Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Finali Mondiali, Mugello, 2013

Ecclestone and Montezemolo return to F1 board

2014 F1 season

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Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Finali Mondiali, Mugello, 2013CVC Capital Partners, the majority owners of Formula One, have announced Bernie Ecclestone has rejoined the board having stepped down from the position in January.

Ecclestone relinquished his directorship prior to his trial on bribery charges in Munich earlier this year. In August he paid a £59 million settlement which brought an end to the proceedings, which lasted for four months.

CVC also confirmed Ecclestone will continue to serve as CEO of the Formula One Group.

The private equity company has confirmed two further additions to the F1 board. Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo will return as a non-executive director, effective from the start of next year. Montezemolo, who stepped down as Ferrari chairman in September after 23 years in the role, had previously occupied the role as Ferrari’s representative.

Paul Walsh, the former CEO of drinks giant Diageo who was previously rumoured as a potential successor to Ecclestone, has also been named a non-executive director. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe remains the chairman of the board.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 72 comments on “Ecclestone and Montezemolo return to F1 board”

    1. Liam McShane (@)
      18th December 2014, 16:36

      Terrible news.

      1. Yeah pretty depressing. I read “relinquished his dictatorship” the first time…

        1. Honestly speaking, I did the same. This may not be coincidence.

          1. I did too! Seriously A Freudian slip/read.

        2. Comment of the day IMO @kelsier. Yes, I admit I read the same.

        3. Yep, me too @kelsier, wishful reading I guess.

        4. I was wondering if I was the only one :D

        5. @kelsier I didn’t know it said “directorship” until I saw your comment and i had to look at the article again

      2. Jobs for the boys….

        Can’t stand Ecclestone or Montezemolo. Both of them are dinosaurs that are overdue extinction from F1.

        1. If they brought back Mosley and Flavio, then you’d have yourself a nice dinosaur exhibit!

          1. @tim-m, your flippant response sent a chill down my spine due to the knowledge that the chairmans position is still open due to ill health, could Max be resurrected as the saviour ?

            1. @hohum, I very seriously hope not.

    2. Ecclestone relinquished his directorship prior to his trial on bribery charges in Munich earlier this year

      Ecclestone may or may not hold directorship, but he always holds his dictatorship over F1.

      Also I think by placing both Montezemolo and Walsh the seemingly rich but brainless CVC could evaluate among them whom to replace Mr. E (to be clear not as in Formula E) when he is inside a coffin.

    3. The bunny in me says ‘Marchionne thrashed Montezemolo in Ferrari; now it’s time for Montezemolo to thrash Marchionne in Formula One’

        1. Sergio Marchionne, head of FIAT (Ferrari’s parent company) – the guy who ousted Montezemelo.

          1. Sorry, can’t keep up.

    4. If F1 goes back to noisy fuel burners then the sport will be finished. The Mr E doesn’t care about young viewers because he cares nothing about the future (not surprising as he has such a small personal stake in it now).

      The hybrid engines keep Renault, Mercedes and Honda interested if they go then it will be a Ferrari formula desperately plugging away to the increasingly bizarre detached world of the Super-Rich.

      In terms of mass market then Formula-E is where it is going, at the moment it has lots of shortfalls, but it has a growing army of sponsors and manufacturers who frankly do not want to be associated anymore with F1.

      1. If they go back on the engines, which they are doing simply because Ferrari and RBR are getting hammered, then I’m out of here. Just that simple for me. Mercedes earned this: Either catch up or shut up. I don’t care which. But I’m not going to support a sport where they let two teams politically buy their way back into contention.

        1. @daved, surely you can’t buy your way back into contention ?

          1. @hohum
            I consider the fact that this “Strategy Group” was allowed to essentially buy the rights to shut the FIA out of control and to run roughshod over the smaller teams truly makes them a cartel.
            Now Bernie, along with Ferrari and RBR are using internal politics of that cartel to force rule changes that will either push Mercedes back out of the sport or force them to give their engine tech to competitors.
            It’s like watching criminals in a bad movie maneuver to control trade.

            1. Agreed, but actually I was having a dig at Bernies re-instatment to the board. :)

            2. @hohum
              yes, I realized you were doing a tongue in cheek there but I had already replied. I’m afraid these boys are getting me too emotional to think clearly …and enjoy a good chuckle.
              :)

            3. @daved, I know that feeling all to well.

        2. How in the flip are they supposed to catch up when they’re not allowed to develop and implement those developments throughout the year??? How entertaining is it as a fan knowing that whichever team has the advantage at the start of the year can’t be overtaken because nobody can make engine improvements? It’s ludicrous. Especially since these engines are new!

          1. That is simply a matter of relaxing the rules to allow more engine development. ..and more cost. Mercedes has so far been blocking this change which is what all this mess is TRULY about anyway.
            RBR and Ferrari are essentially trying to force Mercedes into agreeing to that change…or else.

          2. Everybody has the same chance to do it right the 1st. time or catch up at the end of the season for next year. 2015 MB will not have anything like the advantage they had this year, there is a limit to how much power can be extracted from a gram of fuel and given the comprehensive design rules it will be very hard for any team to maintain a significant advantage.

