VANISHING MERCS: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone denies putting a blackout on dominating team Mercedes during th3 2015 Japanese GP. Image: Twitter
Tokyo - Bernie Ecclestone has denied he manipulated the coverage of the 2015 Japanese GP to exclude Mercedes.
The silver cars, finishing first and second at Suzuka after the Singapore slump, were shown for just five of the 90 broadcasted minutes of the official race coverage.
Bosses Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda admitted they noticed the discrepancy, and suggestions elsewhere noted that Ferrari was also not prominently featured on the so-called 'world feed'.
Lauda vowed to meet in London with F1 supremo Ecclestone this week to ask about the Mercedes 'blackout', amid rumours the automaker was being punished for refusing to supply engines to Red Bull next year.
Ecclestone told Germany's Die Welt newspaper: "There was no manipulation. A few weeks ago we talked about the directing of the races and came to the conclusion that the midfield should be shown more often.
Ecclestone said: "To just show the leading cars is boring, but we're also doing it to better support the midfield teams.
"Lauda and Wolff know about these considerations and will understand. The directors in Japan maybe went a bit far with it, but I did not intervene."