Mercedes chief executive Dieter Zetsche has hit out at Bernie Ecclestone's latest criticisms of Formula 1, claiming his actions are damaging for the sport.
Ecclestone launched an attack on the state of grand prix racing last month, suggesting modern F1 was something he would not wish to watch himself
“Formula 1 is the worst it has ever been,” he said in an interview with The Daily Mail. “I wouldn't spend my money to take my family to watch a race. No way.
"What's the point when you pretty much know — and the bookmakers know, and they're not stupid — that Lewis Hamilton will probably put the car on pole and more likely than not win.”
Ecclestone also accused Mercedes and Ferrari of running an illegal cartel in the way that they were now dominating the rule-setting agenda in the sport.
His remarks have not gone down well with Mercedes, which has invested heavily in F1 and is currently the dominant force on track.
Speaking at a Mercedes E-class presentation in Portugal on Friday, Zetsche was quoted by Reuters as saying that no matter what Ecclestone thought, he should keep negative comments private.
"At the Geneva Motor Show I was not going on the stage to say I would never drive a Mercedes and customers should better not do it," said Zetsche.
"I don't understand how someone who is not only the CEO but partial owner of that product talks that way about the product.
"If he feels like that, it should be discussed internally how to change it, but not as a sales pitch."