Saturday 24 March 2018

Bernie Ecclestone humiliates Nico Rosberg in excruciating interview

Bernie Ecclestone has told Nico Rosberg: 'You're not good for business' Photo: EPA
Bernie Ecclestone has told Nico Rosberg: 'You're not good for business' Photo: EPA

Daniel Johnson

Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s ringmaster, has told Nico Rosberg to his face that he is “not good for my business” in an excruciating joint interview.

Ecclestone and Rosberg were recorded in conversation for the official F1 website in Monte Carlo earlier this week in Ecclestone’s motorhome.

The 84-year-old continued to express his preference for Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton, before launching a fierce attack on the German, who lies second in the world championship.

Ecclestone said: “When it comes to F1 I am a huge Lewis fan because he is a super promoter of the sport. From a pure business aspect - sorry Nico if I have to say this - you are not so good for my business.”

When Rosberg responded that this was a “hard call”, Ecclestone continued: “It sounds harder than it is meant. Unfortunately you don’t have the German fans on your side.

“As the cancellation of the German Grand Prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for Formula 1. On the contrary Lewis is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula 1. Sebastian [Vettel] is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognize him on the street.”

Ecclestone is not usually one to mince his words but even this was particularly strident. The F1 supremo went on to strongly criticise Rosberg’s Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, as well as Ferrari’s new team principal.

On Wolff, he said: “The team principals should be more prominent. Take away Toto Wolff’s Mercedes shirt and send him down a street - nobody would recognize him.”

And on Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari’s boss, Ecclestone added: “Only for himself and not for Formula 1.”

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