F1 is apolitical, Bernie on Ferrari flag controversy
Greater Noida: 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 Italian 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.