Ecclestone tipped for F1 exit this week

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone’s departure from Formula One could happen within a matter of days as Liberty are poised to place new figures in charge.

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Comment of the day

Last weekend’s Caption Competition was won by Justin:

“I don’t know Valtteri, Donald Trump just tweeted that you joining Mercedes is a total lie fabricated by the media.”
Justin (@Vivagilles27)

Once again we had lots of great suggestions so a big thanks to everyone who joined in and special mentions to Tom L, Hahostolze, Nick Wyatt, Schooner, JungleMartin and Alistair.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brent Foster!

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On this day in F1

Benetton launched their 1997 car, the B197, 20 years ago today. It turned out to be their final race-winning chassis.

Author information

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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70 comments on “Ecclestone tipped for F1 exit this week”

  1. What a great week it could be then! Bernie stepping down and Vettel wins ROC Nations Cup.

    Although there’s certainly no mention of the latter here, not that I’m surprised.

    1. It actually came across it by accident, good job by Vettel. It’s underneath the baku article. About Bernie, i’m going to take a wait and see approach. Liberty haven’t convinced me that they are much better.

    2. And JPM wins Champion of Champions!

    3. @sjzelli Check back later today!

    4. “What a great week that will be then” That will be the day when most of formula one problems will follow him out the door.

    5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      23rd January 2017, 9:10

      One of the best Monday mornings for a long time ☺

  2. Hard to gauge how large the Bernexit party should be until we know more details about how he is to be replaced.

    Though it is undeniable that Mr. Ecclestone has done some good for F1 in his long tenure, it certainly could be argued he overstayed a bit.

    Reasonably certain the dealmaking for races and venues will not a part of any Ross Brawn duties should he come aboard. Pretty sure he is not interested in those aspects.

    1. it certainly could be argued he overstayed a bit


    2. @bullmello
      I don’t think there should be a party at all. The whole situation reminds of of that time when Bernie’s nephew threw that ring into the flames of Mount Doom. No big celebrations back then, everybody was just relieved it was finally over.

  3. Is everyone going to take a pot shot at Trump, just to feel cool?
    The guy hardly inspires confidence, but he has just taken the office. He hasn’t done anything bad nor good yet.
    On the other hand, Obama started his presidency by bailing out Wall Street and then proceeded to commit countless war crimes and aggressions all over the globe, and yet, all of the “activists” can’t seem to see beyond nice words and fake smiles.
    At least now you have an ugly face on a government that has been ugly for decades, so it really is a good thing. Now when we look at Trump, we have a face to put to all the terrible presidents that Obama and all of those before him have been.

    1. Seriously? He is a racist piece of garbage who is controlled by Russians who have him by the financial short and curleys. He’s ripping this country apart with his CONSTANT LIES. He literally lies every time he opens his mouth and he promotes violence against minorities. You’re clearly not here living in the middle of it and feeling it so stay out of it.

      If Obama had not bailed out Wall Street, would the world economy gone completely off a cliff? Would you really want to find out? Nobody knows for sure, but it’s not something I would have played chicken with. What he SHOULD have done was prosecute all those executives who caused it. Now THAT is something I blame him for not doing.

      1. You should stop watching CNN

      2. Do you hug trees by any chance……

        1. So you really think that Trump is on the same scale of lying as an “ordinary” politician?

          No, but my wife is African-American and as we were pulling into a parking lot with the top down on my convertible, a car covered in Trump stickers drove by screaming “Trump won you NI66ER lover!”.

          Since Trump won, anyone who is not white and christian has to listen to this crap. He made this racist garbage main stream.

          1. Yeah, I know what you mean. Something like this?

      3. He literally lies every time he opens his mouth

        Umm, all politicians are like this. Why are you acting surprised now? @daved

        1. I meant to reply here rather than above…@sprint9 @beejis60 @saints

          So you really think that Trump is on the same scale of lying as an “ordinary” politician?

          No, I don’t hug trees but my wife is African-American and as we were pulling into a parking lot with the top down on my convertible, a car covered in Trump stickers drove by screaming “Trump won you NI66ER lover!”.

          Since Trump won, anyone who is not white and christian has to listen to this crap. He made this racist garbage main stream. And he will literally lie in an interview about something he said 30 seconds before….and then deny it if you show him the tape. He is ABSOLUTELY crazy and he’s gas-lighting all of us.

          If you guys are OK with all of this, then leave me alone and stop replying to me. I don’t want to talk with anyone who thinks this is acceptable behavior from the leader of a major country.

