Bernie Ecclestone, 89, says 'It's not my fault I'm white' as he defends 'black people are more racist' interview claim

BERNIE Ecclestone has doubled down against claims he is racist – claiming: "It's not my fault I'm white".

The ex-Formula 1 boss, 89, was embroiled in a race row after comments he made during a shocking TV interview.

Ecclestone claimed "black people are more racist than white people" and said he was "surprised" Lewis Hamilton had been upset after being taunted by fans in blackface.

But the billionaire has defended the remarks – insisting he doesn't care if someone is "yellow, green, brown or pink".

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Ecclestone said: "‘I am not anti black people. Quite the opposite. I have always been very much in favour. In fact, Lewis’s dad wanted to go into business with me.

"He made some nice rowing machines. I would never even have considered it if I had been anti-black. If the project had been right, I would have done it.

"It’s not my fault I am white, or that I am a little shorter than the next man. I was called Titch at school. I realised I had to do something about it. Black people should look after themselves.

"When I lost my driving licence, I had a black driver, not because he was black, but because I didn’t care whether he was black or white. Now it’s suddenly fashionable to talk about diversity."


He also said most of the people currently going on marches "probably wouldn't know" what they were protesting about.

And the mogul insisted he "was never against anyone who was black" as he told how he'd been mugged a "couple of times" – including once by "three black guys".

Ecclestone came under fire for the comments made to CNN Sport this week.

The dad-to-be said: "In lots of cases, black people are more racist than what white people are."

But when challenged by the outlet, Ecclestone said he didn't have any evidence – just saying that he had "noticed" it over the years.

He also claimed that he had been "surprised" that six-time F1 champion Hamilton had been upset over racial abuse.

Last week, the 35-year-old champion told The Times he had faced racism in his career – including an incident in Spain that saw him taunted by fans in blackface in 2008.

But Ecclestone said: "I'm surprised that it concerns him.

"I'm really unhappy if he took it seriously. I never thought he did. I didn't think it affected him."

He said he had not spoken to Hamilton himself, who had been driving for McLaren at the time.


Six-time champion Hamilton has since condemned the billionaire powerhouse of motor sport for his outburst.

In a string of Instagram messages, the 35-year-old said it was "sad and disappointing" to read the comments.

He added: "Bernie is out of the sport and a different generation but this is exactly what is wrong – ignorant and uneducated comments which show us how far we as a society need to go before real equality can happen."

Hamilton has become a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement – attending a protest in Hyde Park this month.

And Ecclestone weighed in on the Black Lives Matter movement that has seen a number of statues removed – saying the decision to take down figures of controversial historical figures was "stupid".

Instead, he said that students should be shown the statues to understand what wrongs had been done in history.

The businessman has previously made headlines for making other shocking statements.

In 2009, he apologised after praising Adolf Hitler for being "able to get things done".

He also said women should dress in white "like all other domestic appliances."

The billionaire has also said he would take a bullet for Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian leader was a "good guy".

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