Ecclestone supports Putin’s anti-gay stance

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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


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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

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 :)

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

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

  1. F1Sidewinda (@f1sidewinda) said on 21st February 2014, 12:37

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

  2. Garns (@) said on 21st February 2014, 13:16

    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!

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 21st February 2014, 17:25

      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.

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

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

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

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

  5. Maciek (@maciek) said on 21st February 2014, 14:02

    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 ****.

  6. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 21st February 2014, 14:56

    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!

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

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

  9. Stephen Mison said on 21st February 2014, 17:24

    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 :)

  10. sidecar_jon said on 21st February 2014, 18:34

    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..

  11. Bernie has done a lot of good for the sport, but between this and his comments on women, I do think his ‘bosses’ need to skip the power struggle and just find someone who can replace Bernie before he’s passed on, in prison, or starts disrespecting people because of their skin color/religion.

  12. Pink Peril (@pink-peril) said on 23rd February 2014, 21:24

    Look, to be honest I’d be more outraged by Bernie’s comments if I wasn’t so sure they were a. to deflect attention from the court hearing and b. to keep Putin (i’d like to make a comment about the Spanish meaning of the word here except I don’t want to get Keith into trouble with MI5) on side until the Russian GP is run. It might be his actual opinion (and if it is, then shame on him) but Bernie has been known to change his opinions magically when the $$$ sign appears. That is his only real moral compass (and I use that term very loosely).

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