F1’s new owners, Liberty Media, have been very vocal about their action-packed plan for the sport – but have they been able to deliver?
When Liberty Media took over the reins of Formula 1 and deposed the long-standing Bernie Ecclestone, the hype refused to die down. The American media company pitched their dream of a Formula 1 for the 21st century: open, plugged-in, and ready to break into new markets.
The outcome? Well, admittingly it is far too early to tell, but LM certainly haven’t been making the progress that they would have liked. While digital distribution of the races and supplemental consumption products like apps has improved, the sport is a long way from where it could be.
Chalk it up to traditionalist operators within the sport, but Liberty Media have still got their hands full. The state of affairs track-side has improved, with the sport now offering a much more open and welcoming public-facing demeanor.
Despite the snags along the way, Liberty Media have ran into few critics over the way they’ve been handling things – except one: Bernie Ecclestone. While it should surprise no-one that the ousted Brit retains a hefty amount of salt over the way that Liberty Media handled the transition of power, he was all-too-eager to share his two cents:
They haven’t done anything yet as far as I can see.
They said they wouldn’t talk, they would act. They said I talked before doing anything. I didn’t. I got things done quietly.
All they do is talk. They said they wanted six races in America, for example. If I say I am going to whack someone next time I see them, I’d better bloody well do it.
Chase had preconceived ideas of what needed to be done. But now he’s on board, it isn’t quite as easy as he thought. So, I feel sorry for him.” – Bernie Ecclestone
We just know that Bernie couldn’t resist making such a comment. Far be it for the man to give Liberty Media another reason to keep him the cameras off him. With as many moving parts as F1 has, if you’re not helping, you’re hindering.
Maybe a track will be kind enough to gift him a little grassy knoll that he can sit upon and hurl insults from. That’ll really bring the crowds out.