Bernie Ecclestone has hit back at Luca di Montezemolo for describing the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix as a 'circus', by describing Ferrari as the 'clowns' - and claiming that if Felipe Massa fails to win the Formula 1 World Championship this year, he will have his team to blame.

In the wake of Maranello's disastrous outing in the Far Eastern city-state, di Montezemolo had angrily suggested that relying upon a safety car to inject some excitement into the action had rendered the sport's first-ever night race 'a circus' and was 'humiliating' for F1 [see separate story - click here].

The Scuderia's president was scathing in his verbal onslaught about both the all-new Marina Bay Street Circuit and Valencia's Juan Carlos I Circuit, both of which afforded precious few overtaking opportunities.

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Ecclestone, however, has responded to the Italian's outburst by hinting that di Montezemolo would do better to focus his attentions on keeping his own house in order, following Massa's catastrophic pit-stop, when an error in Ferrari's automated 'traffic lights' system - what the F1 ringmaster described as being 'over-the-top' - saw the Brazilian accelerate away from his box still with the refuelling hose attached to his car.

The 27-year-old subsequently received a drive-through penalty for his troubles and conceded six potentially vital points to chief title rival Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

"If the Ferrari president is right about the Singapore Grand Prix being a circus," 77-year-old Ecclestone asserted in an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, "then we have to be grateful to him for providing the clowns.

"After the weekend Ferrari had, their president should have shut up and kept his head down. If Massa loses the world championship, he will know the team were responsible.

"Why do you want to have some other piece of technology that can go wrong?"