Dec 10

Wolff: F1 misses Ecclestone’s hand grenades

“12 months ago Bernie was around”

2016-06-09_0387Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Formula 1 misses “the odd hand grenade flying through the paddock” in reference to Bernie Ecclestone’s management style in the sport before Liberty Media’s takeover.

Ecclestone was dethroned at the Formula One Group after 40 years in charge when Liberty purchased the commercial rights to the sport at the start of 2017 and was replaced by a three-man line-up of ex-Ferrari head Ross Brawn as managing director (sporting), Sean Bratches as managing director (commercial) and Chase Carey as Chairman and Chief Executive. Ecclestone was named as Chairman Emeritus but hasn’t relished the role as an honorary member with little power.

The former chief as still attendance a handful of F1 races this year but has only appeared in the background to avoid the media spotlight taken up by the new US owners. Ecclestone has been seen in multiple private meetings with F1 team bosses throughout the season, including Mercedes chief Wolff, who says certain elements of Ecclestone’s management style the sport misses but accepts the new era and methods.

“12 months ago Bernie was around,” Wolff said in Abu Dhabi. “We miss the odd hand grenade flying through the paddock, but this is new times and what we need to do is support the new owners and the management to grow Formula 1. I wouldn’t want to predict what will be in 12 months from now.

“There are quite some things that have been kicked off, some good, some less so to us, but most importantly we are all stakeholders of this fantastic sport and coming back in 12 months I would like to wish that this sport is growing in audiences and growing in fan appeal.”

Since F1’s takeover by Liberty the Formula One Group has been listed on the New York stock exchange NASDAQ as a tracking stock under the title FWONK. New commercial and sporting options have been assessed by the new management over the 2017 F1 season with Liberty expected to reveal its long-term vision for the sport to teams and key stakeholders this month.

source: crash.net