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Booth hits out at Ecclestone for 'destabilising' remarks

Virgin Racing team principal John Booth has hit out at F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone's constant criticism of the 2010 newcomers, describing it as 'destabilising' and capable of doing 'great damage'
Bernie Ecclestone's constant sniping and criticism of the F1 2010 newcomers has been 'destabilising' and 'can do great damage', John Booth has argued – claiming that Virgin Racing is if anything 'further ahead' than it had anticipated being at this stage during its maiden campaign of competition in the top flight.

Earlier on in the year, Ecclestone professed his opinion on a number of separate occasions that not all of the new teams – Virgin, Lotus and Hispania (HRT) – would make it to the end of the campaign, even going so far as to predict that two of the three might drop out along the way due to financial woes.

Then last month, the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive went even further by claiming that the two teams to which he had been referring – ostensibly Hispania and Virgin – 'really shouldn't be there' and that he would be far from unhappy were the grid to recede to just 20 cars once more. Not helpful, Booth asserts.

“I was not particularly pleased, because comments like that for a team like ours can do great damage,” Virgin's team principal told motorsport-total.com, describing the remarks as 'destabilising' and echoing the contention of USF1 co-founder Peter Windsor, who upon the collapse of the American effort's bid to join the fray this season had lambasted Ecclestone's persistent negativity for scaring potential sponsors away. “It is difficult for us at the moment, as it is for other teams, and for all the new teams.”

Booth went on to stress that most of Virgin's backers are committed for the long-term, and brushed aside notions that with a high-profile figurehead like ultra-successful entrepreneur Richard Branson behind the team, the Dinnington and Bicester-based operation should really be performing rather better to do justice to the brand's well-established global reputation.

“If you look at what we have built up so far, it's not all bad,” urged the Yorkshireman. “In F1 there have been probably 30 or 40 new teams, some of which never qualified for a race – but we are there at the start of every race and, step-by-step, we are getting closer. We are where we expected we would be, and maybe even a bit further ahead than that.”

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August 19, 2010 4:56 PM
Last Edited 731 days ago

What would you expect from that feeble minded, greedy, carny fingered midget(that was for whomever told me enough of the CARNY FINGERED reference) He only cares about the money. If he hears people starting to complain about anything he grabs a pitchfork and tries to lead the mob not even thinking about what effect his comments might have. He would have made a great politician. Say what the people want to hear. No true feelings, just what works for him at that moment in time. He can always waffle on it later which he is good at. Just look at what he said about women in F1, a year later he wants Danica to give it a shot. Typical scumbag!


August 19, 2010 9:22 PM
Last Edited 742 days ago

Am I missing something here? i just don't get the attacks on the new teams, have they all forgotten that there is no more testing other than the race weekends?. These new teams are expected to be up to speed without the unlimited testing of previous years. As much as i think Eddie Jorden and Martin Brundle are good at their jobs they also expect these teams to be doing better......if that is the case then let the new teams have extra tests for the 1st year on the grid.......

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