      2. How on earth did you manage to put young viewers and the current lawn mower engines in the same sentence as being the same thing? Are you trying to say the young people care more about f1 cars that have the same engine configuration as the car their granny drives? Low fuel mileage small engine with electric motor.

        If yes then you are simply trying to present your own opinion as fact. If you want to say young f1 fans truly care about the current engines more than about v8s, v10s or v12s then you need to show some proof for this opinion. Which you do not have. Yeah, young people have really been flocking to the f1 races this season with these new obese cars and lawn mower engines! Somebody bar the gates, we are already full said no track owner ever.

        F1 will keep going. Just because people who are not interested about racing want racing cars to be “green” doesn’t mean we should do it. And just because f1 is doing it doesn’t mean it is good for f1. Teams and manufacturers like merc and renault are not interested about f1. They want to go racing as cheaply as possible and if telling children stories to your investors and board members about road relevance and being green allows them to have F1 team then they will do just that. They don’t care one iota about the technology in F1. They just want to be in F1 because simply being there is good for them commercially.

        1. I can’t tell who you’re directing your comment to???

        2. “They don’t care one iota about the technology in F1. They just want to be in F1 because simply being there is good for them commercially.” Where is your eveidence for that or is that your opinion?
          I am sorry but if you want to talk down to a young viewer at least play at your own game.
          I think he has a very valid point, the world is moving on, i can show you examples from healthcare all the way to motorsport and engineering. And yes I am 54, which one might consider old.
          Whether you like it or not GREEN is the future.

        3. Well, the BBC have been reporting that viewing figures for this season, having tanked in 2013, have been rising throughout this season, whilst a number of circuits towards the latter end of this year were reporting strong attendance figures (Interlagos, for example, were approaching the sort of sales figures they had back in 2008).

          If anything, I think that the younger fans are more likely to be driven off by the ranting from bitter older fans who are demanding that the sport must pander to them, rather than try appealing to a different generation…

        4. +1 socksolid. Hooray for younger viewers but it’s the middle aged ones who have the most disposable income.

          I believe F1 took a serious nose dive with the “must have green” show. Racing has never been about the environment, political correctness or other such. The “proboscis” era is simply embarrassing. Easily the worst- and goofiest- looking racing cars. Ever.

          We dilute the sport when it has any other objective than to go fast and put on a great show with real characters. The sound track also really matters. You wouldn’t catch me dead at a Formula E race.

          Frankly, F1 continues to wander ever more deeply into the land of irrelevance. For me, it’s gone downhill steadily after Aarton passed away but the Schumacher and Vettel era’s were interesting if only to see how long they could keep winning. I’m truly caring less and less each year.

          MotoGP and WEC on the other hand..

          1. Easily the worst- and goofiest- looking racing cars. Ever.

            I think the horrid looking things we had Pre-2009 with those stupid winglets, flaps, horns & dumbo ear wings looks far goofier & looked far worse than what we had in F1 this year.

            1. Not to mention that the aesthetically challenged proboscis is not intended to be “green” it is intended to be “safe”.

            2. The dumbo ear wings were weird, I’ll grant you that looked like a flying nun hat. And yes of course the “proboscis” look is for safety, not green.

              The proboscis era, for me, takes the ugly cake all the way home. Just…wow.

          2. “Easily the worst- and goofiest- looking racing cars. Ever.”
            That’s a fantastically efficient way of you saying you don’t remember what X-wings, nose winglets or shark fins looked like, I’m impressed @internetguy !
            I’m also enjoying a little chuckle at your criticism of green technology and lack of sound, then going on to praise WEC…

            1. Oh sonny, chill a bit. I’ve been around this sport since the early 80’s. Would you say that F1 or WEC racing is more interesting these days?

            2. @internetguy Get on my level kid, I’ve been watching since the 1860’s and I remember the good old days of horse-drawn carriages!
              Being serious, I do prefer F1 to WEC, but I can definitely see the appeal in endurance racing. There’s no need to turn this into a competition between the series though – one is at its core different to the other, they’re not really comparable.

          3. Aside from the fact they aren’t wide enough, the cars look great. I don’t agree at all.

            I’ve followed F1 since 1991 and I’d much rather have these cars than harking back ‘to the good old days’.

            Formula 1 needs to look forwards. It might not quite get the direction right, but going backwards (see ‘artificial sparks’) has never been a good business model.

          4. You think the Vettel and Schumacher era’s were great? When it was patently boring and obvious who would win nearly every race and every championship?

            Sorry, but you lost most of us right there. You may not realize it, but you’re in the minority.

        5. ” Please Daddy, what is a V12 ” ?
          ” Well son, it was a popular aeroplane engine configuation in the early part of the last century”.

    5. Is there are any persons involved with F1 that know less about F1 in the 21st century than these two, then please tell me, my knowledge must be incomplete.

    6. Just another show of the Cronyism that is F1. Bernie will make engine regulation changes to benefit BOTH RBR & Ferrari. I LOVE F1 and enjoy watching it. I REALLY enjoyed watching this year as Merc was SO far ahead of everyone it’s ridiculous! I say catch up or GET OUT! But BE and his cronies take a lot of the fun out of it for me. His ARROGANCE in how he “EXTORTS” money out of teams and Countries of F1 in order to benefit BERNIE, really takes away some of the glamour of F1.