          1. @daved I’m with you. I’m in Ontario, Canada, and we are equally revolted by DT, and feel for Americans at this time. We also stand to be negatively affected by this presidency economically at least, and the racism and sexism spewing from him and his ilk is horrific and sad. I take a bit of consolation in knowing that only 28% of eligible voters actually voted for him (less than voted for Hillary) and not all of those agree with everything he says. My hope is that he will soon do or say enough to get himself impeached well before 4 years is up.

          2. Thanks for the support @robbie

            For many of us, this isn’t just a philosophical debate but rather something that actually affects us on a daily basis. His bizarre ties to Putin and his refusal to disclose his taxes and who he owes money to actually seems very strange and also seems to drive his policies. I don’t believe there is any way he makes it 4 years without and impeachment.
            His first Executive Order, signed less than an hour after he took office, was to repeal a .25% mortgage interest rate break that affects 11 million US households in the lower-middle class tax bracket, costing each of them $500/year.

            It will be interesting to see how long his support last when the base that elected him realizes that he’s just another rich guy taking care of his buddies and hurting them…which is totally at odds with his promises to them. I wonder how long it takes before they feel the pain and actually connect it to the root cause. Hopefully not more than 4 years.

        2. No, they’re not. Politicians lie, sure, but the scope and intent of the lying has to be taken into account. There has never been a politician from a mainstream party in the US who lies even remotely as often and egregiously as Trump on literally every single topic. The man is incapable of constructing a single truthful sentence.

      4. You should practice critical thinking, would be good for you

    2. @Biggsy

      Nothing bad yet? Are you on a monastic retreat with no communication with the outside world?

      Perhaps you missed the blatant lies told by Trump and his press secretary regarding the inauguration attendances? The actual inauguration numbers are really not terribly important, but it is very interesting how they have chosen to lie from day one, and doing so on something where they were bound to be found out seems comically stupid as well as dishonest. They both lied, they knew they were lying, and now we have Kellyann Conway saying they presented ‘alternative facts’.

      ‘Alternative facts’…

      That does not bode well at all for the future.

      1. Long live Trump, what a man!

    3. Here here…..

    4. The guy hardly inspires confidence, but he has just taken the office. He hasn’t done anything bad nor good yet.

      Have you heard him speak? Have you seen all the racist incidents which have flared up because of his rhetoric?

      Before he even took office, he had done a lot of bad. Time will tell how he gets on in office, but his inauguration speech (“We only care about ourselves, **** everyone else!”) doesn’t lead me to be positive.

    5. Flavio is rather boasting that he was there. Or is the potshot the fact that a guy like Briatore is welcome Biggsy?

      For all that were there, they will at least be able to say (sorry, can’t not say so, but at least know, despite saying otherwise) that they were part of quite an exclusive group of only about a quarter of a million people who came to be there!

      1. Of course Flavio was boasting. He’s very much like Trump: a weak-willed and nearly talentless egotist who lies as a matter of habit and genuinely seems to believe his own lies.

  4. Thank you Liberty! Now let’s rebuild the sport!

    1. Make Formula 1 Great Again!

  5. Evil Homer (@)
    23rd January 2017, 2:01

    Yes I do think its time for a change at the top but no denying what Bernie has done for the sport over the decades.

    That said I think in maybe the past few years he may have dropped the ball a bit and being too interested in lining his pockets. There haven’t been too many circuits over the past few years that haven’t complained about the fees charged to hold a race except maybe Monaco (as they don’t pay a hosting fee of course).

    It wasn’t long ago that BE said that Singapore was now the 2nd most important race behind Monaco………… now they don’t want the race anymore. You know things aren’t great when Silverstone are questioning if they can afford the race and I think they could easily argue for the same concessions as Monaco gets. So a fresh start at the top would be good I think.

  6. With Bernie gone, now we will see if the sport can really recover it’s growth and have FUTURE glory days.

    1. You need to read Liberty Media’s press statements, they are a business organisation and expect to make a profit from F1. In the attached article you will find phrases like “maximize revenue”, “ramp up revenue”, “increase the popularity of the sport”, “switching the television coverage from free TV to pay”.

      1. @drycrust I think one of the more worrying things, and probably not just for me, is the concept of F1 going even more toward Pay TV. However, I notice in your linked article that they also realize that going that route can have a negative effect in terms of garnering sponsors since sponsors like the mass audience that ‘free’ TV has. So they speak of a hybrid of the two. I think that’s what we are experiencing in Canada. We get the Sky coverage but it’s on our main sports channel TSN which one gets with even a basic cable or satellite assortment of channels. Oh we’re still spending upwards of $1500 annually for TV (more than just the basics) but that is for all the channels we want and not paying anything extra or separately for specific channels.

