Formula 1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey says that Liberty Media wants to create a greater “spirit of partnership” between stakeholders in the sport, moving away from former ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone’s “divide and conquer” style.
Liberty completed its $8 billion takeover of F1 in January, ending Ecclestone’s 40-year reign when Carey took over the day-to-day running of the sport. Ecclestone was given the honorary role of ‘chairman emeritus’, and plans to attend around half of the grands prix this year.
Speaking to Press Association, Carey expressed his frustration over the opportunities missed under Ecclestone, before outlining that Liberty plans to be more proactive when making changes that focus on short-term thinking.
“There are an array of things that weren’t done that needed to be done. We felt it was a sport that for the last five or six years had really not been managed to its full potential or taken advantage of what was here,” Carey said.
“All of us make mistakes and nobody is perfect. Bernie took a business from decades ago and sold it for eight billion dollars. He deserves all the credit in the world for what he has done. But in today’s world you need to market a sport. We were not marketing the sport.
“When you have someone so identified with the sport for such a long period of time there is always going to be some degree of complexity. I will do what I think is right.
“Bernie’s style was divide and conquer, to keep everything very close, but we want it to be a spirit of partnership in that we compete on the track.
“The teams, the promoters, Formula 1 and the FIA all have a shared vision of where we want the sport to go and building it in a way that is healthy for everybody.”
Carey went on to stress Liberty’s focus on short-term changes, hinting that some alterations could take place at the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend.
“It has been three months and we have been very clear that one of the things the sport has not been served well by is a continued short-term focus, and what we are going to do next week,” Carey said.
“We care more about where the sport is going to be three years from now than three months from now. Bernie was always very focused on the short term, and our focus is on building long-term value.
“Some of the decisions that were made needed to have a better process to think through. The current engine, for example, ended up being too complicated, too expensive, and lost some of the sound that added to the mystique of the sport.
“We will do things and some things take time. You are not going to have a new engine in two months because if you tried to do that you are going to do more harm than good.
“We want to make sure we have the tools to manage the business as opposed to throwing things out there so somebody has a media story.”