‘There’s no place for democracy anywhere’ says Ecclestone as he hails Blatter and Putin

2015 F1 season

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Bernie Ecclestone railed against “democracy” and urged an overhaul of F1’s rules in an interview with Russian television.

Speaking to the Russian government-backed channel RT Ecclestone repeated his call to “tear up the rulebook”.

“We are in show business,” he said. “The minute we stop entertaining, we’re in trouble.”

Asked about past comments that F1’s rule-making process had become “too democratic”, Ecclestone answered “I don’t think there’s any place for democracy, full stop. Anywhere.”

However he also claimed Formula One is only superficially democratic. “It appears to be a democracy, perhaps,” he said.

“I think, if you can get people to, more or less, fall in line with what you’re trying to do and support you, then it seems like democracy, which is exactly what democracy should be seeming like.”

Ecclestone reiterated his staunch backing for Russian president Vladimir Putin – “I’m his best supporter” – and like Putin threw his backing behind Sepp Blatter, the embattled president of football’s governing body FIFA who has been charged with corruption.

“I don’t think he should have ever stepped down and I don’t think he should have ever been challenged,” said Ecclestone, “because it’s because of him we have a lot of countries around the world that are now playing football.”

America “believe they’re the greatest sort of power”
“And if these people allegedly have been corrupted to make things happen in their country, it’s good. It’s a tax football had to pay.”

Ahead of next week’s United States Grand Prix, Ecclestone said F1 “ought to try and beef up a little bit in America” but admitted “it’s hard for me”.

“I’m not very enthusiastic about America,” he said. “The biggest problem with them is that they believe they’re the greatest sort of power in the world.”

“It’s difficult, because, they are a big island, so they are a bit isolated,” he added. “They are slowly starting to learn what other people in the world do”.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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166 comments on “‘There’s no place for democracy anywhere’ says Ecclestone as he hails Blatter and Putin”

    1. +1

      There’s not much else you can say other than: “WOW”.

      1. Bernie disgusts me.

        1. This is an embarrassment to Formula1. I don’t see how soo many of us here support this sport – given whats been happening in the middle east and now this.

          Wow. I’m boycotting. This is too much.

        2. I’m perplexed by his words… he believes in Russian GP but has doubts about the future of F1 is US? Hates democracy? Move to North Korea and then come talk to us… retire Bernie and go have some BBF time with Blatter in an autocratic country.

          1. I’d say Pinochet’s Chile would be more their style.

      2. Are u suprised? F1 always been a dictatorship, so he likes that type of government, dictatorship like he done all his life. So its normal he defends people like him like Blatter, Putin, …
        F1 always been what Bernie says, like his recently advertising quotes; Bernie says watch f1 like zombies give me lot of money hahahaha. F1 has lost lot of things during the years, and spectacle is very poor. Its not about giving the best product, its about making the most money. Its been long time like this, and nobody does anything to change it. Thats why when people began get really bored of this predictable races, its when they change rules. Rules and rules. When people become bored they changed qualifying like 10 times until they establish a more or less stable qualifying. When people get really bored of 0 overtakings, they created DRS, when people get bored they make small changes, or they change engine rules, or aero rules or tyre rules or whatever… Just to try to give a fake emotion to f1. Like they tried to do in recent years with Pirelli, the tyres lottery, if u get a good tyre for your car u will win the race. Pirelli lottery was great for spectacle, but it was just that lottery…

    2. I can’t stand comments that contain the single word, ‘wow’.

      But on this occasion it genuinely is the only suitable word.

    3. Someone put this alzheimer’s riddled fool out of his misery…….

      1. Someone put him out of my misery, I don’t care about his

  1. Bernie ‘I don’t want to set the world on fire, but I’m going to try anyway’ Ecclestone at it again.

    Bring on the faceless investors. Surely they can’t be further removed from what the fans than Bernie is at this point.

    1. I’m disgusted too. But is Bernie any worse than complete corporate control?

      I mean, yes he is annoying, but is his behavior any different? They both believe in democracy – the rich guys get to vote, make the rules, and take the profits.

      The next boss might have the good sense not to offend potential customers, or soil the brand for advertisers by making inflammatory statements. Maybe they will be more pleasant too.

      I hope when change comes it brings better racing and less corruption. But for now I’ll try be less angry and appreciate Bernie occasionally being honest about the filth.

  2. I don’t know what to say. And the timing! I know he has an agenda, but… Wow.

    1. I think its clear enough when you see where/to whom he said it. Putin has spoken out to support Blatter before. And this is the kind of “gentlemans” favours they play (like how that FIFA money ended up with Platini).

      Not surprising, but its a bit sad to see.

      1. @bascb, moreover, it should be borne in mind that RT is effectively a propaganda channel for the Russian government – Putin himself has stated that, as it is funded by the government, RT “reflects the views of the Russian state” rather than trying to provide an objective analysis.

        Reading through the way that the interview was structured, it looks more like Bernie saying what the reporter – and, therefore, the Russian government – wanted to hear: trashing democracy as a political system, making comments critical of the Western world and flattering the Russian government and praising Putin for getting things done, which is the exact image that Putin wants to put across to the population of Russia. Bernie was certainly all too willing to provide favourable coverage, but the interview comes across as being staged to produce exactly that effect.

        1. Exactly, anon. Seeing what station did the interview made it clear this was BE doing Putin a favor on his PR channel

          1. Half truth from my point of view. I have really tried to get how Bernie thinks from his interviews, the people who know him etc for many years now.
            And i think i got a decent image about it.
            The guy may be telling them want to hear but at the same time he isn’t telling something he doesn’t believe.

