Ahead of the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone voices support for Vladimir Putin’s repressive legislation against gay people.
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“He hasn’t said he doesn’t agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn’t want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18.”
“Some officials have tried to play down expectations of dismissals after the Games, with Putin’s Olympic organiser Dmitry Kozak saying there would be no “outbreak” of investigations after they end. Officials are mindful that any such outbreak could hinder efforts to develop the site further for a meeting of the G8 leading industrial countries in June and the Formula One Grand Prix in October, so it might pay to stay quiet.”
Ecclestone: “If he had had the witnesses that we will have in the next case [the judge] might have decided differently.”
“Sources say [Jean] Todt is wary of the backlash against the plan and will only support Ecclestone in his push to extend the ploy to the final three races if the teams give their unanimous backing.”
“At the moment, we are definitely too weak pace-wise, so we give the maximum chance to them [to work] and thereafter we have to work on our car.”
“We are slower. We are slipping more. The car is heavier. That’s a bit sad, as I would love to go faster, but that’s how it is.”
“We are not as good as we would like to be at this point and [there are] still many things to discover and many things to improve, but at least we are able to do 160 laps in two days with not big, big issues in the car.”
“There are ‘appointment terminated’ notices for Ecclestone with Formula One World Championship Ltd, Formula One Hospitality and Events Services Ltd, Formula One Management Ltd and Formula One Administration Ltd, the major operating companies of the group. These are all dated January 21.”
“The car would be illegal; below the weight limit; you name it. It would be stripped right down to the bare minimum. They would have removed the steering wheel and pedals if they could have got away with it.”
Tweets and pictures
Jenson Button: “Got a little bit of unexpected practice today here at Sakhir circuit Bahrain, touch too much understeer but hey that’s the least of my worries.”
New engine rules are a monster. If F1 manages this technical transition, it will have made a point on its DNA.
— Cyril ABITEBOUL (@Cyroul) February 20, 2014
Felipe & Valtteri with both be in the car tomorrow as the remainder of the race team have arrived in #Bahrain for pitstop practice!
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) February 20, 2014
As well as being reprehensible, Ecclestone's support for Putin's anti-gay policies contradicts his usual 'we don't do politics' rhetoric.
— RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) February 20, 2014
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Comment of the day
One reader has already succumbed to the temptation of placing a bet on the upcoming season:
Got exited and placed a bet on Magnussen taking the drivers’ championship this year.
McLaren seem to have a great car, consistently fast, reliable engine, have had plenty of time to develop the 2014 car cause of last year, and a talented driver. I think he will easily beat Button. Besides, odds were worth betting on.
Let’s see in 10 months how wrong I was!
From the forum
Happy birthday to Lou, Nirupam, Phiwe, Saiesh, Keamo and Phiwe Maserumule!
On this day in F1
Eric Bernard led the early running in his Ligier ahead of team mate Olivier Panis, Eddie Irvine (Jordan) and Alessandro Zanardi (Lotus).
Image © Jamey Price / James Moy Photography, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei