BMW’s Mario Theissen slams Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone comments about Adolf Hitler have been condemned as "disgusting" and "wrong" by the BMW Sauber principal, Mario Theissen, who has become the first Formula One figure to condemn the 78-year-old after his remarks praising the Nazi leader for his ability "to get things done." Ecclestone, the sport's commercial rights holder, has since apologized unreservedly.

He is still due to visit the Nürburgring this weekend and it is understood he will issue a further apology but the German team's manager is extremely unhappy with the comments. "It's obviously wrong. Disgusting," said Theissen. "Apparently he was shocked himself when he was confronted by what he had said. He has meanwhile made some comments and, from what I have heard, he will make some more comments as soon as he is here and I think this is necessary."

There is frenzied speculation over whether Ecclestone, the sport's commercial rights holder, will make an appearance at the German circuit. There also paddock speculation that CVC capital partners, the investment firm that control's Ecclestone's business, is even more furious at his comments than has been suggested which they feel were not only tasteless but bad for business.

The bruising confrontation between the FIA and the eight teams making up the Formula One Teams' Association remained deadlocked today, as the governing body hit back at claims that the future of the sport was in jeopardy.

The FIA issued a statement entitled Setting The Record Straight, played down the escalating war and claiming a deal would be struck in the coming days. Representatives of FOTA walked out of a meeting at the Nürburgring with FIA technical delegate, Charlie Whiting, yesterday, appalled at being told they had no voting rights on the framing of the sporting and technical regulations for next season. That was despite the fact they were listed as entered for 2010 by the FIA after a gentlemen's agreement brokered between the president, Max Mosley, Ecclestone and the FOTA chairman, Luca di Montezemolo, in Paris on 24 June that led to the scrapping of the £40m budget cap.

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