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Ex-FIA president Mosley would have kept Ecclestone in charge of F1

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Former FIA president Max Mosley believes that Liberty Media should have kept Bernie Ecclestone in charge of Formula 1 following its acquisition of the sport.

Liberty completed its takeover of F1 two weeks ago, with American executive Chase Carey replacing Ecclestone as CEO.

Carey will run the sport alongside commercial chief Sean Bratches and sporting manager Ross Brawn, while Ecclestone has been given the honorary position of chairman emeritus.

Mosley ran F1 alongside Ecclestone during his time as FIA president between 1993 and 2009, and believes that Liberty has made a mistake by not keeping the 86-year-old at the helm.

“I think it may be quite difficult [for Liberty]. I think what [Ecclestone] was brilliant at was dealing with the promoters and the organizers and the whole structure of the championship,” Mosley told ITV News.

“For somebody new to come in without all the personal relationships it may be difficult. If it had been me I’d have kept him on doing the things that he’s demonstrably very good at and concentrated my efforts on doing the things that up to now have not been done, like interactive television, virtual reality, social media, the internet and all the rest of it.

“All of that’s been slightly neglected in Formula 1 and that’s the sort of thing that Liberty will probably be very good at.”

Mosley was quick to praise Liberty’s decision to make Brawn F1’s new sporting managing director, saying the ex-Ferrari and Mercedes team boss will be of huge value to the sport’s new owner.

“Ross completely understands the sport and he understands what needs to be done and he’s got an absolutely first class analytical brain,” Mosley said.

“I think he’ll be an enormous asset to them and that [sporting] side isn’t really what Liberty should be doing. Ross is outstanding so they made a good choice there.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.