Lewis Hamilton has slammed Bernie Ecclestone’s comments on racism as “ignorant and uneducated”, and said they show why the former Formula 1 chief did nothing to improve diversity when he ran the sport.
Formula 1 Management has already condemned the sport’s former CEO comments, pointing out he no longer has any official capacity in the championship.
“So sad and disappointing to read these comments,” Hamilton wrote on social media.
“Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong: Ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen.”
In an interview with CNN, the 89-year-old Ecclestone, who stepped down as chief executive in 2017, insisted that black people were often more racist than white people and that he was “surprised” to hear Hamilton had been affected by racist issues in the sport.
“In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are,” Ecclestone said.
But F1 said in a statement on Friday “at a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society,”
“Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific expired, in January 2020.”
Six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said this month he was “completely overcome with rage” as he urged people to speak out against racism.
Hamilton criticised his sport for its silence over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis last month after a white US police officer knelt on his neck.
“I’m surprised that (racism) concerns him (Hamilton) even… I’m really unhappy if he took it seriously,” Ecclestone said.
“I’m surprised if anyone in Formula 1, certainly the teams and the people like the promoters, have any concern about (racism).”
Ecclestone was replaced as chief executive of Formula One in 2017 after nearly four decades in charge.