Top Gear’s James May says the sacking of co-presenter Jeremy Clarkson was ‘a tragedy’ and wouldn’t comment on his future on the show apart from saying: ‘The three of us are very much a package’.

James told the BBC: “It’s a tragedy. I’m sorry that what ought to have been a small incident, sorted out easily, turned into something big. I don’t want to say any more than that, I’ve only found in the last few minutes and if you’ll excuse me I have to write an eBay listing for my Ferrari.”

The BBC announced today it wasn’t renewing Clarkson’s contract after he ‘crossed a line’ in his physical and verbal attack on Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.

Asked if the decision was fair, May said: “It’s probably within the law and [the BBC’s] hands were tied.”

In a statement via his agent, May added: “James was disappointed to hear that the BBC will not be renewing Jeremy’s contract, however understands that it will have been a difficult deliberation all round and respects the decision.

“As to the future of Top Gear, it existed before its current format and will no doubt continue to do so. James’s involvement in that future requires much thought, deliberation and conversation between many people, and at this moment further speculation on that is not useful.”