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While the International Tribunal rendered judgment on the Mercedes and Pirelli private test, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has issued a controversial comment to the Times by suggesting the outcome was know well in advance. Ecclestone was quoted by the time reporter Mathew Syed as saying that Jean Todt called him and told him what the penalty would be:

“That’s great,” Ecclestone told todt. “Congratulations on conducting a good process, Jean.”

‘As he hangs up, a call comes through from his office to say that Toto Wolff, the executive director of the Mercedes team is on the line. Bernie says he gave him the good news telling he had got away with a reprimand. Mr Wolff then, according to Bernie, thanks him, tells him he is shocked and promises that dinner is on him at Silverstone’.

It seems that Mercedes was shocked by the leniency of the penalty and were pleased with the outcome. This plays into the hands of many critics of the judgment rendered by the International tribunal as they suggest the penalty was too light for the infraction Mercedes had on the sport.

Ecclestone has rarely minced words and says nothing without designed effect. At 82-years-old, he’s no doddering old fool. He’s a shrewd businessman who knows how to keep a story alive for the press it brings but is that what he was doing in this case? Why offer a commentary that exposes some hint of failed jurisprudence within the FIA? Unless that was the intended effect.

I’ve learned to never cast off the quotes of Ecclestone as they are usually tactically offered and one wonders if the F1 ring master isn’t taking a shot at the FIA for it’s handling of the Mercedes testgate.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    Bernie throwing his best mate Jean Todt and the ever FOM-cooperative FIA under a ‘discreditation bus’…..
    Well Duhhhh! Of course. JF

  • dom

    i also commented on the previous story “A Red Bull Rebellion?” that it seemed Red Bull were also aware or at least expecting the decision before it was made officially. this whole thing just furtther highlights the problems FIA still have with rules/ protocols that can be bent and sometimes bent too far.

    • Or very vague rules that are seemingly so. Surely some of these regs could be pinned down a lot better than they currently are.

  • MIE

    Bernie is hoping that this story will run until after the German GP. That way there will be some distraction from his bribery case.

    Well that’s my best guess.

  • F1_Knight

    OOOOO The plot thinnens…

  • charlie w

    All right F1 teams, NOW is time to rebel against the FIA.