            For him democracy is a system that just doesn’t work. He sees it as a system that needs too much agreement and too much pleasing for all individuals to actually manage to make a fast needed decision.
            And in truth he is right. You get whole governments for years not being able to pass even a quarter of the changes they see as necessary because democracy doesn’t allow efficiency. Democracy as it is it really isn’t working very well at all. We just don’t have any better alternative. This is were Bernie gets away from my and most people’s thinking since he thinks dictatorship is fine as an alternative.
            He thinks like that because his been running thinks for so long that he only imagines himself as the dictator instead of the one having to tolerate the dictators annoying decisions. He only puts himself at the position of having to tolerate democracy’s annoying decisions(or non decisions) since he now many times can’t just make everyone in F1 do what he wants because times have changed. He only sees it from his view and his unable to see threw other peoples eyes. That is classic trait of big businessmen and politicians. Lack of empathy and a sociopathic tendency that allows them to not care much for others.

            For Putin, he said he is a supporter because his sees Putin as a true leader.
            And to be fair he isn’t much wrong here ether. Putin whether bad or good truly is a leader.
            You can claim his a bad leader but his a leader none the less.
            He gets to decide. His no pushover. When his men sit around the table he tells them “Listen to what we will do” instead of “tell me what we should do”.
            In western countries our leaders are mostly puppets of men in suits with big interests. The whisper in their ears and tell them what to do. And even when they try to do something very rarely do they manage to get it threw.
            They are weak images of a leader.

            As about the US. Well he ain’t saying anything different that what many people say about them. Basically that they live in their own little world where world champions can be crowned from a US championship.
            We know American are a little bit like that. Sure many are different but compare to most other countries the US really has a “we are the world” mentality.
            This annoys Bernie even more because that is big reason F1 has a hard time since like everything the US created their own motosport and are focused on their own staff.

            So Bernie may be authoritarian and a guy that will try to use intimating tactics and non the nicest fellow for sure but when he comments like this we shouldn’t just jump on the bandwagon of the “guy is crazy” and just think a little of what he says. There is a logic behind his words and his mentality is also shown at some points.

  3. What i heard him say, ” we are in the money business, as soon as we stop earning money we are in trouble”

    And as honorable mention from the past. ” Know when to Bribe… I mean drive”

  4. Emperor Palpatine is at it again.

  5. Beyond parody. Ecclestone is an utter disgrace …

    1. Well said.

      An embarrassment to the sport and all of us associated with it. Just imagine how much better the sport could be without this idiot. It can’t come soon enough soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Good call.

        Did you notice that he refers to F1 as entertainment rather than sport? Bernie is perfectly happy to have a WWF style pseudo sport rather than a genuine contest of constructors and drivers.

        I am not up for that at all. I started following f1 as the pinnacle of Motorsport competition, and have no interest in fake results.

        Get stuffed Bernie. Its time for someone to kick off a real competitive formula….

        1. Did you notice that he refers to F1 as entertainment rather than sport?

          He’s been saying that for the last couple years and I’m Really annoyed the media isn’t taking ANY notice at all.

          It’s one thing to just assume it’s a slip of a tongue / taken out of context / not what he Really means…

          But when he says F1 is not a sport, just entertainment, show-business, time and time and time again, then people really need to start listening and question what F1 is at its core, and if that’s what it should be.

      2. It’s obvious he would be against democracy. If Formula 1 was democratic, Bernie wouldn’t really be running the sport. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do a better job of taking a beautiful sport, and just absolutely destroy everything about it.

        This guy needs to be replaced asap.

      3. But BCE isn’t just an idiot. He is a very dangerous man without the least scruple. He will say
        whatever gets him the most attention and has the most intimidating effect on F1 people to toe the line
        or get out of his way. Ecclestone is quite aware that money is still very tight in the Western world
        and that the only way he can force western organisations to pay out the colossal scales he demands is
        to say evil and wicked things and buddy-up to reprehensible monsters who have less scruple than he has.

        In doing all this, the damage Ecclestone does to F1’s image is catastrophic. Most people in the West only
        have a vague understanding of how the F1 circus is run, and for the average Joe and his wife to hear
        this poisonous drivel from the top man in the sport is just about as damaging to F1’s image in the western
        money world as it could possibly be.

        Ecclestone has to go the way of Blatter, Lance Armstrong and VW’s senior execs. He is a train wreck
        looking for somewhere to disintegrate.

  6. Bernie a word of advice: you can take the pretty Formula 1 mistress and put makeup on her to make her appear ugly for your horror film, but we all know her try beauty underneath, in spite of your best efforts.

  7. The drivers are NOT allowed to bring the sport into disrepute due to things they say. So now Bernie has clearly with statements like these to the world what punishment will Bernie get?

    Oh yes, naff all, same old story.

    …and they wonder why people get fed up of watching the sport,…

  8. If someone made this comment here they would get banned. Can Bernie be banned from F1 Fanatic? Where are the moderators?

    If a board member in nearly any company or employee said this they would be fired?

    1. There’s nothing in Ecclestone’s remarks which would violate the Comment Policy.

      Daniel Ricciardo’s team radio messages, on the other hand…

      1. @keithcollantine Sure you don’t mean Kvyat?

  9. I wish I could say I’m surprised or shocked, but I’m not. I get the feeling he just enjoys saying the most inflammatory things he can, simply because he can and whether he actually thinks it or not is irrelevant. I think he loves the chaos he creates and loves watching people gasp in shock or try to change his mind. Basically an argumentative little git that gets off on causing trouble and watching things burn just because he can.

    Probably time he went, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon.

    1. For a man of his age he still has a very sharp witted mind. Knows exactly what he is saying and when to say it.

      1. He controls the news coverage pretty well for someone who ‘hates’ social media.

        Kudos to him. It’s disgusting and amazing at the same time.

      2. He may be occasionally amusing, but half the time he seems like he’s in a trance or something.

      3. I’m not sure he does. Quotes like this are evidence that he’s lost the plot. Or at least that he is out of touch with the sensibilities of most of the developed world (i.e. his audience).

