Bernie Ecclestone is no longer at the helm of Formula 1 and for many it is good riddance including the new owners Liberty Media and the sport’s new chief Chase Carey, but the former F1 supremo warns that TV stations are edgy about the sport’s plans for new media.
In an interview with Blick, Ecclestone was asked about the ‘one-man-show’ criticism leveled at him by Carey, to which he responded, “I have to live with that. Maybe I should have changed more things. The way of the Americans is now that everything should be changed.”
“I wanted to lead the Formula One Management (FOM) as a managing director, so that there were profits for the shareholders. In the end, the shares were so high and that led to the purchase by Liberty Group.”
“[Carey] does not need me. He says he knows what he is doing. He has surrounded himself with people who also claim to know what they are doing. So… At the moment, they do things I would never do or do!”
“They use a lot of money and time on social media. I was and still am not – a fan of this kind of communication. I do not see how it can contribute to Formula 1. Apart from the fact that a lot of the TV stations are unsettled and annoyed.”
“We have contracts with these TV stations, which are very exclusive. But right now it looks like you can get things about Formula 1 without paying, free home delivery,” explained the 86 year old.
Ecclestone ruled Formula 1 solo, but now Chase heads up Formula 1 with Ross Brawn in charge of the motorsport side of the business and Sean Bratches heading up the commercial division.
Asked how he felt about the fact that a trio now do what he did alone, Ecclestone replied, “This is almost a compliment. Now this is a completely different way of thinking and working.”
Neither Casey nor Bratches have previous involvement in motorsport, let alone Formula 1, however in Brawn they have someone with vast experience with regards to the technical side of the sport.
But clearly Ecclestone does not rate him, “[Brawn] never had insight into our business. He worked as an engineer with Flavio Briatore at Benetton. Then he went to Ferrari… and I do not want to talk about how he later set-up and directed his own team. He does not have the big picture of politics and commercial processes.”