Steiner: F1 on a solid platform to growth from under Liberty

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Formula 1 is on a solid platform from which to grow under new owner Liberty Media, according to Haas team chief Günther Steiner.

Liberty Media completed its planned acquisition of F1 last week, with chairman Chase Carey becoming the sport’s new CEO following Bernie Ecclestone’s resignation.

Liberty has appointed dedicated managing directors for F1’s sporting and commercial arms, with widespread changes expected to follow in the coming years.

Ecclestone enjoyed a 40-year reign at the helm of F1, leaving an indelible mark on the sport that Steiner believes cannot be underestimated.

“F1 would not exist like it is now without Bernie; I think we wouldn’t be sitting here without him. We have to give the guy a lot of respect for that,” Steiner said.

“Without him, we will miss a character, but we move on. There is always something after everything. I hope the new shareholders will do a good job, as good or better as Bernie, we hope. If they do as good a job as Bernie, it will be a good sport for a long time to come.

“I think Formula 1 has got a good future, but I think everyone who ever works in F1 is thankful to Bernie for what he did to take us to where we are now.”

Steiner was positive when discussing the plans that Carey and his colleagues may have for F1, but warned against making too many changes to the existing setup.

“Chase Carey gave an interview recently to one of the big channels in the States, and he gave a taste of what he wants to do,” Steiner said.

“I don’t think there was anything [that made me go] ‘wow, I didn’t think of that one’. They just want to get better and use technology more in the media world as well, and maybe put a budget cap on.

“But we all know there are long-term contracts with the teams that cannot be changed tomorrow. FOM owns the rights to the promoting of the sport, but not to rule it: that’s the FIA.

“I think in F1 there is good governance, a very solid governance how it is ruled. So somebody can’t come in and turn it completely around in two weeks.

“I think that’s a good thing to keep it stable. It’s a very solid platform to do this.”