Jun.14 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has flatly denied insulting African motor racing officials in recent comments about the Max Mosley confidence vote.
After FIA president Mosley escaped with his job in Paris, F1 chief executive Ecclestone was quoted by the British tabloid newspaper Daily Express observing that "just because he got a few more votes from Africa doesn't mean the King of Spain will want to shake his hand".Kenyan Automobile Association chief David Njoroge took offence, describing Ecclestone's comments as a "derogatory, demeaning and uncalled for" attack "based on ethnicity".But Ecclestone, 77, insists that "the comments concerning Africa were not from me".Sensitivities aside, it is however true that Africa is a powerful force when it comes to FIA senate votes.While the multiple African clubs wield 24 votes in total, America's AAA has just one."This is the structure of the FIA and is not the fault of the clubs that voted. Had I been a president of one of the (African) clubs, I would have voted in support of Max being loyal to the FIA and the benefits it provides," Ecclestone said."I hope that we will be able to bring back formula one to Africa in the not too distant future," he added.