    2. For an apparently serious western business man ( which Ecclestone pretends he is )
      to cosy up to and praise the man who is either directly or indirectly responsible for
      the slaughter of all the innocent pasengers on flight MH17, the slaughter of Litvinenko
      in London via a lethal dose of polonium, the shooting of Politkovskaya because she
      told the world what Putin’s regime was like, and countless other cold-blooded
      murders of anyone brave enough to tell the world what his regime is really like, is to
      take our sport, with all it’s honours and magnificent spectacle and sell it to the most
      dangerous and corrupt world leader since Stalin died.

      And it seems that there is no-one with the power or the honesty to destroy his power base.
      To rid us of this evil little man.

      As has been reported, Ecclestone has demonstrated time and time again that he is entirely without the leastscruple. And this man is still in complete control of everything that F1 is, or tries to be.

  10. Seems like he’s just saying what people want to hear (didn’t he say similar stuff last year as well?), so I wouldn’t take it too seriously. His political games in the past five years have been “Look at me say controversial stuff, now do what I want”, which in this case is ensuring Russia thinks their second GP was a success and making sure the Russian GP stays alive.

    1. indeed, suffice to look at whom he said it to/where he said it.

    2. Or not? I do think that he actually believes in the stuff that he says 100%, and acts accordingly too. Bernie has made this a full show biz and has almost removed the sports from it cuz a sport is supposed to have the same starting line for all competitors. And he has been doing it for so long that now everyone thinks that shenanigans like DRS are de rigueur for F1 and its not very abnormal for smaller teams to be paid lesser. Adolf Hitler said once – “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

  11. I wonder who could be investigated next after they’ve finished with Blatter and the rest of him cronies?

    I dunno… I suppose there could be space for a short bespectacled chap with a haircut that was copied from members of the Monkees.

    1. It’s a good point if any of his money went through US banks he could be in trouble.

  12. What I hate is how everyone in F1 panders to him. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears when I watched Brundle’s servile, crawling interview with him … even going so far as to criticise Sauber and Force India for daring to go to the EU. I’m sure when Ecclestone finally dies and journalists discover some balls to investigate, they’ll find that Blatter was a boy scout compared to the poison dwarf.

    1. Me too. Christian Horner said recently that Bernie is the only person who can run F1. Really, Christian? Of the six-odd billion people on the planet, the only one sufficiently skilled to run this so-called sport is a bespectacled 85-year-old with terrible hair who denigrates women and sucks up to dictators?

      I can’t wait for Bernie to leave the sport. It will be a good day (apart from all the fawning tributes).

      1. Could not agree more.

        Bernie has enjoyed a very privileged position for many years. The product has generally been very strong and he’s been able to make his shareholders a good return by negotiating hard with venues, sponsors and media networks. But the success the sport has had – and let’s face it, it is on the wane – is not because of him, in fact in recent years it is in spite of him. Everyone with a financial stake in the sport (team owners, venues, tire suppliers, sponsors, even drivers) says good things about him because he has all the power. Too much power. Yes F1 needs strong leadership, but that is not what we get from BE. With him we get dictatorship and bad decisions. And shamefull, often disgusting comments. I won’t let his anti American comments put me off – my wife and I will be taking our four kids to Austin next weekend – because we love the sport – the teams, the drivers and the fans. F1 is bigger than him and will prosper when he has gone. Just can’t come soon enough for me.

  13. USA is not an island! They think they are a power? Their GDP is bigger 3 fold over 2nd place nation amongst other things. I think this interview was meant for Russian consumption as it does not seem wise to say you are not to fond of America then mirroring Russian government rhetoric. He has basically said what Russia wants to here and next week will be full of pro USA comments, unless COTA are trying to get the race for less money.

    1. “USA is not an island” – it was a metaphor, and I believe he is right (I lived many years over there, people in general have no clue what happens in the world, they live “isolated”)…

      “Their GDP is bigger 3 fold over 2nd place nation” – wrong again, try looking up a country called China…

      Anyways, I dont even listen to what Bernie says anymore…why botter…

      1. For the most part, you are right. I have lived in the United States for 18 years and about 80% don’t know and don’t care about what goes on in the outside world. But quite honestly you can say that kind of thing for nearly every other country in the world.

        1. I disagree. The smaller your country, the more you are interested in what happens around you.

          1. Not if you don’t have an education or resources to see what actually goes on in the outside world.

          2. I’m talking about third world countries around the world, but the same cannot be said for European principalities like Monaco or San Marino.

      2. +1 Arrogance combined with ignorance. Still they are powerful, but their days are numbered.

      3. Ok Gdp of US is 70% larger than China. Still a lot and US economy is over 8 times the size of Russias who Bernie is trying to impress here. I thought Bernie prefers richer, what’s his issue with US?

    2. I was thinking Bernie and the USA’s founding fathers have the same ideal democracy – the rich owners have rights and votes. Thee poor, women, and minorities are simply resources.

      1. Obviously you know little about the founding fathers or the situation that they did what they did.

  14. This is what people in the PR world might call a ‘distraction statement’. Say something outrageous and watch all the Meerkats (journalists) rear their ugly heads. Now, lets get back to that ‘treat all teams equally’ thing.

    1. Hi @mickrock – I wouldn’t say that all F1 Meerkats (journalists) are in Bernie’s thrall, but I’ve noticed that some are much worse than others at agreeing with his nonsense (err… EJ). And I could also name some who do not seem to have much of a clue about the sport they are paid to report on (ahem… AB). Others provide invaluable technical insight (e.g. CS) or amusing banter (BoN). Undoubtedly many of us have our favourites among the many F1 journalists. I’m not whether KC (one of the best :) would want us to do it here, but is it time to Compare the Meerkat?

  15. Bernie sure is going for that ‘Most Dislikable Person of All Time’ award, isn’t he???

    1. @arrows98

      Sort of. He’s going for the ‘ten years running’ award…

  16. Wow. The sad part is that this isn’t as shocking to us F1 fans as it should be. He was clearly playing to his audience in Russia but he knew it would be reported around the world so he must have had an agenda, he always does.
    He doesn’t think Blatter “should have ever been challenged”. That’s real ‘I know what’s best for you now shut up and do it’ mentality right there.
    Surely we must be moving closer to the end of his dictatorship? Aren’t we??

