F1 is apolitical, Bernie Ecclestone on Ferrari flag controversy

Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has distanced himself from the storm kicked up by Ferrari's decision to have the Italian navy's flag on its cars during the Indian Grand Prix, saying the national association should look into such "political matters".

Ferrari has decided to carry the Itlain navy's flag on its cars during practice for the race to show solidarity with the country's two navy marines who are facing trial here for shooting two Indian fishermen in the Indian Ocean.

Asked to react on the matter, Ecclestone said the sport has nothing to do with any "political" issue.

Ecclestone said as the supremo of the sport, he would leave such political matters on national associations, in India's case, the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India.

"What we'd do, we'd look at the national sporting authority (FMSCI) here to have a look at that...we are not political," Ecclestone said at the Buddh International Circuit here today when asked about Ferrari's decision.

Ecclestone's statement came close on the heels of the Italian outfit's disclosure on its website that they would be paying tribute to the navy as "one of the outstanding entities of our country".

Ferrari's statement added that the gesture was "also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy".

Meanwhile, Ecclestone seemed mighty impressed with the improved facilities of the BIC, which made its debut as a Formula One venue only last year.

"Superb, big, big improvement in everything, fantastic," was Ecclestone's reaction when asked about the BIC.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.