Sir Lewis Hamilton and ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone clashed last year after the 90-year-old claimed that “in lots of cases, black people are more racist than white people.”
Hamilton branded Ecclestone’s remarks as “uneducated and ignorant”, but the former F1 boss has now said he stands by his comments.
He also accused the Black Lives Matter (BLM) of profiting from Hamilton by using him as a “political tool” and said he wouldn’t have allowed drivers to take a knee before the start of races if he were still in charge.
“If I’d have still been around there wouldn’t have been anyone wearing [anti-racism] T-shirts on the podium, that’s for sure,” Ecclestone said in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper.
“One hundred per cent, there wouldn’t have been this business of kneeling before races. I agree the sport should do more to encourage diversity but it shouldn’t be used as a [political] tool.”
As for his war of words with the seven-time World Champion, Ecclestone said:
“I don’t think he really understood what I was saying. I agree we need to give more people a chance.
“Don’t forget I was the first person to put a black guy in a Formula 1 car. And I supported him and have supported an awful lot of black people. But Lewis is entitled to his view.
“But I’ve said to his father, ‘Lewis needs to be careful. Because he’s being used by the people who are supporting this Black Lives Matter and they are taking a lot of money from it. And nobody knows where it goes,” he claimed.
Ecclestone also insisted that Formula One is not a racist sport and claimed that teams would be “falling over themselves to put a black driver in their cars” if another one like Hamilton came along.
He claimed that this “applies to female drivers too”, as signing the first-ever female F1 racer would represent a huge marketing opportunity.