Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has taken aim at the sport's revolting drivers by comparing them to "windbags".
Last week, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, led by Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, took the step of writing an open letter in which they blasted the "obsolete" and "ill-structured" governance of the sport.
But speaking on the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone issued his own retort, claiming they were put up to the outburst by their teams.
Asked if the drivers were "windbags", Ecclestone replied: "Some of them". Pressed on which drivers he was referring to, the 85-year-old said: "The ones that are".
Ecclestone continued: "They [the drivers] can say what they like can't they? They can't do anything. They can give an opinion. Everyone has got an opinion.
"So really their discussion is with their team and the team has got a voice. They are only saying what the team have told them to say."