Ecclestone hits back at ‘windbag’ drivers

Bernie Ecclestone has called some of the Formula 1 drivers “windbags” in response to their complaints about the current state of Formula 1.

Following the Australian Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wrote an open letter to the Formula 1 bosses, criticising the “obsolete” and “ill-structured” governance of the sport.

This led to even more complaints from the drivers with Sebastian Vettel likening Formula 1 to an ice-cream parlour attempting to sell the wrong flavour to the masses.

Speaking about F1’s decision not to revert to the 2015 qualifying format after the new elimination system was widely panned, the Ferrari driver said: “I am as disappointed as probably anyone that I know that we didn’t go back.

“Put it this way, if you sell ice cream and you sell vanilla ice cream and everybody that comes to your shop is asking for chocolate ice cream and the next day you open everybody expects you to sell chocolate ice cream but instead you decide to keep selling vanilla ice cream…

“Usually, you do what your clients would like you to do and you are not really doing your job if you do the exact opposite. It’s something we can’t be proud of.”

Ecclestone has hit back at the four-time World Champion.

Speaking in Bahrain, he said: “He should speak to his boss and tell him the same thing. They’ve been running an ice cream shop for a few years now. I am surprised that Sebastian put his name to it.

“They [the drivers] can say what they like can’t they? They can’t do anything. They can give an opinion. Everyone has got an opinion.

“So really their discussion is with their team and the team has got a voice. They are only saying what the team have told them to say.”

Asked if the drivers were therefore “windbags”, the 85-year-old responded: “Some of them.”

Pushed as to who exactly he would put in that category, he said: “The ones that are.”

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