Dhe former Formula 1 managing director Bernie Ecclestone harshly criticized the circumstances of the title decision on Sunday. “It is a disaster for Formula 1. The sport is suffering from the fact that it is no longer just about pure competition, but only about the interest of a few individuals,” said the 91-year-old in an interview with the Münchner Merkur / tz media group . It was “a joke” that one could hear live how team bosses “try to influence the decisions of the race management during a race”.
The “great sport that Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton offered there is therefore completely lost,” said Ecclestone. “It’s a shame.” The new world champion Verstappen had only secured the title by overtaking the last few meters. This was preceded by a controversial safety car phase in terms of its implementation. Hamilton’s defeated Mercedes racing team had filed two protests, both of which were dismissed. Verstappen had to wait over four hours for the official result.
The Dutchman is a deserved world champion, said Ecclestone. “Absolutely. At a young age he prevailed against Lewis Hamilton, one of the best pilots of all time. And not just on the track. ”The Mercedes team“ pulled out all the stops, including in the media, to unsettle Max, ”said the former F1 boss. “You can almost talk about bullying. In addition: Mercedes had seen the faster car over the course of the year, which is why they won the constructors’ title relatively superior. That upgrades Max’s driver title again. Because it shows that he was able to make the difference as a driver. “
He couldn’t understand the protest from the Mercedes warehouse, said Ecclestone: “They probably build the best cars in the world. However, the protest received immense scratches on the star. “