  17. “Sometimes Bernie says things deliberately for effect. Calling Danica Patrick a domestic appliance in 2011 was one way to get F1 mentioned in the US newspapers. Some would argue that any publicity is good publicity, others would say that negative publicity does one no good.” Not my words, that’s Saward there. I think it can be applied to todays comments though. Such a strange way of promoting your sport but if Bernie wants to get F1 noticed then that’s what he gets. He’s madder than Jack McMad, winner of last year’s ‘Mr Mad’ competition

  18. Of course in Bernie’s mind the dictator is always himself.

    1. “I think the people who are saying that (I should resign) haven’t got the power to say these things.” – B.E.

      In this interview he forgot to mention Hitler was a “great leader” who “was able to get things done”.

    2. You hit the nail on the head. He never for a minute thought he won’t be the dictator but the one who has to put up with him.

  19. At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if a Syrian GP is announced. I’m sure Bernie will find an ingenious way to design the track around the land mines and dead bodies of those silly, naive Syrians who have the audacity to fight for something as stupid as democracy. After all, Democracy is for the weak, right Bernie? We all know that the only thing that matters in this world is money, right Bernie? -_-

    1. Land mines as the run-off and dead bodies as the SAFER barrier.

      1. And Dictator Assad can hand the winner the trophy.

      2. landmines in the runoff… but then drivers might actually stay in the track!!!

    2. What do you know about Syria, really? You’re going based on what the general consensus in the media is?

      If your against a Syrian GP, then we should all also be against a US GP.

      You know with drones flying around, police killing citizens and the US invading countries based on lies for EVERY war.
      If you don’t think the US lies to get into war go do some RESEARCH!

      1. digitalrurouni
        16th October 2015, 17:56


      2. Also in Syria it’s basically ISIS vs Bachar el-Assad at the moment.

        Both sides are bad, so what do we prefer? Maybe Russia isn’t so crazy to support Assad.

        1. The Kurds don’t exist then?

          1. There’s also the Syrian Rebels, with Al-Nusra front between them and ISIS.

        2. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syria_and_Iraq_2014-onward_War_map.png – If anyone wants to see what the situation is. As Adam Curtis would say.. Designating sides as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is probably part of what got us in this mess in the first place.

      3. I know that Syria is a country ruled by a despot who thinks nothing of bombing his own people. Witness the chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, for example: rebel areas hit with sarin gas.

        The US may not be perfect, but for you to compare a country that is democratic and where the people have freedom of speech and what not is laughable.

        1. My second paragraph should have read:

          “The US may not be perfect, but for you to compare a country that is democratic and where the people have freedom of speech and what not with Syria is laughable.

        2. (This is not an attack at you by the way)

          Is it possible that the news put out about Assad is incorrect? Is it possible that some news agencies have lied to make Assad the enemy (who has happened so many times in the past) to get countries into wars?
          I can post you links to credible researchers and articles that say it was NOT Assad who used the gas but no matter what you read you won’t believe it.

          As for as the USA being a democracy, you really believe that American citizens have a say in anything that goes on. They have more power than Lobbyists, Wall Street and Military Companies?
          Even the news only gives one point of view that pleases the above companies and people.

          Look at Formula One, the majority of people seem overwhelmingly to hate DRS, dislike Pirelli and large run offs but yet the people in power continue making rules the way they want. For how many years have we said to scale back aero dependancy to increase close racing. With those ideas I think we are a majority, this is supposed to be a sport and yet we have zero say in what continues to happen and worsen this sport we all love.

          Imagine if Wall Street and lobbyists had their hands in our sport, it would be absolute concrete (if it could be worse than now) that nothing would change and their interests would rise above the majority and powerless

          1. One thing I don’t see mentioned much is his backstory – he was studying in London to be a dentist, and took a British wife, when his brother died in a car crash in Syria – thus he was ‘called back to be the heir’ to his father.

          2. Edit: Ophthalmology and wife is of Syrian origin. Still learning..

        3. One day you will learn the truth (hint, stop watching the news and just turn everything you think to know on what goes on in the World 180 degrees around (good = bad and bad = good)).

          What was Bernie thinking about the average race fan actual having a clue on what goes really on in this World?

  20. He’s such a joke, it’s not even funny anymore. Never was.

  21. Wow, so John Locke and three-hundred years of pluralism, toleration and liberal compassion apparently aren’t welcome in the “piranha club”.

    Ecclestone is right: democracies possess a sense of the common good – F1 knows only ambition and greed – democracies are irreverent in right of all actors to speak legitimately – whilst in F1 some voices will always be louder than others. Democracy is the rule of law, something that I think would scare Ferrari greatly.

    But is democracy, this chaotic hollering of administrative inefficiency going bow down to the incendiary, divisive, repressive and autocratic politics of the Putin, Assad and Ecclestone utopia? No…

  22. Brutally honest opinion, that’s what is respectable of this guy. Now, EU your move.

  23. The good news is that Bernie wouldn’t be allowed to entering US soil for the rest of his life.

    1. What makes you think that? The tyrants al saud and al khalifa of Bahrain stroll in and out of the USA all the time.

    2. He is allowed to enter into the US and hopefully there will be no change in it.

      I am still wondering if one of his money laundering or tax evasion transactions, such as money movements during the Gribkowsky bribery case, has ever gone through US banks. Blatter’s guys were caught there and not in Switzerland, Germany or UK.

      1. Hopefully Bernie’s latest comments have earned him some enemies in high places…

  24. The day people inside and outside F1 stop praising this monumental idiot for his “service” to F1 the better. He isn’t “the man” he isn’t “the boss” or “a legend” he is simply a vile evil little troll who has no place on this planet. Admiration for people like Putin? What a joke, think corruption in sport is just a “tax” they have to pay? What a fool.

