Liberty chief slams Azerbaijan race

Wed, 15 March 2017, 07:35

Mar.15 (GMM) A dark cloud has moved above the future of Azerbaijan’s grand prix.

Under ousted F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s leadership, a street circuit in the historic capital Baku made its debut on the calendar last year.

The Azerbaijan race is back for 2017, but it is now under fire from Greg Maffei, the chief executive of the sport’s new owners Liberty Media.

He criticised the way Ecclestone used to select races for the calendar, saying that strategy was to say “‘How much can I extract? How much upfront?

“So we end up with races in places like Azerbaijan where they paid us a big race fee but it does nothing to build the long-term brand and health of the business,” Maffei is quoted by Forbes’ F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

“Our job is to find partners that pay us well but also help us to build the product,” he added.

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