Nico Rosberg and Maurizio Arrivabene offer two very different responses to Bernie Ecclestone criticism

nico rosberg

Nico Rosberg and Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene have reacted to Bernie Ecclestone’s accusations they are not good for the business of Formula One.

In a joint interview with Rosberg on the official F1 website, Ecclestone reiterated his belief that Lewis Hamilton has more star appeal than other drivers.

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

Ecclestone added: “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 One. On the contrary Lewis is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula One. Sebastian [Vettel] is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognize him on the street.”

Speaking after his Monaco Grand Prix victory, Rosberg insisted he also did his own bit for the sport: “None of that surprises me because he’s been very open about that all the time; criticising anyone who is not as out there in the world like Lewis is in his manner. The more you are out there the better it is because you create more attention and all the rest of it, which is obvious because he’s the commercial rights holder and that’s what he wants, he wants some movement out there.

“Lewis does a lot of that in his own way and I’m a bit more reserved in that sense, so it’s not something that surprises me. I understand his opinion, everybody does because it’s a pretty straightforward thing, but at the same time I do care for the sport and I do think about it and I try to give a lot back to it in my own way. You can never do enough for what the fans give us, none of us do enough to give back and thank them.”

Ecclestone did not limit his criticism to the drivers, however.

“Also the team principals should be more prominent,” he said. “Take away Toto Wolff’s Mercedes shirt and send him down a street – nobody would recognise him.”

Asked if Arrivabene, who has become a fan favourite since taking over as team principal at Ferrari last year, is enough of a character, Ecclestone added: “But only for himself and not for Formula One.”

Arrivabene was not as verbose as Rosberg in his response …

“I don’t hear nothing about this, but you can tell Mr Ecclestone he can take my [paddock] pass away tomorrow morning if he wants. If he doesn’t like me, then fine, what can I do? I’m not going to change because he is asking me to change.”


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