New chairman Chase Carey said Formula One cannot continue as a “dictatorship”, as speculation grows over the role of long-term supremo Bernie Ecclestone under the sport‘s incoming American owners.
Ecclestone has built Formula One into a global powerhouse over the past four decades but Carey said US mogul John Malone’s Liberty Media now wanted to take it to new heights.
“You cannot make everybody happy all the time, but you’ve got to understand what everybody wants and then find a path,” he told the official F1 website at the Singapore Grand Prix.
“Sure, that is not a task for a committee, as committees tend to become bureaucratic — but there also can’t be a dictatorship — even if probably here they are used to it.”
It indicates an ideological split between the mustachioed American Carey and Ecclestone, 85, who has warned he could walk away if things don’t go his way under Liberty.
Under the takeover, which values Formula One at $8 billion, flamboyant deal-maker Ecclestone remains as chief executive with Carey brought in as chairman.
The diminutive British billionaire earlier said he didn’t expect much change to his role despite the arrival of heavy-hitter Carey, vice-chairman of 21st Century Fox.
“The only thing I have to do is die and pay my tax. Short of that I don’t have to do anything,” Ecclestone told Sky Sports, when asked about how he might work with Carey.
Carey said he was a “bit too old to be an apprentice” under Ecclestone after a 30-year career in media and entertainment.
“Certainly Hollywood is a good training for dealing with unique personalities,” he joked.
“With all credit to Bernie, he’s had enormous success — the world admires Bernie for the business that he has built,” Carey added.
“But I still think that there is another level that we can take Formula One to.”
Carey said Liberty would try to develop Formula One’s penetration of the United States, the Americas and Asia, while developing the sport‘s European heartland and working hard on its digital platforms.
“Formula One is a great premium brand and that means to me that you want to be at a location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami. Ideally in the great cities in the world!” he said.
It could also signal a shift from Ecclestone’s strategies which have placed F1 races in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and Yeongam in rural South Korea. – Agence France-Presse