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Sorrell says Ecclestone is totally out of touch

FORMULA One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who represents commercial rights holder CVC, has been criticized by board member Martin Sorrell as being "totally out of touch with reality" over the sport's race-fixing scandal.

"First we had Hitler did good, now we have cheating is acceptable," Sorrell told British newspaper the Daily Mail today.

"Where will it end? His latest comments are yet another example, I'm afraid, of Bernie being totally out of touch with reality," added the Briton, a board member of the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Ecclestone, 78, caused a storm in July when, in an interview with The Times newspaper, he praised Adolf Hitler's ability to "get things done".

The Briton later apologized unreservedly for the comments.

Sorrell, chief executive of the world's largest advertising group WPP, criticized Ecclestone for comments he made this week after former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore was handed a lifetime ban from the sport.

Ecclestone told reporters on Thursday that the flamboyant Italian, a friend and business partner in English Championship (second division) soccer club Queen's Park Rangers, had been excessively punished and should appeal.

"In my opinion it was quite harsh on Flavio," he said.

Renault have been handed a suspended permanent ban from the sport after Brazilian Nelson Piquet was found to have crashed deliberately in last year's Singapore race to bring out the safety car and help Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso win.

The team's title sponsor ING, who had planned to quit at the end of the season, announced on Thursday that they were withdrawing immediately.


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