Bernie Ecclestone has hit back at claims that Mercedes received a lack of TV coverage in Japan on his order.
Lewis Hamilton led home another Merc 1-2 at Suzuka on Sunday, but viewers barely saw any footage of the front-runners and it led to some people suggesting the team were being punished by Ecclestone after they refused to supply Red Bull with engines.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda admitted after the race that he wants “to see Bernie next week and ask him what is the reason”, but he conceded that “Bernie is not upset with us about the engine, that’s for sure”.
Formula 1 supremo Ecclestone has since cleared things up as he has revealed it was a collective decision to give midfield teams more coverage.
“We talked about TV coverage a few weeks ago and came to the conclusion that midfield runners should be shown more often,” he told Germany’s Die Welt.
“Focusing exclusively on the leading cars is boring, but we’re also doing it to help support the midfield teams. And both Toto and Niki know these considerations and understand them. There was no manipulation.”