Bernie Ecclestone has expressed surprise at the way Mercedes responded to their title defeat, as the Constructors' Champions elected not to send along Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton to the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala in Paris on Thursday evening.
With Hamilton finishing second in the Drivers' Championship, he was required by the Sporting Regulations to attend the FIA ceremony but failed to show. Mercedes sent along Chief Technical Officer James Allison to collect their trophy, with team boss Toto Wolff instead giving a media briefing online.
Ecclestone, attending the Gala with his wife Fabiana Flosi, who is part of FIA Presidential candidate Mohammed Ben Sulayem's panel, spoke about his shock at seeing how Mercedes have responded to their first title loss in eight years.
"I was very, very, very, very surprised at the attitude of Mercedes, because I've never seen them act in this way ever, after the race," Ecclestone said.
"Obviously people in a competition, if they lose, they're not so happy as the winners. But there's a way to act, and they didn't act that way.
"Also, as far as not coming here, somebody is bothered to put on the World Championship. A lot of people work in it and other people have given a lot of their time and effort to do this, and not just to recognise it..."
"Lewis should have made the effort"
Ecclestone went on to say that he believes that Daimler, as the parent company of Mercedes, need to clarify their position about the F1 team.
The ownership structure of the F1 team changed ahead of 2021, with Mercedes sharing equal ownership with Toto Wolff and INEOS' chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Ecclestone said some sort of statement from Daimler is required about the situation.
"I think that maybe Mercedes, Daimler, should make their position clear," he commented.
"'Terribly sorry, we obviously still support the Formula 1 team' - it carries their name! Because in the end, Daimler, they really and truly are no more than a big sponsor."
With Hamilton also failing to show for the ceremony, an unsympathetic Ecclestone said that his excuses aren't believable.
"It wouldn't have hurt him to arrive," he said.
"He's come up with an excuse that he couldn't be here, which I don't think anybody believes. Because he managed to come to 22 races all right, so I think he should have made the effort to come here."
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