Recently-deposed Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has issued a statement to clear up speculation suggesting that he is planning to set up a rival championship.
Ecclestone resigned as F1 CEO on Monday after over 40 years at the helm of the sport, making way for American executive Chase Carey to take over the role following the completion of Liberty Media’s takeover.
In his first comments since his exit was confirmed on Monday, Ecclestone issued a statement responding to speculation that he could create a rival series to F1.
“I wish to clear up the rumors that I am starting a series to compete against the FIA Formula One World Championship,” Ecclestone said, as per Press Association.
“I have built the championship over the last near 50 years, which is something I am proud of, and the last thing I want is to see it damaged.
“The new owner of the company will be able to carry out the administration of the company in a different way to the way I had, which was to produce financial results for the shareholders, the normal actions of a chief executive.
“This, I have done for the different shareholders over the last years and also when I owned 100 per cent of the company. I would have loved the luxury of what Chase Carey, the CEO, is able to do.
“I hope the F1 supporters appreciate this as Chase intends to put money back into the sport.
“I am very touched by the support and thanks that I have received from the people that I have dealt with over the years.”
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).