The fourth week of 2017 was a tumultuous one for Formula 1 as Liberty Media ushered in a new era for the sport by taking control of the sport and at the same time shoving long time dictator Bernie Ecclestone out of the door.
Of course the main soundbites were from the sport’s new owners and the chiefs they have put at the helm, as well as reaction from the big hitters. But as always there were a few other choice quotes that deserve to be noted.
Here are a selection of the best quotes from week four – 21 January to 28 January:
Bernie Ecclestone: “I was deposed today. I’ve gone. That’s official. I am not running the company anymore. My position has been taken over by Chase Carey.”
Some more from Bernie: “I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with. I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”
Final bit on that from Bernie: “I have built the championship over the last near 50 years, which is something I am proud of, and the last thing I want is to see it damaged,
Greg Maffei: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of F1 and that Chase will lead this business as CEO. There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this. I’d like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who becomes Chairman Emeritus, for his tremendous success in building this remarkable global sport.”
Chase Carey: “I am excited to be taking on the additional role of CEO. F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities. I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime.”
Carey on his sporting boss: “I am delighted to welcome Ross [Brawn] back to Formula 1. In his 40 years in the sport, he’s brought his magic touch to every team with which he has worked, has almost unparalleled technical knowledge, experience and relationships, and I have already benefitted greatly from his advice and expertise.
Carey on his commercial chief: “I am thrilled Sean [Bratches] is joining Formula 1. Sean was a driving force in building ESPN into one of the world’s leading sports franchises. His expertise and experience in sales, marketing, digital media, and distribution will be invaluable as we grow Formula 1.
Carey on Bernie: “Bernie has run this business the majority of his adult life. When he’s run it for the period he’s run it I certainly understand that the change is going to be difficult for him and create challenges for him. Bernie has run it relatively alone. There is a team there, certainly give them credit for what they’ve done to help.”
Carey on the eay he thinks: “I usually think about three things and in this order of priority: fans, growth and money.”
One more from Carey: “We would like to add a destination race in the U.S. in a location like New York, L.A., Miami, Las Vegas.”
A final one from big boss Carey: “I am running the show.”
Ross Brawn: “It’s fantastic to be returning to the world of Formula One. We have an almost unprecedented opportunity to work together with the teams and promoters for a better F1 for them and, most importantly, for the fans.”
Brawn on small F1 teams: “We need to find solutions where the small teams can stand on their own two feet and put up a good challenge to the hierarchy of Formula 1 and stand on their own two feet commercially.”
More from Brawn and teams: “We all know the analogy of Leicester City — that would be the ideal in F1, when a good team on a great year with a great driver could really mount a challenge. But at the moment that’s not really possible,”
Brawn and F1 gimmicks: “I’m not a great fan of DRS if I’m honest. It artificially solved a problem that we didn’t want to tackle head on. It doesn’t have the quality or merit of a full-on overtaking manoeuvre, the fact that you can press a button and get past almost means we never see those full-on.”
Sean Bratches: “We are going to polish it, we are going to elevate it. It is going to be really central to what we do. That will allow us to enter new market places. It will allow us to take out of the market place what we should on the commercial side from sponsors, from rights holders, to promoters.”
Jean Todt: “As Formula One’s governing body, the FIA would like to welcome the new CEO, Chase Carey and his entire team to the Championship. The whole FIA organisation is looking forward to working closely together, with the common goal of improving and growing the sport further with the support of the highly recognised skills of Liberty Media Corporation in the media and sport domains.”
Jean on Bernie: “The FIA wishes to thank the outgoing CEO of the Formula One Group, Bernie Ecclestone for more than 40 years of dedication to the FIA Formula One World Championship and as a member of both the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council.”
Toto Wolff: “I think we need to acknowledge that Formula One is a technical sport, so it will always polarise. There are people who will say that they hate it and others will say that they love it. That is okay. But one thing is for sure – we shouldn’t make it a beta test. We mustn’t talk the sport down, as it is not broken.
Wolff on Bernie: “We must pay tribute to Bernie. It’s quite amazing, being 40 years at the helm of a sport. He spotted the opportunity that Formula One had the potential to become what it is today. He had the vision and he built an empire. He has a great ability of-deal making: he just executes.”
Martin Whitmarsh: “It’s a new era but it’s been a long time coming. There comes a time in any enterprising sport where it’s time for fresh ideas and fresh views and I think Formula 1 has probably come to that point.”
Flavio Briatore: “What Formula 1 needs now is to be a drivers world championship again, not a championship for engineers. The engine development must be frozen, as we did with the normally aspirated engines. At that time, we had twelve cars within a second…”
Rob Smedley: “I’m happy to be part of the ongoing rejuvenation of Williams and I want to see it through in whatever role that is in.”
Zak Brown: “With Fernando Alonso and Stoffel we have two top drivers. Vandoorne could potentially belong at the absolute top. That’s right, I count Stoffel on the same list as Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna.”
Valtteri Bottas: “It would be very easy to allow the pressure to stress me out. But in Formula 1 I have noticed that when pressure piles up, it can become very harmful. My objectives are always very high, I myself set the bar very high, so I believe that when the pressure comes, it mostly comes from me rather than from the outside.”
Jérôme Stoll: “The return of BP and Castrol, brands with such strong heritage in motorsport, is very good news and opens new opportunities for our Formula 1 team. BP’s commitment highlights the ongoing appeal of Formula 1 to major multinational companies. We are very proud and motivated to have a technical partner and sponsor of this calibre.”
Max Verstappen: “Right now I would not accept a Ferrari offer because I’m with Red Bull and I will be loyal to those who gave me the opportunity to race in Formula 1, but never say never.”
More from Max: “My goal is to win the title, but I’ve never intended to be the youngest world champion in history.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Do you want to design my helmet for the upcoming F1 season?”