Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that he isn’t welcome at Grands Prix anymore. He said that Liberty Media, the sport’s new owners don’t want him attending Grand Prix events in 2018. Officially, Ecclestone is still the ‘F1 chairman, But the new management prefers his absence. Bernie Ecclestone unwanted at any 2018 GP venue seems unheard of to longtime followers.
The Englishman said, “I have the feeling that my successors do not want to see me at the track anymore. It is important that the teams market themselves, and that the promoters promote their event. If FOM competes as a third party, that’s only confusing. I would have scrapped this [hybrid] engine, it was a disaster from the date on which it was introduced. But two years ago I told the teams they could keep the damn engine if they increase the fuel flow and the fuel load.”
He also disapproves of their proposals for engine development after 2020. He admitted that he didn’t like Liberty’s approach of investing heavily in marketing the sport. Ecclestone’s sentiments on Liberty’s proposals have been echoed by Ferrari. Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne even threatened to pull the team out of F1 on multiple occasions. Ecclestone is of the opinion that Ferrari are serious about their threat.
Bernie continued, “Sergio can live without Formula 1. He is only interested in the business. If Marchionne doesn’t like what he sees, he will stop. I’m afraid that Ferrari can live without F1, but not vice versa. The Ferrari against Mercedes duel mobilised the fans. [In the past] I actually apologised to the promoters. They paid for the old Formula 1 and all they got was Mercedes winning. Now, they’re getting value for money again. [Ferrari] were smart enough to look at the other teams and bring on board good people.”