Liberty Media Takes Over F1; Ecclestone Out

Bernie Ecclestone [Photo by Vladmir Rys Photography/Getty Images]

Bernie Ecclestone [Photo by Vladmir Rys Photography/Getty Images]

There once was a familiar saying in life that mentions “Not everything last forever.”

In the case of Bernie Ecclestone, this statement was catered to him as on Monday, the head of Formula one finally had his 40-year reign in the sport come to an end, as Liberty Media took full control of the sport, with American Chase Carey replacing the 86-year-old Briton.

Ecclestone had a huge role during his time in power, heading howF1 could be modernized, and along with former head of the F.I.A., Max Mosley, transformed the hard reign of Jean-Marie Ballestre from the 1970’s into a commercial enterprise.

But as of lately, Ecclestone had been criticized how the sport could be run differently, and with the decline of fans due to high ticket costs and the introduction of hybrid engines, along with the social and internet media being overlooked for press credentials, the time might have come to sell the sport to a new buyer.

With Carey now as Chief Executive Officer, Ecclestone now is in the role of chairman emeritus, and will be available as a source to the new board, but will no longer be involved in the day to day operation of the sport.

“I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with,” Ecclestone said to ESPN F1.

“I’m very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport. I was deposed today. This is official, I do not run the company any more. My position has been taken by Chase Carey.

My new position is one of those American terms — it’s something like an honorary president. I have this title now, even though I don’t know what it means. My days in the office will be getting quieter now. Maybe I will attend a grand prix sometime in the future. I still have many friends in Formula One and I still have enough money to afford to attend a race.”

Carey, the 21st Century Fox Chairman, was installed as the new chairman when last September, Liberty took over private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. Now with the full purchase of the sport, Liberty have installed their own team to take full control of the sport by the start of the season on March 26th.

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