Bernie Ecclestone: Mercedes should have said no to Pirelli test

Bernie Ecclestone has made it clear that he believes that Mercedes rather than Pirelli is to blame for the testing controversy.

Although initially reluctant to express an opinion, Bernie emphasised that Mercedes could have turned down the chance to risk breaking the FIA’s Sporting Regulations.

Ecclestone is known to have an uneasy relationship with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn after a commercial disagreement during the Brawn GP days, and some have suggested that he wouldn’t mind seeing the former Benetton and Ferrari man carry the can for what happened.

“Wait until the tribunal, they’ve got all the facts,” Ecclestone told this writer. “If you offer me stolen goods, it’s up to me to decide whether I want to accept them or not. It’s not up to anyone to tell me what I should do. I should know what I should do.

“Pirelli were doing the right thing, obviously. They couldn’t get out of a tyre problem, if there had been proper testing, which there should be, they wouldn’t be in this problem. It’s only because there’s no proper testing that they’re in this problem. As people have been complaining, the obvious thing to do was to get out of it by testing. And they asked.”

Asked if he felt Pirelli had done anything wrong, he added: “Not at all.”

Ecclestone and the F1 organisation have a significant commercial deal with Pirelli for signage and so on, but he denies that has impacted his opinion.

“I don’t care. It makes no difference to me. What is right, is right, you know. The one thing an unmarried girl has got is the right to say ‘no.’ You would have to reckon that Mercedes were in that position…”

Meanwhile Ecclestone played down suggestions that Michelin – a company known to be friendly with Jean Todt – is waiting in the wings to replace Pirelli.

“No idea. I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t spoken to anyone. We have a long-term contract with Pirelli, as the FIA do. And I think most of the teams have – I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with.”

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Bernie Ecclestone: Mercedes should have said no to Pirelli test

  1. Colin

    I thought Pirelli’s contract ended this year? Is Bernie being mischievous for a change?

  2. d harrison

    Bernie mentioning stolen goods and not bribes then!!

  3. RobDin

    Mercedes acts as if they did had permission from the FIA and the council will decide if that is true or not but if it were true then Bernie’s comments are a load of bs. If Mercedes didn’t have explicit permission than they are just stupid for interpreting the FIA response the way they did.

    It’s a bit like Mercedes being offered goods that might be stolen, Mercedes goes to the police to ask if the goods are stolen and if they can buy them, the police says it’s ok so Mercedes buys the goods. And afterwards other teams are saying that they were stolen and force the police to investigate (but actually they wanted to buy the goods themselves and they are more upset about not being the ones that did the purchase than Mercedes being the one doing the buying).

    It all looks so much like a small play being performed by the involved parties that I often get the feeling there is much more behind this story than what we get to read in public press releases and professional opinion pieces…

    • Adam

      I think in your analogy it is how the letter from the police can be read. Does it appear to a typical person reading it to say no, it is not stolen goods. If they meant YES it is stolen, but it can be interpreted due to poor wordsmithing as NO, it is not stolen goods, then Mercedes could walk free and the FIA will issue a rule\letter clarification.

  4. stephengreen

    What does he mean by the statement – “I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with.”
    How can pirelli do a deal with individual teams? Do they not need a contract with the fia now? What’s going on?

  5. peterg

    Perhaps Bernie should have maintained his silence. German prosecutors differ as to who is the villain/victim in another investigation. Pots vs. kettles?

    I’m still perplexed as to why Pirelli would chose to “favour” one team, which is why I will hold fire until Mercedes and Pirelli have explained themselves to the FIA.

  6. Rob J

    ” The one thing an unmarried girl has got is the right to say ‘no.’ ”

    Blimey, hope Tamara’s not taking advice from her dad.

  7. GeorgeK

    Bernie’s experience is similar to a certain type of girl: With enough cash, Bernie will say yes as well.

  8. So Bernie is saying that it’s ok to sell stolen goods but not to buy them!!!!

  9. Crankyguy

    Its so obvious Bernie’s kissing Pirelli’s behind, He needs to go! because if Pirelli leaves F1 they will find it hard to have a another tyre supplier, the FIA needs to look at itself and how its made a right stuff up of this great sport, testing, constant stewardship , and just look at the cost of next years changes to the cars for the new regulations

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