Apr.13 (GMM) F1 legend Niki Lauda has played down speculation Bernie Ecclestone might be plotting to front a ‘breakaway’ world championship.
Although ousted as F1 supremo by Liberty Media, 87-year-old Ecclestone was in Bahrain a week ago — and notably he wore a white shirt bearing the now-defunct old F1 logo.
Ecclestone has been highly critical of Liberty, instead backing top teams Ferrari and Mercedes who have suggested proposed rule changes for 2021 might cause them to quit F1.
In Bahrain, Ecclestone also accused Liberty of housing him in a sub-standard office.
“Last year I had an office in the race control tower,” he told Auto Motor und Sport. “Now they’ve dumped me in the VIP tower outside the paddock.
“I think Liberty wants to make life difficult for me,” Ecclestone added.
That might be because of rumours Ecclestone might be plotting a ‘breakaway’ championship, but Mercedes team chairman Lauda played that rumour down.
“I often meet with Bernie in Ibiza,” the former triple world champion told Austrian broadcaster ORF.
“I also saw him over Easter and I was glad that he came to Bahrain.
“Sure, he is not pleased with how formula one is developing, but in my view completely understandably. Because while we’re debating budget caps, we’re tormenting people instead of giving them decent races,” Lauda added.
As for Ecclestone’s links with a ‘breakaway’, Lauda answered: “There is no breakaway programme. There’s no idea of it at all.
“First of all, it’s too far away. For now it’s important to get on terms with Liberty Media so that we can all continue to be here in a reasonable way.”
08/04/2018 Ecclestone warns against unnecessary change Apr.8 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is making a low-profile visit to the Bahrain grand prix. Ousted by Liberty Media just over a year ago, the former F1 supremo is attending the race as a […]
20/03/2017 Ecclestone not done with F1 Mar.20 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is not yet done with formula one. That is despite the fact that he was ousted as the sport's chief executive by Liberty Media, and insists he has "no idea" […]
04/01/2018 Ecclestone no longer attending races Jan.4 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says he may no longer attend grands prix. The former F1 supremo began his first year as nominal 'chairman emeritus' in 2017 whilst still attending some […]
01/11/2016 Brawn signs deal to replace Ecclestone – report Nov.1 (GMM) Ross Brawn has already signed a contract to become F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's successor. That is the claim this week of Auto Bild Motorsport, in the wake of reports […]
08/04/2017 Ecclestone could attend next two races Apr.8 (GMM) Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could attend the next two grands prix. The 86-year-old has been absent ever since Liberty Media decided to replace him for 2017 and beyond […]
11/10/2017 Liberty poised to tell teams F1 future plans Oct.11 (GMM) F1 owner Liberty Media is poised to present to teams the sport's post-2020 engine concept. Auto Motor und Sport reports that in conjunction with the governing FIA, the […]
10/03/2017 Charlie Whiting not retiring – report Mar.10 (GMM) Charlie Whiting has reportedly not joined a swathe of other Bernie Ecclestone-linked F1 personalities who have left the sport. With Liberty Media sweeping into power, it is […]
03/04/2016 Bosses to meet again over qualifying saga Apr.3 (GMM) The farcical qualifying format saga is set to run and run, with bosses on Sunday only agreeing the date of the next meeting. The team chiefs got together before the Bahrain […]
04/05/2016 Cockpit shield may be delayed until 2018 – report May 4 (GMM) The introduction of cockpit-mounted head protection may need to wait until 2018, according to a report in Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. That is despite the fact F1 race […]
05/04/2018 F1 expects better racing in Bahrain Apr.5 (GMM) Drivers are confident this weekend's grand prix in Bahrain will be more exciting than Melbourne. While Liberty Media works on making the cars easier to overtake for 2021, the […]