    It amazes me that the constant bashing of this sport of the smallest of things yet where Bernie come up in the conversation he is praised around as some kind of saviour who fell from the sky. Brundle who is open to criticising everybody goes week at the knees when talking to or about him. Makes me sick.

    “I don’t think there’s any place for democracy, full stop. Anywhere.” Everybody is used to him making comments for the media to lap up but really? Then again this is the same person who believes the way Putin is treating gay people in Russia is fine. Get him off the TV and hopefully soon gone all together. F1 and the world will be a much better place without him.

  25. hopefully nature itself will soon take its toll

  26. No one will miss this fool when he is dead. It just can not happen soon enough.

  27. Wow, this is a really impressive mixture of Ecclestone’s own views, things that RT audience wants to hear and things that I can agree with. This is my favourite answer though (it follows the praising of not-democracy, Putin and Blatter):

    Are you ever afraid of what may happen to F1 when you eventually leave some day?

    – They’ll probably find someone doing a much better job than I’ve been doing, in a different way, maybe somebody a bit more democratic.

  28. So…..what may Bernie be distracting us from by saying that there’s no place for democracy?

    Monza being dropped from the Calendar?
    Silverstone being dropped?
    A Sealandish race?

    1. Monaco being dropped? A race in Anarctica? Or the Cayman Islands? North Korea? Uzbekistan? Saudi Arabia? Or
      maybe even the Moon? Oh, so tempting…

  29. This clown says anything for the media to give him attention and subsequently increase viewership.

  30. I must of missed Bernie’s liking Stalin and Hitler as they were also into efficiency….. Thanks, rnr

  31. It has often been said that the best ruler is a benevolent dictator, this would not include giving more to the richest F1 teams and letting the back markers struggle just for survival much less be able to race…. Thanks, RnR

  32. How do you spell “senile” in Russian ?

    1. Starcheskiy

  33. I seriously hope that these are tactics to speed up the sale of F1. It wouldn’t look good for a company like CVC to own an entity like F1 that is managed by someone who relates and supports such sordid, dreadful characters who have dominated the negative aspects of most recent world news. If this is the case- I seriously hope he keeps this up. The quicker CVC sell F1, the better- and that’s not a joke. CVC have raped F1 for long enough, they never have been the right owners and its a good idea for F1 to take its chances with another investor rather than to continue any further with CVC.

    1. *I seriously hope he keeps this up- that is not a joke. The quicker CVC sell F1, the better.

    2. +1 Yes!

  34. Show business? F1 is a SPORT you disgusting parasite.

    I understand how some have been defending Bernie because of the huge influence he’s had on F1 over the years – there are several instances where the sport has survived by his sheer force of will alone. But surely we’ve reached a point where he’s indefinable? He is offensive, sexist, bigoted and antiquated. While I don’t have any direct evidence to support it, with that catalogue of attributes I would hardly be surprised if he turned out to be racist as well.

    The pinnacle of his disgrace is his explicit support for corruption, not long after bribing (and don’t even suggest it was anything other than a bribe) the German legal system to drop the charges of bribery against him. He is a offensive leech who is damaging the sport we love on a daily basis.

    This is an appeal to anyone who has any influence at all over F1 – please try everything you can to get rid of him, before it’s too late.

  35. Bernie is a master strategist. Just before the court case in Germany he was acting erractly. Now, before the EU court case, by Sauber and FI, he says things so controversial that some people could believe he is not coherent. In my opinion, this is a deliberate strategy for the eventuality of a court case finding him guilty of something really serious and his legal team arguing mild mental insanity, and plea for leniency.

    One thing we should all know by now about BE. He is no fool.

    1. The EU investigation is not a criminal court case against him. He doesn’t need to play mad to avoid prison.

  36. “I’m not very enthusiastic about America,…The biggest problem with them is that they believe they’re the greatest sort of power in the world.”

    One of the difficulties I have with this sort of comment is there is a good reason America believes it is the greatest power in the world. Mr Ecclestone has the right to freedom of speech, which is a philosophy promoted largely by America, so he is entitled to make comments like this. Our freedom of speech, and Europe’s, and Russia’s, is largely due to America’s constitution, American influence on the UN, American money, American military power, American lives and American technology. Mr Ecclestone’s right to vote in a national election is because of America.
    Mr Ecclestone’s interview would have been carried around the world on fibre optic cables, which are American technology, by phone companies, which are an American idea.
    Russia was invaded by Germany in World War 2, and yes, they probably would have beaten Germany on their own, but without any American help they would have taken a lot longer and it would have cost a lot more lives than what it did. Great Britain was, with the help of their empire, the only other country to sustain fighting Germany in WW2, and they did it with American money and American equipment. If they didn’t have the American money they would have had to sue for peace with Germany.
    F1 is about racing cars, and cars are mass produced using a system that was invented in America, and the high quality standards used to make them are an American idea.
    I am viewing Mr Ecclestone’s comments on the internet, an American invention, the browser I use to read his comments is American, when I want to search for something I use a search engine from American (where are the European ones?), if I want to look at some part of the world I use a Virtual Earth to do so, the best ones are American, there are no European ones, the images that are used to make these are mostly American, when I want to use encryption, I use an American one, the computer I am using was invented in America, uses American technology, and was supplied with an American operating system (I removed it and replaced it with one that originated in South Africa).
    When America sends people or autonomous vehicles into space, they are proud of it, and they tell everyone how they did it and, unlike some places in the world, they show lots of images and make the data freely available. The only country doing inter-planetary exploration is America, the most popular images of space are American. There are robots on Mars, the only operational ones are American.
    When the sun sets on America then the world will be a poorer place.

    1. fibre optic cables, which are American technology

      The technology behind fibre optic cables is not american, there no single country or individual that invent fibre optics but rather a group of people from different countries.

      by phone companies, which are an American idea.

