Maybe it’s his recent hit to the head, or maybe it’s a genuine change of heart, but F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone now holds a different opinion on the value of the sport’s newer teams.
Just last month, the 80-year-old had derided the sport’s three newest outfits (although conceded that Lotus Racing was something of an exception), likening them as “cripples” that he would be happy to “get rid of” from the sport.
But the British mogul now claims that the fresh blood brought in to bolster the grid’s sagging numbers is “good” for the sport, but launched an attack on then-FIA President Max Mosley for enticing the teams into the sport to operate on small budgets.
But didn’t Bernie himself offer incentives to the newer squads by way of financial incentives?
In the wake of his comments, Virgin Racing secured sponsorship (and naming rights) backing from the Marussia supercar group, while Hispania Racing announced it had secured additional backing from former Telefónica CEO, Juan Villalonga.
“As for the new teams, their problems weren’t their fault in all fairness,” he writes in his foreword to the Official Formula 1 Season Review 2010 book.
“It was really Max Mosley’s fault, telling them they could come in and be contenders for £30 million.
“But they’re here now and, provided they don’t walk around with begging bowls, it’s good to have them,” he adds.
Mr E certainly does have a rather odd way of putting things sometimes…
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]