Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has caused outrage after claiming black people were more racist than white people in a bizarre television interview.
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton called out his sport's initial silence over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis after a white US police officer knelt on his neck last month.
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But Ecclestone, who stepped down as chief executive in 2017, appeared on CNN in an interview and said he was "surprised" to hear Hamilton had been affected by racist issues in the sport.
The 89-year-old billionaire former owner claimed until the recent Black Lives Matter movement he said “I don’t think anyone bothered about it before.”
"In lots of cases, Black people are more racist than what white people are," Ecclestone added in the interview.
But F1 said in a statement on Friday: "At a time when unity is needed to tackle racism and inequality, we completely disagree with Bernie Ecclestone's comments that have no place in Formula 1 or society.”
"Mr Ecclestone has played no role in Formula 1 since he left our organisation in 2017, his title Chairman Emeritus, being honorific expired, in January 2020."
Hamilton hits out at F1
Six-times world champion Lewis Hamilton said this month he was "completely overcome with rage" as he urged people to speak out against racism.
Hamilton criticised his sport for its silence over the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis last month after a white US police officer knelt on his neck.
"I'm surprised that (racism) concerns him (Hamilton) even... I'm really unhappy if he took it seriously," Ecclestone said.
"I'm surprised if anyone in Formula 1, certainly the teams and the people like the promoters, have any concern about (racism)."
Ecclestone was replaced as chief executive of Formula One in 2017 after nearly four decades in charge.