Liberty Media: Bernie Ecclestone to Blame for F1 Calendar Issues

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Bernie Ecclestone

With Mexico joining the ‘Doubtful F1 Future’ club, Liberty Media have now addressed the issue. As it turns out, Liberty pinned the blame on predecessor Bernie Ecclestone for the ongoing issues with the calendar.

Other than Mexico, the likes of Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain have unknown futures. This is because, finances have been playing a huge role in their inability to host a Formula One race.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei called out former boss Ecclestone for creating some of these problems.

“Bernie had done a very good job, arguably too good a job, and had drained the promoters,” Maffei claimed at a conference at Deutsche Bank.

“And we got a lot of blow back, partly because we’re public now and they can see the prices, and also partly because Bernie suggested to a lot of them that they were overpaying. That didn’t help the cause.”

“Exacerbating that are governments trying to pull back subsidies, in Mexico, other places – Spain. So that creates some challenges.”

F1
Liberty Media and F1

Maffei then highlighted Liberty’s current agenda for the future of the F1 calendar. One item on the list includes the option of bringing racing back to Africa.

“We remain working on Miami, but there are obstacles to a lot of that,” he confessed.

“We’ve looked at other alternatives in the US, including Las Vegas. We’ve looked at other alternatives in Africa. We’re trying to solidify some of the western European races and bring those in.”

Finally, he explained, “You’re always trying to balance both solidifying where you are strong, or core, which is historically western Europe, and then adding other things, like expansion to Vietnam, potentially a second race in China, potentially a race in Africa.”

“We’re not yet prepared to announce any, but there’s a careful mix or blend of where you want to grow and where you want to solidify.”

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone walks in the Mercedes team garage during the third practice session of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix in Montreal