FormulaNerds Cut To The Race Podcast

Ecclestone: “There wouldn’t have been this business of kneeling before races”

Latest Episode | Cut To The Race Podcast

Bernie Ecclestone has always been a man of strong opinions, and has got himself into some hot water in the past for some of his out dated and old fashioned opinions on not just Formula One, but life in general. 

His latest interview, in an exclusive with British newspaper The Telegraph, it seems he just cannot help himself when it comes down to controversial subjects. He speaks his mind, yes, but should he say it? Probably not. It is for this very reason that he and Chase Carey fell out, and why he hasn’t been to a grand prix since Abu Dhabi in 2019. His comments regarding the Black Lives Matter movement last year prompted Sir Lewis Hamilton to state that they were “uneducated and ignorant”.

The former CEO of Formula One is seen as an old dinosaur, but you need to remember, the sport wouldn’t be what it is today without his “wheeling and dealing” and his management of the sport. That being said, his latest thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement is not to be brushed under the carpet.

Bernie Ecclestone says Lewis Hamilton could quit F1 after 2018

Talking to The Telegraph, he claims that seven time world champion Hamilton, is being “used” by the movement and that he does not like seeing the sport used as a political tool, even going as far as banning the BLM t-shirts that were worn by the drivers in support.

“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 says. “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.”

In regards to the comments made last year, and the reaction from Hamilton, he goes on the defensive.

“I don’t think he really understood what I was saying,” said Ecclestone. “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 has also been vocal on the criticism that the sport has faced over choosing to race in Saudi Arabia. Naturally, he is delighted that it is on the race calendar. “After that journalist [was murdered] everyone was saying ‘This is disgusting. Nobody should go there.’ In two years it’s forgotten,” he says. “They make a lot of fuss over things for the wrong reasons. For political reasons.”

Lewis Hamilton was one of the drivers taking a knee on the Red Bull Ring grid

It doesn’t matter what the subject is, the 90 year old has an opinion on it. From the dominance of Mercedes, to the “lack of characters” in the sport and why he believes the sport should revert back to V10 engines (it’s “show business” apparently), he has shown no remorse for his comments. Although some of his thoughts will resonate with die hard F1 fans, many are out dated.

This is from the man that said last year the 2020 season should have been “scrapped”………

To read the interview in full, go to


Image Credit: Getty Images/XPB

Source: The Telegraph






  1. Lewis is the ignorant one. BLM is using the racial equality disguise to further their socialist agenda and the founder’s pockets. Research BLM and see what they are all about. Lewis tries way too hard to be part of that woke elite but the problem is when he stops driving all those “close supporters” will conveniently lose his number. Wake up Lewis. Fight for what you believe in but do your homework. Life is crowded when you’re on top, it’s afterwards is when you see who really has your back.

  2. This from the same guy who said women should not sit in a race car. Then he refers to himself as the person who put a blackman in F1. This Andy Warhol impersonator could not stop lewis Hamilton from entering F1. Then of course there is Denis Torres who thinks BLM is a disguise for a socialist agenda.

  3. Totally agree with Bernie Ecclestone and Denis Torres. This kneeling fad is embarrassing, pointless and divisive.

  4. All the other drivers wear anti racism tee shirts. Only Lewis wears one in support of BLM. I can support anti racism and equality but am at a loss to understand how to support BLM even if I wanted to.
    I have seen reports of atrocities perpetrated in the name of BLM which alienate me. Ending racism is setting a target, something to try and achieve. Black Lives Matter does not do this, what do they want from me? To quote a recent post on facebook, “All lives matter” putting a colour in front of that is racist.

  5. Super rich sport’s people taking advantage of there position, they should all be asked to take a seat in front of a TV camera and explain the reason they take the knee, and why they felt why they started to do it when they started to do it and also why they feel the need to keep doing it. A nd that invitation should start with Lewis Hamilton , and Mr Hamilton could also tell us why a raised arm with a clenched fist is important too…

  6. I like Bernie’s point of view…V-10’s, YES! When Kaepernick started his antics I referred to F-1 Grand Prix racing!!! Old school, not only did drivers and teams go racing for their COUNTRY, in its honor the national anthem was played and everyone stood!!!

  7. Yes does matter racism but if you ask me it got out of hand this kneeling is boring like the racing motocross and bike racing so much more Exciting

  8. Well said Bernie, I have now stopped watching F1 as Hamilton is such a hypocrite, if he feels this way why does he race in certain countries????? The sport would be better off without the likes of Hamilton and his political views.

  9. End racism by all means, but F1 is about ‘Racing’. Let’s get back to proper racing, manual gearboxes, less technical aides, where the driver does the hard work ‘driving’. None of this flicking a few levers and switches, and let’s see skill over technology. One thing that should be kept, is the safety advances that have been made.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Back to the top