Bernie Ecclestone has hit back after an American motor racing figure called him “foolish”.
Eddie Gossage, the president of the Texas motor speedway, this week blasted the F1 chief executive for scheduling this year’s US grand prix on the same November date as the major Nascar race in the same state. “I can’t say I was surprised because Bernie Ecclestone does a lot of foolish things,” he said. But 83-year-old Briton Ecclestone has hit back, insisting Gossage and other Nascar officials do not understand the logistical tasks faced by a global sport like formula one.
“We’ve a small problem they don’t have,” he told the Press Association. “We have six jumbo jets to move around all our equipment, and we have to find the most sensible way to use them to do that. “There are issues that can occur, but he and other people do not realise these things. “The race prior to the one in the US is in Russia, in Sochi. We’ve never been before, and we have to get out of there and into Austin. That is probably a lot easier than trying to get into Brazil, and then we have to get out of there to go to Abu Dhabi,” Ecclestone explained. “So he (Gossage) is extremely lucky he doesn’t have to do what we have to do.”
Ecclestone also defended his colleagues at the US grand prix venue in Austin, after Gossage accused them of lacking the “fortitude” to “say no” to the Nascar date clash. “I’ve spoken to the people that run the race at COTA (circuit of the Americas) and they believe the Nascar crowd is a different crowd to formula one — different people, different customers,” he insisted. “At the end of the day they (Nascar) run a domestic series in America -– we run a world championship,” said Ecclestone.