F1 Boss Carey says Ecclestone’s short-term focus hampered the sport


Bernie Ecclestone - Abu Dhabi GP 2016 - Yas Marina Circuit. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

New CEO of F1 Chase Carey has criticised former man in charge Bernie Ecclestone, for holding back the sport across the last few years.

Carey believes the sport would be a much bigger entity and far more popular had the Brit not been allowed to invoke his short-sighted opinions and stop-gap solutions upon the flagging brand.

Speaking in an interview with the Press Association recently, the American spoke about how Ecclestone’s refusal to move with the times, allowed the sport to stagnate.

“I want to be saying ‘yes’ to a whole lot more. What is the value of having an idea if the answer to everything you want to do is ‘no’? All it does is create frustration.

“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.

“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.”

Carey also believes that Ecclestone’s lack of long-term vision was one of the key reasons behind F1’s fall from grace. The American feels that within any business, it is important to have a clear strategy in place so that you know where you are going to be in say three years’ time, with everyone aware of what you are working towards, if you are to be successful.

Short-term fixes will not solve potential issues if you have not planned for the future, and it is too much of this kind of philosophy that has halted F1’s progress thus far.

Carey will not fall into the same trap as Ecclestone however, which is why Liberty Media called on the services of Sean Bratches, to look after Commercial Operations and Ross Brawn as Director of Motorsport.

The American believes they are the perfect team to develop a vision for F1 over the next five years, that will hopefully see the sport flourish and finally operate to its full potential.

“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.

“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.”