, bus seats etc.), also forbidding interracial marriages, social mixing (e.g. bars or restaurants serving both black and white clients) etc. Of course, this was anything but “equality”.

        1. Hmm. De facto apartheid, then. Thanks.

        2. Bingo. You can toss any of the crooked voting laws that limited people’s access to that as well. Things like the literacy requirement. My point is that leaders can tell you what a law is supposed to do, but the real actions in how it’s carried out speak louder as to its true intent.

  5. If I as a Russian will stand by his words, will that satisfy you?

    1. strange, that was supposed to be a reply…

  6. I dunno, public education in the states is doing a good enough job trying to take over the role of mother and father, and teaching kids about sex at a young age (along with the tube), I can understand why it might not seem offensive to see sex advertised and promoted to children, but I have to side with Bernie.

    Let the kids grow up before you start pushing your own sexual agenda on them. Anyways the whole gay thing is promoted by the media for other reasons, but that is another can of worms, a can that a lot of people cant’ stomach, but will probably face in their lifetimes.

    It’s one thing to preach tolerance and understanding, its another thing to use disparity to make a living and score political points, and I think the later is missed on a lot of people…

    1. @pcxmerc – Wow….. No one is talking about pushing a sexual agenda on kids. We’re talking about letting people who are gay express their feelings in the same way that straight people are allowed to. To say anyone is “pushing an agenda” about “the whole gay thing” and that it is “promoted by the media” is just ridiculous.

      So you’re saying we should let kids grow up before they should see any gay people expressing love for each other – should that also include straight people? Surely we don’t want to push our own straight sexual agenda on them?

    2. Your view seems to come from a different generation, it’s 2014 now pal. We are in a time of stay at home dads and people being who they want to be, kids, adults, anyone. When kids are having sex and kids of their own at 14 (or younger) how can you argue about the way that children are taught about love sex and relationships. When more and more LBGT people come out (excuse the pun) and tell people that they felt there was something different from their first memories, who are you (or anyone else for that matter) to back up a LAW that is made to suppress said persons.

      1. if you think kids having kids is a good thing, maybe you have made my point after all?

        if there is one constant in this world with respect to humanity, is that if you choose to live uninhibited, and hedonistic, you choose a path of degeneracy. & if you want to divide and conquer a people, you will use certain ideas and agendas to demoralize populations :)

        People have been using divide and conquer for a long long time to promote their own political agendas, and the whole gay thing in Russia, is just a means to discredit the country by the ‘western’ media. The same media who are pushing the rioters in Ukraine, the same media owned by multinationals who want to be king makers. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts and people who pretend to be good in order to promote their own agenda.

        1. Funny enough @pcxmerc, you are right here, while at the same time being completely amiss.

          People have been using divide and conquer for a long long time to promote their own political agendas, and the whole gay thing in Russia, is just a means

          Up to there its true. The anti gay laws are used by Putin to create a reason to make people feel threatened, just as highlighting terrorism has been doing since 2001. And that helps divide his country, give him powers to do play with and dominate.

    3. It’s obvious that there is a gay conspiracy to take over the world, that’s what will happen if we let them marry, then they will start breeding like rabbits and before you know it they’ll outnumber us.

      1. @hohum – Definitely. It’s the gays who designed the current F1 regs so the new cars look more appealing. :D

        In all seriousness though – it’s mental that people think like this in 2014!

        1. It’s mental how many people lack critical thinking skills in 2014 :) cheers.

    4. What is this sexual agenda that you think people have?

    5. Oh geez, so here we have a guy who somehow believes that things he doesn’t like in the US education system somehow vindicate Bernie being a bigot? Logic much?

      Nobody is “promoting gay lifestyles” or any type of sex at children. That Russian law is simply an excuse for them to target gays for anything they care to do. In reality this leads to: “We saw you holding hands…you’re promoting your life style to children. You are therefore a criminal and we can do anything we want to you”

      Seriously dude, as another American…please stop embarrassing the rest of us.

      1. Bernie isn’t a bigot, he just doesn’t see the utility of promoting politics during the Olympics. This isn’t 1932, but it does have something to do with fascism. Be informed, think critically,

        Bernie isn’t saying he has a problem with people who are different, hes saying the agenda has little place at the Olympics. Stop thinking superficially, Bernie is actually behaving more consistently than people who have a very superficial understanding about political agendas, due to in part, a serious lack of reasoning, and too much television.

        & yes, the schools who get paid off to promote performance based education, whose curriculum are based around kids doing what they are told, …. Well, if you want to get a job stuffing shoes with insoles, or becoming the best employee you can be, have at it :) Some people can see past the 9-5 :) Unfortunately too many can’t.

        1. he just doesn’t see the utility of promoting politics during the Olympics

          Why is promoting politics during the Olympics then?

