Deposed former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has voiced his concern regarding the future of Formula 1, accusing FIA president Jean Todt of neglecting the sport at the highest level and allowing the inexperience of Liberty Media to dictate the future.
In an interview with L’Equipe ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Ecclestone said, “I am worried about the future of Formula 1. Jean Todt is a very busy man, he has billions of aspects to look after and he works 24-hours a day, but he neglects Formula 1. His main project concerns road safety, but he must not lose sight of the sport.”
Ecclestone followed up with a stab at Liberty Media who ended his long tenure at the helm, “Liberty could distort and ruin Formula 1 because they have no experience. Together Jean and I wanted to evolve it for the future. Now I hope that Jean takes back the reins and takes control in the best interests of the sport – the FIA must be master of their own kingdom.”
Ferrari and Mercedes are known to be concerned with regards to the future direction Formula 1 will take under Liberty Media. The Italian team have made their feelings well known and that includes departing the sport should they be dissatisfied with how things evolve in the next few years.
Mercedes meanwhile are spreading their wings with a foray into Formula E starting next season, some speculating that this will be a prelude to an eventual dismantling of or selling the Silver Arrows team after years of dominance.
When asked about this scenario, Ecclestone replied, “Mercedes is doing an exceptional job and it would be a shame if they decided to leave the grid, it would be damaging but the key is Ferrari staying.”
“Formula E It’s a nice party where you pay little money to get into the club, but nothing more. I do not even know where to follow the races. I do not care either. It’s still very young, very far from what sport should be.”
“Formula 1 is totally another thing and I’m proud of being able to have made it a truly global and taking it all over the world.”
As for life after Formula 1, the 87-year-old revealed, “I must take care of the other things I neglected over the years. And I’m preparing for what I’ve been dreaming about for more than twenty-five years: to settle in Switzerland.”
“I always wanted to live there. But since I could not convince everyone who worked with me to move, we had to manage Formula 1 from London. Now I can get down to this task. I already have my cottage in Gstaadt. It is convenient and quiet but not far from Geneva,” added Ecclestone.
Big Question: Does Mr Todt need to get a tighter grip on Formula 1 and its future?