      Again this isn’t an American idea or invention, Bell the creator of the telephone created the first telephone company (The Bell Telephone Company which is actually now ATT), but while he lived in America he was British (or if you’re a Scottish reader who doesn’t like being called British then he was Scottish)

      the computer I am using was invented in America, uses American technology, and was supplied with an American operating system

      The computer isn’t an american invention. Not to mention the hardware and software that makes up your computer was designed and developed and more than likely even built from people around the world or all different nationalities.

      and they did it with American money and American equipment

      You mean alot of the same equipment that was built using British inventions that was given to the US military during WW2, or the British research that lead to the atomic bomb? Or maybe the radar systems that were British, not to mention the code breakers who were British. There was much more to defeating hitler than American money and equipment (alot of which never came).

      The only country doing inter-planetary exploration is America

      Again this isn’t true, landers have been sent to mars from a few places including Europe, India & America. No country is “doing” manned inter-planetary exploration, Last time I checked America hadn’t landed a man on mars? There are however many nations planning and researching manned inter-planetary exploration, some public and some private companies, America is one of those who are participating in this. They are by no means the only ones.

      There are robots on Mars, the only operational ones are American.

      The same robots that have components on them from all over the world. The component that analyse the samples the rovers scooped from the surface for example were British.

      When the sun sets on America then the world will be a poorer place.

      That’s actually true, given how much money America (and many others) owes to countries around the world.

      However, faults aside, which every nation has, America is a great nation, it’s just not the greatest nation and the sooner people realise that there doesn’t need to be a great’est’ nation the world will be a better place.

  37. Say’s there’s no room for democracy anywhere… goes to United States GP next week.

  38. “I’m not very enthusiastic about America,” he said. “The biggest problem with them is that they believe they’re the greatest sort of power in the world.”

    Can’t be having that, can we? Not somebody contending that Bernie is actually the greatest power in the world.

  39. This is now the first time as an F1 fan of over 13 years that I am genuinely scared for this sport, scared of the man running it and scared of the words that leave his mouth. Frightening.

  40. The US certainly has its faults, but one thing Bernie want to take a look at more closely and try to understand is how our sports leagues are set up. They’re far more profitable than even Formula 1, and ironically far more democratic. The US is heads and tails above anyone else in revenues generated from both sports and entertainment, so regardless of what Bernie considers F1 to be, it’s being done better for bigger profits in the US, with more equitable sharing for all involved I might add.

    1. @us_peter F1 is bigger both by profit(>$500million) and revenue(>$16billion), all it needs is a fair distribution of the profits. You should also consider the complexities of organising global sports, unlike local leagues. US sports never grow beyond the US market or specific countries, but global sports like football and F1 has new audiences joining every time.

      1. @illusive I assume you’re quoting the $16bn figure from this Sylt article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/csylt/2015/05/31/f1-revenue-accelerates-past-fifas-to-16-2-billion/ which if you read carefully is referring to multiple years, not single year revenue. It states the revenue for 2013 was $1.7bn. That’s absolutely dwarfed by the NFL’s 2014 revenue of $11.2bn, and isn’t even half of the NHL’s (the smallest of the major US sports leagues) $3.7bn revenue. Every one of the four major US sports leagues, the English Premier League, the German Bundeslige, and a couple others generate more revenue than F1. Given the larger viewership that F1 enjoys worldwide it falls far short in revenue. It’s no coincidence that it has very little foothold in the country that’s still by far the largest consumer market in the world, which will remain the largest for at least another couple decades. If you’re interested in this Joe Saward writes excellent articles and blogs on the business of F1.

  41. Max Camposano
    16th October 2015, 19:54

    What a convenient thing to say, considering he’s a super billionaire who controls the entire sport

  42. I think he’s just upset he never got that race in New York…

  43. Humans. They’re great aren’t they.

    1. Yes, humans are my fifth favorite animal ;)

  44. Ecclestone has left me with no choice but to stop watching Formula 1 until he has gone.

    My interest has been waning significantly anyway, but this is the last straw. I refuse to give any support to him, even if it’s only a few cents, indirectly, through advertisers. He is a despot, a despicable human being, and he should have no place in the sport any more.

  45. Just surprising he took so long to admit it. So he’s openly against democracy, anywhere, in any form – which means, obviously, he prefers dictatorships – and happily embraces corruption.

    If the Formula 1 community doesn’t ditch this odious slime ball of an excuse for a human being quickly, I’m giving up on following the sport. This is a basis for the teams to demand his resignation. Really can’t express my contempt enough.

  46. Newsflash, F1 has stopped being entertaining a long while ago… Democracy or no, it’s not going well for Mr. Ecclestone.

  47. What n idiot, pls resign Bernie

  48. He really is a piece of work isn’t he? We Americans aren’t very enthused about you either Bernie. You can drop dead and it won’t bother us a bit.

  49. “I’m not very enthusiastic about America,…The biggest problem with them is that they believe they’re the greatest sort of power in the world.”
    Maybe Mr Ecclestone isn’t enthusiastic about America, but without America and their technology F1 would be a lot poorer and less accessible. I am viewing Mr Ecclestone’s comments on the internet, an American invention, via fibre optic cables, an American invention, on a computer that was originally an American design, the browser I use to read his comments is American, my ability to read almost anything I like on the internet is, in part, an American philosophy. When I watch F1 on line (legally too) it is because of an American online TV company, I pay for that privilege with an American credit card. When I want to search for something relating to F1 I use a search engine from America (where are the European ones?), if I want to look at some part of the world I use a Virtual Earth to do so, an idea promoted by American companies, and the best ones are American, there are no European ones, the images that are used to make these are mostly American. When I want to do some business on the internet I use American encryption.

    1. I’m sure he would argue that Britain originally made the US or something.

  50. “I’m not very enthusiastic about America,…The biggest problem with them is that they believe they’re the greatest sort of power in the world.”
    Maybe Mr Ecclestone isn’t enthusiastic about America, but without America and their technology F1 would be a lot poorer and less accessible. I am viewing Mr Ecclestone’s comments on the internet, an American invention, via fibre optic cables, an American invention, on a computer that was originally an American design, the browser I use to read his comments is American. When I watch F1 on line (legally too) it is because of an American online TV company, I pay for that privilege with an American credit card. When I want to search for something relating to F1 I use a search engine from America (where are the European ones?). When I want to do some business on the internet I use American encryption.

