Teams welcome ‘experts’ replacing Ecclestone

Wed, 25 January 2017, 08:35

Jan.25 (GMM) Top teams were looking confidently into F1’s future this week, following news of Bernie Ecclestone’s departure as CEO.

Publicly, almost every influential figure in the sport was on the one hand applauding the 86-year-old Briton’s contribution to F1 whilst welcoming the new Liberty Media era.

“Bernie made a global show out of nothing, made many people rich including us, but we are also aware of the problem areas,” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

Now, everyone is wondering what will happen next. New managing director Ross Brawn spoke about keeping endangered races, and possibly getting rid of ‘artificial’ DRS overtaking.

“Is that (DRS) really what the fans want to see?” Brawn wondered.

“They want entertainment, they want to see close racing, they want to be able to understand what’s going on,” he added.

Also on the table are budget caps, the end to Ferrari’s $100 million bonus, and up to 25 races per year, but Marko said: “Technically, everything is contractually regulated until 2020.

“But I think there is a lot that can be done in the short term. The sport must be more open. This year is only the beginning,” he added.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told Germany’s DPA news agency that this week’s announcements marked “The end of one era and the beginning of a new one”.

And he welcomed the arrival of new F1 chiefs Carey, Brawn and Sean Bratches.

“They are experts in their fields,” said Wolff. “Ross knows formula one exactly, Sean knows everything about the commercial side, so this is all good news for us.

“Chase is responsible for formula one, but he has directors for sport and commercial affairs and I think this is a good setup. Ross’s role shows that he (Carey) is looking for competence in areas where he lacks experience.”

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