03 Jul F1’s Eddie Jordan ‘horrified’ by Ecclestone’s Putin comments
FORMER Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan said he was shocked, horrified and disappointed at Bernie Ecclestone’s comments in support of Russian despot Vladimir Putin.
In an exclusive interview on GB News, Mr Jordan also said an apparently racist slur against Lewis Hamilton by former world champion Nelson Piquet “doesn’t stand up”.
Asked about Mr Ecclestone’s comment about how he would “take a bullet for Putin”, he told Alastair Stewart today (SUN): “I’m quite certain Bernie didn’t quite either understand what he was saying or what he was asking him – I’m not trying to defend him because it’s indefensible. You cannot defend a reply like that.
“Bernie, who I am a big supporter of – I was shocked. I was horrified, and I was so disappointed because when you see the pain and the conflict that’s going on with people, their own people in Russia, and also what’s happening in Ukraine, it was an unbelievable thing for Bernie to say.
“And it’s excusable. I don’t know how you even come back from there, and I’m sure Bernie is so upset about what he said because I’m sure he didn’t mean to say it in the way it was said.
“Nevertheless, he is accountable for his own actions and he knows this was said, and it’s unacceptable and hugely wrong for him in the position that he was in.”
Speaking during a live interview on GB News, he also said Nelson Piquet’s use of the N-word to describe Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s a shocking thing for him to say, there was no need for him to say such a thing, no matter what he felt about it.
“And his apology. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t stand up.
“And I think Lewis has taken this to heart because here’s a guy who has been embraced by the sport.
“He was a great champion, but nevertheless, this is grossly unacceptable in any walk of life by any personality, irrespective of who it is.”
He said that racing drivers want politics kept out of sport, when asked about Mr Hamilton saying he does not approve of Max Verstappen being booed by the crowd at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“But he’s right, isn’t he, because whether you like it or not, you look at whatever sporting event whether it’s Wimbledon, whether it’s the Open Championship in golf, whether it is motor racing, there is a feeling amongst the competitors, you know, forget the politics.
“Let’s try and do what we do best, which is sportsmanship, and let’s be very clear about what Lewis has done, not just for himself, but his family.
“Motor racing in Britain, everywhere throughout the world, he is revered. He is a seven times world champion and his voice has to be and must be heard…
“Let’s respect him for that, irrespective of how that happened. He is the world champion, let’s respect him.”