      Formula E is going to be a fun series to watch, IF and I mean IF it can gain a TRUE foothold over the next couple years.

      1. A HUGE +1 from me on this comment.

    7. Its just getting worse every day – not expecting any good news soon from those guys.

    8. Recall that some at CVC wanted to replace Ecclestone regardless of the outcome of the bribery case:

      http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jul/03/formula-one-owners-sell-stake-bernie-ecclestone

      1. But they’ve proven they don’t have the stones to actually do it. Sad.

    9. While Bernie should be long gone, I’m not upset about Luca coming back. He fought Ferrari’s corner pretty well. Perhaps he can do as well here.

    10. Although I think F1 always has to move forward and develop new technologies, I actually think there is little doubt that the cars these days are less attractive, slower and over-complicated. This together with the fact that the races are not necessarily about pace but about how drivers can save fuel and get the best out of the tyres serves to detract from the spectacle.

      I think the article below by Karun Chandok is an interesting viewpoint:
      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/116805/

      I appreciate we cannot just turn the clock back but the racing has to be the most important thing, not issues like trying to save the environment. It’s motor sport for goodness sake. However, another problem is that is it’s all getting way too expensive so the technology needs to be competitive and affordable.
      I think the reason the viewing figures picked up this year is because the dominance of one team and moreover one driver, came to an end and the fact that Mercedes, to their credit, did let their drivers fight for the championship.

      1. Overcomplicated and expensive are not new adjectives for F1, think BRM H 16 , from before the days of vast TV and tobacco sponsorship revenues.

      2. People keep talking about how expensive it is with the new engines. What they don’t realize is that it’s been like that for a while but Max Mosley had forced through some rules that set a limit on what the manufacturers could charge capped at $10Million. These costs had to be heavily subsidized by the manufacturer who spread the cost as “R&D” across their entire line up. Most of the manufacturers have admitted that it cost twice that much to actually support the customer teams.

        With Mosley gone and the new generation of engines, they’ve been allowed to charge whatever they want and you see that the cost have doubled. Approximately what the REAL costs were before.

        And anyone who thinks they can force the manufacturers to to start all over again and write off the costs of the current generation is smoking something bad and they need to stop. This is a political ploy to force Mercedes out of the sport or else make them share technology. If they win multiple championships between now and 2020, then they get more money and power in the F1 structure Ferrari and Christian Horner would rather see the whole circus fold before allowing that.

        http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6318/engine-formulas-and-hidden-agendas/

        1. @daved, Looking for a positive on the unsubsidised cost of engines I came up with the thought that a $35mil pa return might tempt some independents into the engine market, maybe Williams with their knowledge of F1 and energy recovery systems could team up with somebody like Bombardier to provide the ICE and other technology from companies in their conglomerate.
          This sort of union would of course depend on the rule remaining stable and F1 not being further pushed towards showbiz at the expense of technology.

          1. @hohum
            That’s a good point. A friend of mine used to be one of the lead guys at Cosworth and has his own operation in the Midlands now. I need to call him and see if he, or companies like his, would be willing to take a leap of faith and hope F1 would stay the course if they got into the game. Will be interesting to see what his take on all this is as he still does some work for the current manufacturers as an independent contractor.

            1. @daved @hohum Caterham and especially Marussia badly needed a Cosworth engine this year. They have a blueprint, but no money to make it…. there’s been the longstanding rumour that Red Bull could buy them and make their own engines, but they seem to be persevering with the Renault as the works team.

      3. The thing is, once you correct for inflation, a budget of £70 million a year in 1997 would be closer to £120 million a year today, or the thick end of $190-200 million – and that is purely what Williams spent on chassis development, since Renault were the ones underwriting the cost of the engines.

        When you consider that a budget of that magnitude would put you on a similar footing to McLaren – who, unlike Williams in 1997, do have to pay for their engines – it underlines that, although Karun sells that as a “low cost” formula, it isn’t quite as cheap as he seems to think it is.

    11. Oh joy, more sway for Ferrari :|

    12. Only two things will survive next nuclear world war. Cockroaches and Bernie.

      1. I Flavio would somehow slime through it as well.

        1. I *think* Flavio would…

          1. @timi-m, you just popped my thought bubble of Flav in sandals and a toga with a laurel garland on his head.

            1. @tim-m @ho-hum
              You guys realize that Flavio and cockroach are redundant?
              :)

            2. Sorry, added a dash to @hohum thanks to autocorrect on my phone. LOL

    13. Vettel-Ecclestone-Montzemolo-Todt-Arrivabene

      Ferrari chips are on the raise !!!!!

      1. Vettel-Ecclestone-Montezemelo-Todt-Arrivaderce.

    14. Reports in Telegraph and Guardian the Bernie is being sued by German Bank BayernLB.

    15. I still love (and hate) the fact that Bernie got off a Bribery charge by paying a Bribe, it boggles the mind.

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