“I can’t do anything. Even the staff have been told they shouldn’t talk to me”
After admitting he would have preferred another year in charge of F1 before handing over to new American owners Liberty Media, Ecclestone feels he is being phased out of the sport he helped build into an international business and spectacle.
The ex-F1 supremo has been handed the honorary position of ‘chairman emeritus’ but no longer holds control of the sport, with a number of changes already being invoked by Liberty.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Ecclestone says Formula One Management staff have been encouraged not to speak to the 86-year-old since the management changes but he has no plans to go quietly.
“I can’t do anything. Even the staff have been told they shouldn’t talk to me,” Ecclestone said. “They want to get rid of the Bernie era: ‘Let’s get rid of Bernie’s history’. They always say the same thing.
“They probably think it makes me happy but it doesn’t, ‘he has done a super job and a fantastic job but we have to move on’, and they may be right. We don’t know whether they are or not. A lot of the things, I would have done if I could.”
Ecclestone says he may have done things differently during the final years of his reign as CEO but was under pressure from previous owns CVC to turn a profit for shareholders while the company looked to sell the sport.
Despite being indifferent to the ‘chairman emeritus’ title, Ecclestone is keen to keep working and plans to attend at least half of this year’s races even if that comes without the blessing of Liberty Media and new CEO Chase Carey.
“Since I’ve been out of work, I’ve been flat out,’ he said. “Lots of things. Other people’s problems. People know I’m no longer doing what I should do, so they contact me.”