Bernie Ecclestone says the Manor Marussia F1 Team will have to pay for its own freight to be shipped from Australia to Malaysia as punishment for failing to take part in the opening race of the season.
The 84-year-old launched a scatching attack on the rescued team which, due to a software issue with its cars, failed to participate in any of three practice sessions, qualifying or the race.
“We are trying very hard but it is a tough thing to do in the time available,” explained Manor sporting director Graeme Lowdon.
However he received no sympathy from Ecclestone who was clearly angered by their no-show which contributed to the smallest F1 grid since 1963.
“We should have never ever, ever allowed Manor to do what they’ve done. It’s our fault. I predicted this would happen,” Ecclestone told Reuters.
“They had no intention of racing in Australia. Zero. They couldn’t have raced if someone had gone there with a machine gun and put it to their head.
“It was impossible. So they had no intention. We’ll have to see now. And they will have to pay their way to get there and get out of there,” he added.
Meanwhile, their non-participation could have wider implications. Although the FIA deemed their explanation reasonable enough not to warrant punishment, Ecclestone may see it differently.
As each team is allowed to miss three events during the length of their contract, if deemed not to have taken part, it would be Manor’s fourth missed race which could see their £34 million ($50m) prize money withdrawn.
However, it’s unclear whether their presence in the paddock with two cars which passed scrutineering is enough to be deemed participants in the race weekend.