Sports

Mr Controversy: Ecclestone draws flak for comments on women drivers

The NBC Sports website reported Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's latest comments yesterday morning (Singapore time) under the headline "Ecclestone says more Ecclestone-type controversial things".

The 85-year-old has caused uproar in the past by comparing women to domestic appliances, triggering a backlash on social media.

So what has the Briton shot his mouth off about this time?

In his latest tirade, Ecclestone (above) told the Advertising Week Europe conference in London that women drivers are not physically able to drive quickly enough for Formula 1.

"I don't know if a woman would physically be able to drive a Formula 1 car quickly, and they wouldn't be taken seriously," he said.

But he reserved praise for them in another area. He predicted a rise in female chief executives, saying: "Women are more competent and they don't have massive egos."

There are no female drivers in Formula 1, with test driver Susie Wolff, who retired last November, the last woman to be employed in a driving capacity by an F1 team.

But women have enjoyed greater success at boardroom level, with Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams the most notable example.

British driver Pippa Mann, who has competed four times in the Indianapolis 500 and is a race winner in the US Indy Lights series, fired back immediately.

"Sigh. #HereWeGoAgain," she said on Twitter.

"Perhaps someone should remind him that @IndyCar doesn't have power steering, and we're strong enough to drive those."

Asked by F1's non-executive director Martin Sorrell, whose grandparents came from Russia, whether immigrants had contributed to Britain, Ecclestone replied: "They have not."

This despite Britain's triple Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton being the grandson of immigrants from Grenada.

Below are Ecclestone's views on other topics. - Wire Services.

ON VLADIMIR PUTIN

He should be running Europe. Ecclestone last year declared himself the Russian president's "best supporter".

ON ADOLF HITLER

The Nazi leader got the job done.

ON DONALD TRUMP

Ecclestone has expressed support for the controversial US Republican presidential candidate.

sportsFormula 1Bernie EcclestoneUncategorisedcontroversial