He admitted that he feels Pirelli were right to hold the controversial ‘private’ test at the Circuit de Catalunya prior to the Spanish Grand Prix and that Mercedes should have said no to the offer from the supplier.
Talking to Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog, Ecclestone said: “Wait until the tribunal, they’ve got all the facts, if you offer me stolen goods, it’s up to me to decide whether I want to accept them or not. It’s not up to anyone to tell me what I should do. I should know what I should do.”
Discussing whether it was right for Pirelli to host and have the test, he said: “Pirelli were doing the right thing, obviously. They couldn’t get out of a tyre problem, if there had been proper testing, which there should be, they wouldn’t be in this problem. It’s only because there’s no proper testing that they’re in this problem. As people have been complaining, the obvious thing to do was to get out of it by testing. And they asked.”
When asked if the Italian tyre supplier did anything wrong, he quickly stated “Not at all.”
Ecclestone also admitted that his opinion has not been swayed by the considerable commercial agreement that he and F1 organisers have with Pirelli: “I don’t care. It makes no difference to me. What is right, is right, you know.” He also revealed that he feels Mercedes should have declined the opportunity to test, adding “The one thing an unmarried girl has got is the right to say ‘no.’ You would have to reckon that Mercedes were in that position…”
He was also quick to dismiss rumours that Michelin are being lined up to replace Pirelli for 2014: “No idea. I haven’t got a clue. I haven’t spoken to anyone. We have a long-term contract with Pirelli, as the FIA do. And I think most of the teams have – I think they’ve done a deal with all the teams they want to do a deal with.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic