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Carey: Lack of growth prompted change in F1 leadership

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Recently-appointed Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey says that the series’ failure to grow to its full potential in recent years led to the decision to change its management structure, as announced on Monday.

Former CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year stint at the helm of the sport came to an end on Monday night when he tendered his resignation, moving aside for Carey to become CEO. Ecclestone has been given the role of ‘chairman emeritus’.

Carey’s arrival comes following the completion of Liberty Media’s acquisition of F1 in a deal worth more than $8 billion.

Liberty announced on Monday that Carey would be joined by ex-ESPN marketing chief Sean Bratches and former Ferrari and Benetton technical boss Ross Brawn, creating a triumvirate to run F1.

“We looked at the business, and felt over the past four to five years the business and sport had not grown to its full potential,” Carey told Sky Sports on Tuesday.

“We needed to put a new organization in place to be able to grow the sport in today’s world in the way it needs to grow, and in some ways work with the partners we have in the business to make sure we can make the sport everything it can and should be for its fans.

“Both Sean and Ross will have critically important roles in developing the sport overall. Ross brings decades-long experience of incredible success in the sport.

“From Ross’s perspective, what we want to do is make sure we make the sport on the track everything it can and should be; make it as exciting as possible for the fans, as energizing as it can be for its fans.

“It’s a great sport today. It’s got drivers that are iconic stars. It has cars that combine power and technology in a way that truly amazes people and a brand that has fans around the world.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).