Ecclestone: Mercedes should have declined, and Michelin’s not returning


Veteran Formula One journalist Adam Cooper has been a busy man this Thursday and got two major nuggets from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

In Cooper’s blog, Ecclestone told Cooper that Mercedes was purely at fault for its secret test at Barcelona. Mercedes’ Ross Brawn essentially fell on the sword when he said in Montreal that the tire test of Pirelli’s 2013 compounds, on this year’s Mercedes W04, was his decision.

“Pirelli were doing the right thing, obviously. They couldn’t get out of a tire problem, if there had been proper testing, which there should be, they wouldn’t be in this problem,” Ecclestone told Cooper.

He added regarding Mercedes directly, “What is right, is right, you know. The one thing an unmarried girl has got is the right to say ‘no.’ You would have to reckon that Mercedes were in that position…”

Ecclestone also claimed Pirelli has a long-term contract in place already beyond this year, but no such deal has been done to confirm the tire manufacturer’s participation from 2014. He ruled out Michelin returning in the same breath.

“No idea. I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t spoken to anyone. We have a long-term contract with Pirelli, as the FIA do. And I think most of the teams have – I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with,” he said.

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

Photo: Getty Images
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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.