Jul.9 (GMM) An Austrian government minister is investigating whether a national honour awarded to Bernie Ecclestone several years ago can be repealed.
Ten years ago, the F1 chief executive accepted the 'Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeichen fur Verdienste um die Republik Osterreich' (Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria).But in the wake of Ecclestone's controversial comments about Adolf Hitler, Austrian sports minister Norbert Darabos on Wednesday condemned the 78-year-old in the pages of the Der Standard newspaper."I was speechless. I still am," he said, recalling Ecclestone's interview with The Times newspaper."That someone in such an important position makes light of dictatorships is most troubling."Darabos said he is looking into whether Ecclestone's Austrian decoration can be removed, but with Austria no longer on the F1 calendar, it is doubtful the Briton would lose much sleep.In The Times interview in question, Ecclestone has reportedly already turned down the offer of a British CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and he "would never accept a peerage".