Maffei: I heard Bernie call grand prix hosts ‘the victims’


Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei has shed some light on the callous business methods used by deposed Formula 1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, during his reign at the helm of the sport.

Speaking to media, at the Deutsche Bank 2017 Media & Telecom Conference in Florida, Maffei revealed, “It’s our job to do far more to help the promoters be successful. Bernie’s attitude was: how much can I extract from them, how much up front? I heard him call them the victims.”

“So we ended up with races like Baku in Azerbaijan where they paid us a big race free but [the organiser] does nothing to build the long term brand and help the business.”

The Azerbaijan government will spend an estimated $400-million over the next nine years to host the Grand Prix in Baku.

Maffei is adamant that the new era of Formula 1 governance will see more respect given to the organisations who fund the grand prix races, while working together to promote races and increase the profile globally, aiming to add value to the investment made by F1 venues and organisers.

“Our job is to have partners who pay us well but who also help us build the product. But it’s incumbent upon us to bring best practice.”

“Some of the races which are considered the most exciting: Abu Dhabi, Singapore night race, Mexico City. What is going on well in those races? We need to share that better with promoters in each of the cities where things are less successful.”

“It is both incumbent upon us to help but it is also recognising a new one, the first thing they are going to do is say: I’m paying too much. There is some expected noise and we are working on trying to quell that and help them,” added Maffei.