  51. What he is trying to say… Vlad Putin runs Russia. Things get done.

    Commitey runs USA, nothing gets done.

    Strategy Group runs F1 harm gets done.

    Despite me loving democracy I never hear words from Moscow of onbstruction or any form of government shutdown… Never hear of those from China either…

    But in our politically correct western democracies bribes are mostly legal, and not much gets donr to improve life of citizens…vjust coorporations…

    Same in F1 teams hold the power somewhat more… Jean Todt seeks global consensus on Issues… Predictably that is all a fail waiting to happen. If he were more dictator like.. He and Bernie would sit down… And say..

    Right, we want close racing.. Good set aero that way.. Make engine parrity, good done. Engines to expensive? Give teams low budget versions of engine…

    3.5 twinturbo no problem, ill ring Cossworth if they can have some ready by february…

    Stuff would get done.. Good and bad would happen. But as it is RBR is on way out, new engines not comming in… F1 is getting s habit of not getting things done anymore…

    1. Unfortunately, it’s Obama vs the conservative Republican Party, and they seem to shoot down everything he proposes.

  52. Thank you Bernie. I have been disgusted with F1 for a couple of years now but not enough to walk away. As an American and avid F1 supporter for almost 30 years, I present my back. Goodbye.

    1. and if I was Gene Haas I would consider doing the same.

  53. Let’s see, the love of Bernie’s life seem to be Hitler, Saddam (“they were getting things done”), Putin and Blatter among others. There you go, that’s F1’s major crisis.

  54. I didn’t watch Russian GP and it seems it was a right decision. Moreover, after hearing this I don’t think I’m going to watch any F1 race anytime soon. Maybe it’s just a small, symbolic gesture, but this is democracy all about, isn’t it?

    1. I’m totally with you on that.

  55. Message to Bernie Ecclestone: grow up little man. Teach yourself what enlightenment and science has accomplished in a free and democratic society compared to dictatorial societies: Distribution of Nobel prices by country:

    United States: 356
    United Kingdom: 116
    Germany: 102
    France: 67
    Russia: 27
    Iran: 1
    Irak: 0
    Syria: 0
    Libya: 0

    Talk about getting things done. You wouldn’t have your race cars without Western technological knowhow.

  56. Greg Czebatol
    17th October 2015, 1:05

    Bernie is to F1 as Donald Trump is to American politics.

  57. I find it unbelievable people are shocked at what Bernie has said. Democracy indeed is an illusion (in its current incarnations). Anyone who thinks otherwise is living an utopian illusion. Simply put, things do NOT get done in a true democracy; which is exactly why we have been hoodwinked into the false democracies we have today.

    And why is his support for Putin any worse than other people’s support for other world leaders like Bush, Obama, Blair and Nethanyau? Are they any better than Putin?

    More so, the same people who criticize his support for men like Blatter, wax lyrical about how Mas Moseley got stuff done. Sometimes, corruption in it’s many guises IS necessary to get things done. And yes, the end does sometimes justify the means.

    And his comments regarding the USA, whilst a generalization, is a true generalization. MOST Americans are indeed ignorant of the world beyond their borders; and whatever they know about it is drip fed to them by their media – which incidentally is amongst the worse in the developed world.

    People really need to wake up from their dream. The hypocrisy shown here is disgusting.

    1. Corruption is necessary to get things done? That is absolutely not true- shame on you for saying that. People who are corrupt only do so to enrich themselves and control others to enrich themselves further. If you are talking about moral corruption and not financial corruption, then that is a different matter althogether- one mostly of opinion, really.

      1. *only are corrupt to enrich themselves

    2. Well, reading this has dented my confidence in the human race.

      You go and enjoy your wears obtained by corruption then…

  58. @melthom
    Your post illustrates exactly the kind of ignorance Bernie was talking about. Please do some more research on Arab/ Persian scientists, and science and technology in the Ottoman Empire.

    1. I understand you would have preferred UK and Europe giving in to Hitler which is the exact consequence of your reasoning.

  59. He is right about America thou…

  60. The man should have left years ago, Bernie is half of the problem with the state F1 is in at the moment!

  61. I’m beginning to long for the cataclysmic demise of F1 and all the associated power blocks and egos. Bernie’s posturing and dribbling lunacy, Mateschitz’s self-righteous pique and the FIA’s fiddling while Rome burns are really getting up my nose. To quote someone else – “A pox on both your houses”, but in this case, a pox on them all.

  62. If the CEO of a large, well run, responsible corporation said:
    “And if these people allegedly have been corrupted to make things happen in their country, it’s good. It’s a tax football had to pay.”
    it would take all of a day or two to remove the idiot. Public contempt for the law, public acceptance of corruption, public defense of corrupt practices… how can we continue to accept Mr Ecclestone as a valid leader for our sport?

  63. Why do people still give their money to this man? When is the Ratner moment going to kick in?
    Still all F1 ‘fans’ will dutifully pay their subs and entrance fees while this genius laughs all the way to the bank. Yes Bernie is a genius. He does and says whatever he wants with no penalty and the F1 sheep still follow him, so yes he is a genius. You all have the power to put him in his place by boycotting the ‘sport’ for a year. When the money is gone so will he.

  64. Let talk facts.
    FIA has sold to Bernie few years ago the F1 commercial rights for 100 ( yes hundred ) years for 318 million dollars.
    This is 3.18 million per year. Ridicolous !
    Selling rights well under their real value is one of the accusations against Blatter.
    FIA and Bernie should be investigated too.

  65. You can say many thigs about Bernie, but not about his sincerity.

    And this time he seems right. I mean, comon, do we have democracy in sua? In France? Give me a break please.

