Shamed Ecclestone goes on 'sorry' offensive

After describing the outrage sparked by his Hitler comments as a "big misunderstanding" in the German press, Bernie Ecclestone has now turned to the English-speaking media to apologise for the affair. Jewish groups called for the F1 chief ...

After describing the outrage sparked by his Hitler comments as a "big misunderstanding" in the German press, Bernie Ecclestone has now turned to the English-speaking media to apologise for the affair.

Jewish groups called for the F1 chief executive's resignation following his controversial Times interview, while a German state premier cancelled a meeting this weekend to discuss the future of the F1 race at Hockenheim.

"First, an apology," the 78-year-old wrote in a column in the same British newspaper on Tuesday.

Ecclestone insisted he does not "support Hitler's atrocities" and admits he was "unwise ... to articulate my points so badly".

In another interview, with the Jewish Chronicle, the Briton said he is "just sorry that I was an idiot", revealing that he actually cried when he once visited the Yad Yashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

"What I regret is people who have taken this the wrong way and have been offended, I'm really, really sad about because I have done an awful lot for the Jewish community, charities and whatever," Ecclestone said.

But in a third interview, for the American news agency Associated Press, he hit back at World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder and others for calling on him to quit.

"I think the people who are saying that haven't got the power to say these things," Ecclestone said, going on to criticise the Council for failing to "sort the banks out" amid the global financial crisis.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone