Race Promoter Says He Felt Conned By Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone may not be the de facto number one man in Formula One anymore but the former owner of the sport is still having his impact felt, especially by one race who felt conned by him.
The Formula One world is slowly moving back west. After an early stint in Australia and Asia we had Russia at the weekend and next week is Spain, soon enough though we'll be back in Asia.
The European stint is usually where the season really gets interesting and Sunday's race in Sochi certainly hinted at that with Valtteri Bottas getting his first win in the F1 and Lewis Hamilton down in fourth.
Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian GP in 2015 and is one of the favourites for this year's title. PA Images
By September and a return to Singapore, Malaysia and Japan the title race should be a lot clearer. For Malaysia it will be the last time we see an F1 race in Sepang.
Two weeks ago Bernie Ecclestone admitted that he'd charged some of the new GPs, like the now defunct Korea and India races, too much for what they were getting.
And Sepang circuit chief executive Dato' Razlan Razali, talking to Autosport, has revealed that Ecclestone's admission left him feeling ripped off and conned by how much they paid to hold the race they'd been running for 18 years:
"I just felt ripped off in some ways, even though we were not forced to sign the agreement. But to come up with a statement like that - how does it make us feel?
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"All this time you have been overcharging us and we are not getting what we want, such as good racing and access to drivers and teams.
"Of course, nobody put a gun to our head but for you to come up with comments like that makes us feel worse.
"It makes us feel like we've been conned and we're not getting what we paid for."
Ecclestone no longer runs the sport but he's still been around the races. PA Images
Ecclestone hit back in typical fashion saying, "Nobody made him look stupid, and it's difficult to make people look stupid. If they are, they are...With Formula 1 they don't make money and what I said was we haven't been delivering what they bought. Not our fault. We don't make the show."
With the Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur not making money the government, which helped fund putting it on, asked for the contract to end early.
The circuit still holds Motogp races.
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