When former F1 executive Bernie Ecclestone said that "Black people are more racist than White people," several people condemned his comments. F1 released a statement saying that his title of chairman emeritus had expired in January 2020, three years after Liberty Media acquired control of F1. However, Ecclestone said that he was unaware of this change in standing.
"Well, I didn't know anything about this," Ecclestone said to GPFans. "How this actually happened was that after they bought the company, and they had obviously bought my shares, Chase [Carey] called and asked to see me. I was obviously asked to step down. They'd already prepared a document for me to sign, to resign. They couldn't fire me because I had a three-year contract I'd drawn up years and years before for myself with the company, that I owned, so that contract was still in existence."
As Ecclestone continued to explain, they gave him the honorable title similar to what former business owners receive when they step down. What he didn't know, however, is that there was a timeline for this title. Ecclestone said that he didn't know it would expire.
"So they gave me that, but I didn't know it was only for a period of three years, which was the period of my contract anyway, and which, in fairness, they paid under that contract," Ecclestone continued. "But I didn't know about the period of time for this position." In the three years since he resigned, Ecclestone has continued to attend various races around the world.
While F1 has condemned the former executive's comments, he doesn't anticipate that the organization will keep him away from races. He told GPFans that he still has friends in paddocks that will help him attend various races. He cited the upcoming event in Austria as an example.
"Most of the promoters will be happy to have me in the paddock because we're friends, mates," said Ecclestone. "For this next race in Austria, I could have gone. Dietrich [Mateschitz, Red Bull Ring owner] told me he had everything organized, the hotel, the room they used to organize for me. I'm going to call him and tell him I won't be there. I could have gone for a day and back but I'm not going to."
In addition to saying that he had no idea about the timeline of his honorary title, Ecclestone provided a unique defense to prove that he's not racist. He said that "it's not my fault that I'm white" during an interview with the Daily Mail Uk. He also said that "Black people should look after themselves."