Exclusive: Ecclestone "absolutely sure" he will clear the air with Hamilton
Bernie Ecclestone has no doubt he and Lewis Hamilton will clear the air over the former Formula 1 supremo's controversial remarks about black people.
Speaking with CNN last week, Ecclestone initially commended Hamilton for launching his own commission to deal with diversity and inequality within motorsport, and for the active role he has taken with regard to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
The 89-year-old, however, then declared that "in lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are", and was unable to quantify his remarks when pressed.
The comment provoked condemnation from F1, as it stated such words have "no place in Formula 1 or society".
Six-time F1 champion Hamilton was far more pointed, declaring himself sad and disappointed with the remarks from Ecclestone, who he described as "ignorant and uneducated".
In an exclusive interview with GPFans, asked whether he had any regrets over his comment, Ecclestone replied: "The only real regret, I suppose, is that I didn't make myself clearer about some black people also being racist.
"There's no doubt about it they've probably good reason to be. I don't know why black people are singled out at times. There's a reason for it and I don't know what it is.
"I think he [Hamilton] may have thought I was having a go, but I wasn't, and I suppose he was a little disappointed that he wasn't being taken in the way he wanted to be taken.
"The remark I made, I'm sorry wasn't taken in the way I was meaning it to be taken."
Given the previously good relationship he has enjoyed with Hamilton, as to whether he would likely speak with him again in the future, Ecclestone said: "I'm sure we will. I'm absolutely sure we will.
"He sort of sounded off a little bit maybe without thinking, and he might have been in a mood where he thought he ought to say something."
Ecclestone, who is adamant he has "never had any problems with black people", then related a story he was reminded of by wife Fabiana, who is due to give birth to their first child - a boy - in a week's time.
"A few years ago Mercedes provided me with a driver and car while I was in New York. The driver was a black guy," recalled Ecclestone.
"He told me how he was hoping to be going to the race in Montreal [Canadian GP], but he didn't know if he could make it as it was a long way to drive. I told him not to worry, that I'd get him a pass as my guest, and I also flew him up there in my plane.
"She [Fabiana] said that is how I am with people, no matter they are black or white. It makes no difference.
"I can honestly say I've never met a black person and said 'I don't like that guy'. I bet I've met lots of white people that I could cheerfully say that about them.
"I've never been against anyone. I'm against people who aren't nice, but nothing to do with their colour."
If it wasn't for Bernie Ecclestone, you wouldn't be in F1, you ingrate.
People can call Bernie a racist or whatever they want but what he said about blacks being more racist than white people is a true statement. He didn't say ALL black people are more racist and I wouldn't agree with him if he had said something that ridiculous. If you want prove it to yourself, go to the southern states in the USA and it's ridiculous how much racism is shown by black people as well as white people! So before everyone in F1 crucifies Bernie for his comment (this one at least), they need to take a trip through southern USA to find out for themselves if Bernie was being a racist or was actually correct in his comment.
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