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Bernie Ecclestone wanted new F1 owners to give him one more year in control

The former chief executive was replaced by American Chase Carey following a takeover in January.

F1 17/03/17 19:11
Bernie Ecclestone wanted new F1 owners to give him one more year in control

Former Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he wanted to remain working in the sport but understands why he was replaced after new owners Liberty Media completed their takeover.

Ecclestone had been expected to remain in the chief executive role he filled under previous commercial rights owners CVC Capital partners but was replaced by American Chase Carey following the takeover in January.

The new owners installed Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches to control sporting and commercial matters respectively, with the 86-year-old Ecclestone instead being offered the new role of chairman emeritus.

Ross Brawn has a long history in F1 (David Davies/PA)
Ross Brawn has a long history in F1 (David Davies/PA)

Ecclestone told Sky Sports News HQ he understood why the American owners had made their decisions even if he did not agree with them.

He said: “I would have asked them to work with me for a bit, wait for a year and afterwards say, ‘Has it worked, not worked?’, ‘Not worked? Sorry, you’ll have to leave’, or whatever.

“But different people operate companies differently, obviously. I think this is very much the way American companies operate. Let’s be absolutely sensible about it: they bought the car, they wanted to drive it.”

Asked about not being asked to stay on for up to three years as expected, Ecclestone added: “Well, I think there’s been a change of heart. They wanted Chase to be chief executive. Whatever they wanted I was happy to do.

Mercedes are aiming to retain their constructors title (David Davies/PA)
Mercedes are aiming to retain their constructors title (David Davies/PA)

“I think these people have thought and said, and Chase has said, I hadn’t done a very good job in the last three years.

“I thought I had, CVC thought I had. I’d managed to produce one and a half billion dollars a year income which made their shares worth a lot of money. Maybe if I’d done a lousy job people could have bought the shares cheaper.”

Ecclestone admitted he had no idea what the role of chairman emeritus entailed.

“I’d like some rules and regulations perhaps so I know what I’m supposed to do, or not supposed to do,” he said.

“The only thing Chase has asked me to do, as he knows I’m going to Brazil this weekend, is to chat to the president to see if he will put some money into the race in Brazil. Otherwise it’s possible we are going to lose that race, which I wouldn’t like to do as I put it there 45-odd years ago and it’s a good race.”

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