  7. Jonathan Sarginson
    21st February 2014, 9:42

    Let’s hope Bernie’s final year in prison is doubled! two years!

    1. Double points at the end, great idea.

      1. Luth (@soulofaetherym)
        21st February 2014, 20:13


  8. “I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you’d find 90% of the world agree with it as well,” added the 83-year-old

    So now Bernie’s interested in the opinion of 90% of the world’s population. Where was he when fans voiced their view on double points?! I also suspect his version of “90%” is somewhat less scientific than the numerous polls that have been taken on either of these issues.

    1. So well said @keithedin

      Several posts in this topic have said very well my sentiments. BE is being his usual crass dictatorial self, only saying this because of the Russian GP, not that I think he would think or say anything different if there wasn’t a Russian GP. There should be no surprise here that those words have come out of BE’s mouth.

      Homosexuality simply is what it is. People are either born straight, gay, bi, or transgender. No one person can change that. The only moral, ethical, right way is to educate youth as soon as they are able to grasp it, about the realities of homosexuality. Trying to hide it from those under 18 is not only ridiculous, it is only counterproductive, and only creates far more strife than some perceived benefit from sweeping it under the carpet. But as @keithcollantine points out, it’s not actually about ‘protecting’ youth…it’s about homophobia.

      But unfortunately as human beings we have communist dictatorships that are backwards and still too strong, and I think it is only a matter of a small number of generations and we will be past this nonsense.

      BE needs to go away now. Lately he has done more damage to himself and to F1 such that it is starting to outweigh any good he has done for F1. I think he is past the opportunity to quit while he is ahead and is only a diminished figure now.

      1. Time for a younger, more open minded bunch of world leaders. Wishful thinking.

  9. Jonathan Sarginson
    21st February 2014, 9:48

    Let’s just hope Bernie’s final year in prison is ‘doubled’ to two!

  10. OK Bernie that’s enough. Time to resign.

  11. F1 needs to get rid of this crazy old man ASAP.

  12. WOW again from BE!!! He just wont stop will he!!
    I cant wait until a current F1 driver comes out and declares he is gay……………….. will he then get half points in Abu Dhabi ?? LOL!

    1. LOL I’m sure they could at least give the gay driver half points at the Russian GP! It would be legal and everything with Putin’s new law.
      And Bernie could say he only deserved half points because he was winning the race to make children gay.

  13. David not Coulthard (@)
    21st February 2014, 13:19

    What’s next, Bernie? Make The GNU Operating System Proprietary?

    And what about that trial in Germany? Errrr………

    1. CLANG/LLVM + BSD license will take care of GNU’s overreach in the open source community and Microsoft’s licensing structure.

  14. my thought when I saw Jenson’s picture: “Still better than a renault powered car”

  15. It’s heartening to see that most F1 fanatics here have good hearts – indeed I would say, by a quick estimate of pro and con comments here, that Bernie’s 90% is correct – only the other way around. It’s always an enigma with this guy to know how much of what he says is just meant to stir things up, but regardless, what a total ****.

  16. I have emailed the FIA as well as some of the top teams asking them of their opinions on Ecclestone’s latest comments and whether they think their sponsors would be happy being involved in a sport that could now be viewed as anti-gay. Obviously the sport isn’t anti-gay but to someone from outside the sport looking in, you have one of the most instantly recognisable F1 personalities who also happens to pull most of the strings behind the scenes making clear anti-gay comments and siding with Putin with his views.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the teams are very unhappy with Ecclestone’s comments on this. What happens if a a CEO of a leading F1 sponsor is gay or has someone gay in their close family? They aren’t going to want to hang around!

    1. Please keep us posted on any replies you may get.

  17. What Bernie really meant was “90% of red-faced, huffing, puffing, Daily-Mail-reading retired army majors agree”.

  18. Why is Bernie getting involved in social issues? After all he did not want to comment much on Bahrain!

  19. I wouldn’t get too crazy about what Bernie is saying, because he probably doesn’t even believe it himself. The man is a master of distraction, and says crazy things like this all the time, because it diverts attention away from something else – in this case his legal issues. He’s done this many times before; the sprinklers, the medals etc – it’s all designed to stir up controversy (which judging by the comments above it certainly has) and get people talking about something else.

    The man isn’t an idiot, he can’t have lasted this long in business if he was. It is unfortunate that he’s the face of our sport to some extent, and that the general public might hear of this and it affect the sport’s perception, but there is a purpose to what he’s doing, however selfish that is.. Maybe if we just ignore these stunts he pulls they wouldn’t happen so often :)

  20. gay teams should get double points, at first they might not win but think of the hospitality!

    oh yerr its part of Bernies “im too senile to remember” strategy to get off bribery charges..

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