Zak Brown has paid tribute to Bernie Ecclestone, feeling the former Chief Executive Officer of Formula 1 has made an incredible contribution to the sport, as the F1 Supremo finds himself in a new role following the take over by the Liberty Media Corporation.
Ecclestone has found himself in the new role of Chairman Emeritus following Liberty’s takeover, with Chase Carey taking his CEO role, but Brown, Executive Director of the McLaren Technology Group, believes Formula 1 would not be where it is without Ecclestone influence.
“Formula 1 wouldn’t be the international sporting power-house that it is today without the truly enormous contribution made over the past half-century by Bernie Ecclestone,” said Brown on Motorsport.com. “Indeed, I can’t think of a single other person who has had anything like as much influence on building a global sport as he has.
“Bernie will be a very hard act to follow, but he’s created a fantastic springboard from which Chase Carey and his Liberty Media colleagues will be able to take Formula 1 forward and make it even bigger and even better. And we at McLaren will be eager to help them – indeed we already enjoy great relationships with the Liberty Media principals and we’re looking forward to working very closely with them.”
Brown believes that Liberty Media will help Formula 1 become a more fan-friendly sport, and that over the next few years, fans will be able to get a more interactive experience.
“How will ‘bigger and better’ manifest itself? I think the clue is in the words ‘liberty’ and ‘media’,” said Brown. “Over the next decade I expect the way Formula 1 is run will become both freer and more fan-friendly, and as such we can expect to see new generations of Formula 1 devotees recruited and delighted via the proactive embracing of digital and social media, gaming etc.
“Fan engagement is where it’s at these days, and it’s clear that the Liberty Media guys get that.
“But, as I say, today is a day on which we should all pay tribute to a remarkable visionary entrepreneur called Bernie Ecclestone, and to say thank you to him too.”