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2015-03-29 14:01

ANGRY BERNIE: Bernie Ecclestone regrets allowing Manor Marussia to return to F1 after the team has missed both races of the 2015 season so far. Image: AP / Darron Cummings

SEPANG, Malaysia - Manor appears to have lost the backing of Bernie Ecclestone, the most powerful man in Formula 1.

The F1 supremo was furious with the former Marussia team after Australia, claiming it travelled to the 2015 opener with no intention of running its cars.

Ecclestone, 84, responded by docking Manor one nineteenth of its official prize-money haul, and sending the Yorkshire-based outfit a bill for air freight.

Now, he has launched a scathing attack on Justin King, the former Sainsbury's chief who is now the chairman at Manor under new ownership.

SCATHING ATTACK

Earlier, King was named as a potential successor to Ecclestone. However, Ecclestone seemed to rule that out, suggesting King's stewardship could not even allow Manor to fire its engines in Melbourne, let alone race.

Ecclestone told The Independent newspaper: "This shows you what that Justin King is. King is the genius businessman. The guy that was going to do all these things."

"It's bloody disgusting, to be honest with you," Ecclestone was quoted by business journalists Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid, "They never had anything (in Australia) which could let them run."

He admits he regrets letting Manor return so that it can collect over $50-million in official prize-money in 2015, distributed by Ecclestone, the chief executive of F1's commercial rights holder.

"We should have chopped them off when we found out that they were insolvent," said Ecclestone.

"The trouble is that they went into administration, and when they get themselves out of administration, they are back as if nothing has ever happened.  I have never heard anything so mad but that is how it is."

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