  66. People take Bernie a bit to seriously, he doesn’t care about politics. Translated he said: “If everybody has a say, nothing gets done.” only in berniespeak. And while this is not a good way to run a country, it’s a pretty good way to run a business. Which is what he does.

  67. For those of you unfamiliar with the global corporate world, Bernie sums up the attitude often labelled by some as “the unacceptable face of Capitalism.”

    In so doing, Bernie is being completely honest, and as unpalatable as it sounds, his sentiments will be quite familiar in boardrooms the world over. That doesn’t make it right. but it is true.

  68. We all know that Bernie says things he doesn’t necessarily mean in an attempt to manipulate those around him to move to way he wants them to, but publicly throwing his weight behind a man who is facing criminal charges without knowing the conclusion of proceedings is irresponsible.

    Most of Blatter’s friends are currently running for cover, or searching their conscious before expecting a knock on the door from Switzerland’s finest. And rightfully so.

    This behaviour from some of these unbelievably rich and powerful people is a symptom of something being very wrong with our world.

    This time, he’s crossed a line. It’s already getting embarrassing to admit to some of my more liberal friends that I love F1.

    It’s getting very, very hard to justify that love with my loyalty being tested by gimmicks, the search for more money and boring races in countries with a questionable human rights records. If the driver’s aren’t allowed to share their opinions of the political back drop to the media, then neither should Bernie.

    It’s getting to the point where I just don’t have the ethics to support this tool anymore. Any remaining respect I had for him and his achievements in building F1 into a serious, world wide sport has just vanished in a puff of logic.

    Every consumer has a responsibility to insure the goods they choose are sourced correctly and do not support any horrible and exploititve trades. It’s the best way capitalism self regulates. For example, If you can’t support Nestlé’s views on the availability of fresh, safe drinking water in Africa, you boycott their products until they change their tune. It works. It hurts them. F1 is no different.

    That’s my SkyF1 subscription cancelled. Genuinely. It was hard enough to part with money to line Rupert Murdoch’s pockets, but this is just impossible. I can’t do it anymore whist being comfortable with the man looking back at me in the mirror.

  69. In other news, Mussolini made the trains run on time and Hitler cured unemployment – tens of millions may have suffered / died in the process but that’s dictatorship for you.

  70. What Bernie means about America is what he says about every track that goes “You want how much?!?” If you want to read between the lines, what has partook is Bernie is trying to raise the rate for that race and rather than just pay up, the track people didn’t just say “OK”. So they suck. They all suck when Bernie wants more. All you need to do is look at who Bernie praises (can you say middle eastern oil?) to know who paid right up.

  71. petebaldwin (@)
    17th October 2015, 13:00

    I have decided to make my point using the same level of intelligence, wit and insightfulness as displayed in Bernie’s comments above. I have therefore selected the medium of “meme.”

  72. I find a lot of what BE says to not make sense from more aspects than just the obvious oppressive, depressing talk of dictatorship.

    “The minute we stop entertaining, we’re in trouble” OK…so you’re in trouble…how has the dictatorship that is really F1 according to you, BE, worked now that F1 is in trouble? Perhaps try more of a democracy.

    Blather should never have been challenged? Yet he was. Obviously many people did not see what he was doing as right. Ie. many people do not think like you BE, thank goodness.

    The US is an island that knows only of themselves? Sounds kind of communist and dictatorial to me. I would think you, BE, would admire the US then for being so one-sided. It’s hard for you because they believe they are the biggest sort of power in the world? So you’ve met your match then and that ticks you off? Perhaps as does their democratic process of holding electoral campaigns as we speak, to determine who the next POTUS will be? Just as we in Canada are about to re-elect or newly elect our next Prime Minister?

    Hey even our current Prime Minister at least for the next few days, Stephen Harper, has been accused of dictatorial like behavior at times, but at least at a bare minimum he was democratically elected in a free country that allows all to vote, based on a platform of policies that we all knew would be enacted if we voted for him.

    So if there’s no place for democracy anywhere anytime, any dictator with a following of people who “more or less” “fall in line” will do? And those who don’t? What of them? We know the answer.

    BE you must have been fascinated (and disappointed) to hear Haas say F1 was more diplomatic than NASCAR.

  73. Rui (@ruicaridade)
    17th October 2015, 15:07

    Would he have stayed in office from such a long time and without this much success had he been any different..i believe not.

  74. EU please, please take this man down. He’s a disgrace.

  75. Emperor Ecclestone has spoken…

  76. So what he basically is saying is that he is looking for more non-democratic countries to run his show. No wonder F1 is moving away from Europe.

  77. what else could we expect from a psychotic megalomaniac!

  78. If you didn’t think Bernie was crazy and out of touch before this should seal the deal. He’s completely nuts and needs to be removed.

  79. Gotta love the Bernster.

    In a way Democracy is a joke on people who want to believe in the state. And it is surprising what people choose to believe. But competition is a natural kind of thing, and there is very little in F1 right now. If you were going to compare F1 to a type of economy, it’s verging towards the Eastern German style.

    PS. I threw away my TV in 2003 (for obvious reasons), I live in the states, please consider doing the same. (Network 1976/They Live 1988, interesting movies). It didn’t always used to be this bad, but TV has really done a number on the ‘human’ race, not just F1 and MotoGP.

  80. Not everything Bernie said was wrong… For example, to sort of paraphrase, a business is not a democracy and F1 is a business. Did he go too far in flattering Putin and Blatter? I guess that depends on one’s perspective… What F1 fans want is a return to racing, and not comparisons to dictators and corrupt football figures.

  81. Ecclestone has ruled F1 for so long, when he says a revamp is needed, he is merely saying “I have got it wrong all these years”. He and Blatter are out of the same mould – both keep things that are important close their chests and neither are charismatic in any way. How is that they have survived for so long – Well, bribery has existed in each of their organisations’ during their “reigns” – so with their sport being awash with money from various sponsors – they can hand it around pretty much as they please.
    It’s time the sponsors took some responsibility and eradicated these leeches and get back to proper sport.

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