F1 News: Why Was Formula 1 Chief Bernie Ecclestone Removed?

Jan 25, 2017 07:04 PM EST | BC Tabotabo

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F1 longtime chief Bernie Ecclestone was recently replaced by Chase Carey as part of the Liberty Media takeover. The $8 billion takeover makes Ecclestone Chairman Emeritus and Carey becomes the new chief executive and chairman.

Bernie Ecclestone: 4 Decades with Formula One. Ecclestone, 86, has been the big boss of Formula 1 for nearly 40 years. The former Formula 1 Chairman earlier announced that he was being forced out. He officially told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport that: "I was dismissed. This is official. I no longer run the company. My position has been taken by Chase Carey."

He was then given the position of chairman emeritus and will act as an adviser to the board. Ecclestone says that he has no idea what his new job title meant and declined to further comment.

Formula One's former head honcho began used to be the former team boss of Brabham in the 1970s. Back then, he acted as a representative for his colleagues in negotiations with television, authorities, and circuits. He slowly moved into a position of absolute power.

Ecclestone put F1 on the map. He transformed it from a relatively minor activity into a mainstream televised sporting event alongside the Olympics and the World Cup. He sold Brabham in the late 80s and moved into administration full-time.

He officially took over the ownership of Formula 1's commercial rights from the teams in the mid-90s. In 2000, he struck a deal with Max Mosley, his longtime ally and then president of the FIA. They were leased for 110 years at an "absurdly low price" of $360 million.

That deal set into motion a series of sales which led to Ecclestone being sued for bribery in Germany in 2014. The case was eventually dropped after a payment of $100 million without sentence. Subsequently, Liberty Media took over from the previous owners CVC Capital Partners.

Ecclestone's Legacy. Ecclestone made F1 into a sport that was valued at $8 billion by one of the world's biggest media groups. This was achieved by building Formula 1's exposure on TV and forcing companies to transmit entire championship footages.

The Return of Ross Brawn and Liberty Media's Take Over. Mercedes team's former big boss Ross Brawn was brought back to Formula 1. Also Ferrari's former technical director, Brawn has been appointed to lead the sporting and technical side of the racing sport.

Liberty has not yet revealed to the public the changes they plan to make to the sport. Insiders say that it plants to act on many areas where Ecclestone had failed in the past. In particular, Liberty wants to exploit digital media and invest in securing the futures of more valuable races. Additionally, they also want the sport to grow bigger in the United States.

What other changes will Liberty make to F1? And how will Formula 1 change without Ecclestone at the helm?

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