MARCH 9, 2020
Ecclestone slams Ferrari-FIA secret deal
Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is siding with the seven teams who are furious with Ferrari and the FIA.
Just before the 2020 season begins, a political war has broken out after the FIA agreed a secret settlement with Ferrari over the Italian team's questionably-legal 2019 engine.
After the seven non-Ferrari affiliated teams admitted their fury to the world's media and also in a follow-up letter to the governing body, the FIA has now doubled down.
In a statement, the FIA revealed that the World Motor Sport Council's support for Jean Todt "in regards to the overall management of the case" is unanimous.
The Council also "strongly opposed any comments that undermine the reputation and image" of the sport, according to the FIA.
But that has not deterred Ecclestone from making his own comments.
"If Ferrari did everything in accordance with the rules, why did they do a secret deal with the FIA?" he told Blick newspaper.
Ecclestone even goes one step further than the seven teams, urging them to take legal action.
"They have to sue the FIA," he told f1-insider. "It's about millions that I think they deserve.
"If Ferrari is clean and innocent, why did they do that deal with Jean Todt? That alone seems like a confession to me," Ecclestone added.
The 89-year-old, who was ousted and replaced by Chase Carey in 2017, thinks he would have handled the affair better.
"There were often these fires that I had to put out," said the Briton.
"In my time, it was always possible to find a consensus between the teams, the FIA and myself. But it's too late for that now."