Former FIA President Max Mosley says he would have kept Bernie Ecclestone as CEO of the Formula 1 Group, questioning Liberty Media’s decision to oust the 86-year-old.
Having completed the takeover of F1 in January, Liberty Media appointed Chase Carey to lead the sport, ending Ecclestone’s near 40-year-old tenure.
The decision has met with mixed response. While some felt F1 needed fresh blood and new thinking, others believe that Ecclestone’s knowledge of inner working of the sport shouldn’t have been undermined.
Mosley, who has been a strong ally of Ecclestone, is part of the latter group, as he told Reuters: "If it had been me in the case of Liberty, I’d have kept Bernie on to do the things that he’s superbly good at - such as dealing with the promoters and the organisers and all that side of it.”
"But of course they bought a business and are fully entitled to come in and think they can run the whole business better and we’ll just have to see what happens," he added.
Liberty Media has hired former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn to lead the sporting aspects of the sport, with ex-ESPN man Sean Bratches tasked with the commercial matters.
Both Brawn and Bratches will report to Carey, who has stated his intention of turning grands prix into Super Bowl-style events by adding a number of attractions around a race weekend.
But Mosley, who stepped down from the FIA in 2009, appeared sceptical of the approach and warned against major changes in the sport.
"I think that’s easy to say, it’s not quite clear to me what that means. But the Super Bowl...is that so wonderful? I don’t want to be unkind, but Americans always think they can do everything better than anybody else. And they’re not always right as a lot of recent history shows,” he said.
"You’ve always got to be careful, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’’ he added. “But they are fully aware of that," said Mosley.
"They (Liberty) are serious business people. Whether they can deal with everything better than they could have dealt with it using Bernie for the things he’s good at, and then doing the things that they know about, is an open question. We shall see."
by Rachit Thukral