Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bernie: The buck stops with Whitmarsh

Monday 6th April 2009

Bernie Ecclestone believes the fallout for McLaren's Aussie GP debacle could yet cost Martin Whitmarsh his job, after all the "buck stops with Martin."

In the wake of the FIA's decision to exclude Lewis Hamilton and McLaren from the Aussie GP results after they were deemed to have "deliberately" mislead the stewards, McLaren have suspended sporting director Dave Ryan. But according to new team boss Whitmarsh's own quotes, he too could face the axe.

And person who believes that may be the right call is Ecclestone, who says Whitmarsh needs to accept that as the new McLaren team boss he is ultimately in charge of whatever the team does.

"Ron (Dennis) is an honest straightforward guy," the F1 supremo told The Mirror. "He would always say 'the bucks stops here' and wouldn't expect Whitmarsh to do it. He'd do it himself.

"Now the buck stops with Martin so it is whatever he wants to do. Ron has not been here so you can't blame him."

But while his assessment of Whitmarsh's position may be considered harsh by some, Ecclestone has a great deal of sympathy for Hamilton.

"Lewis was co-erced into it," he said. "They have got an agreement with the team that he must follow team orders and he must not speak badly about the team.

"He is only 24 and maybe when he is a bit older and stronger he wouldn't do it. The important thing to clear up is: did he deliberately tell a lie in order to achieve something or not? If the answer is no, he was co-erced into not telling the truth it is somewhat different isn't it?

"I am sure the FIA will have a look at this now and see what they think of it. I don't know if McLaren should be punished. It is up to the FIA."

Source : Planet F1

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