        Just another thought. They own the Atlanta Braves and so are intimate with the need for ‘free’ TV for baseball vs how massively ticked baseball fans would be if they went Pay. It just simply wouldn’t work, I surmise.

        1. @robbie I live in New Zealand and we lost F1 off Free to Air TV more than a decade ago. I’m not sure how much following F1 gets here, but I do know that it isn’t uncommon for no F1 race results to appear on the top radio station’s sports news, and usually the race results have gone by lunchtime. I’m able to follow the races because I can view them via the internet. There are two ways you can watch F1 races here. The cheap way, if you ignore the cost of your broadband, is the Pay TV provider has a website that lets you just view the main sports TV, which costs about $55 per month or $14 for a week. The more expensive way is to subscribe to the Satellite feed and view the races on your TV, and this costs in the vicinity of $1000 per year. If Liberty Media’s plans are to increase fees to watch it may become unaffordable for me.

  7. McLaren already saying there will be little progress in 2017 and next year would be a game changer.
    Every year, they say that the next year is important. Must be frustrating being Fernando Alonso.

    1. Evil Homer (@)
      23rd January 2017, 3:22

      If you were ever at a casino and Alonso was gambling you would just go opposite what he bets on and would clean up!
      I would like to see him get that 3rd WDC but its looking less and less likely.

    2. Johny Hakkinen
      23rd January 2017, 6:20

      He’s talking about new sponsor, not about the results on track. Pls read the linked article.

  8. Keith, would it be possilbe to just ignore US politics in the daily round-up?

    Of course every single armchair politician around the world has the urge to let everyone know how much better he would be as president, but I come here for F1.

    If I want to read the same old “but racism and sexism hurr durr” I can check literally ANY news site on the internet not associated with F1.

    1. Also, how come a tweet of Louise Goodman gets featured ? Just because she used the terms “F1” and “FOM”?

      I had literally no idea who Lousie Goodman, Johnboy Walton or any of the people around that table are. Other than the fact that she apparently is some sort of F1 presenter (past or present) I fail to see how that tweet is relevant to F1.

      On the other hand, RoC, where a former F1 driver in Montoya won the event on saturday, Vettel dominated the nations cup on his own on sunday and many more active and former F1 drivers competed goes completely without a mention.

      I have to say I am a bit disappointed with todays round-up.

      1. @lheela There’s a very good reason RoC was ignored here, check back on this site later today!

        1. What’s the reason? The Wehrlein crash?

        2. What’s the reason? Wehrlein’s crash?

      2. Also, how come a tweet of Louise Goodman gets featured ? Just because she used the terms “F1” and “FOM”?

        I had literally no idea who Lousie Goodman, Johnboy Walton or any of the people around that table are. Other than the fact that she apparently is some sort of F1 presenter (past or present) I fail to see how that tweet is relevant to F1.

        I doubt it was featured because she used ‘FOM’. Johnboy Walton was Louise Goodman’s husband, and a boss at Minardi at the time, who died of a heart attack back in 2004. He’d been in the sport a long time was a very well-known figure down the pit lane, and I’d imagine lot of people in F1 were impacted by his death. I was just a fan and I knew who he was, and I’d assume many others did too, the way we all know the team bosses of today.

        So while it happened a long time ago, I’d never have a problem with the occasional tweet relating to his memory being featured on here. Especially not one from his wife, who also spent a long, long time in and around F1.

        1. I imagine that it was featured because Johnboy Walton was a much loved figure in the paddock. His sudden death resulted in Minardi running this livery at the British GP, to the annoyance of quite a few of the team’s sponsors. Given the financial plight of the team at that stage and the risks that go along with annoying sponsors who are helping you keep the lights on at the factory and pay staff salaries, it was a gesture that said an awful lot about the man.

        2. For someone who does not know who he was (no disrespect, but I never heard of him before today), it’s not really obvious. If you just google the exact name from the tweet (Johnboy Walton), you get results for an actor and a darts player.

      3. This really annoys me, and I don’t annoy easily! Learn your facts, this post is important to those of us who follow F1 and have done for a long time. Lousie has done a shedload of hard work for F1 and motorsport and is much respected in her own right; never mind being the widow of John Walton, a man who had the love of virtually everyone who came across him in the paddock.

      4. @lheela You may be unfamiliar with former British ITV F1 pit reporter Louise Goodman and former Minardi man John Walton, but I can assure you that many of us are.

    2. Keith being a prime example of that armchair politician, chiming in with his one-sided, ill-informed, snark remarks as soon as he gets a chance, and even sadder, doing his best acts of hypocrisy via virtue signaling.

    3. @lheela

      Keith, would it be possilbe to just ignore US politics in the daily round-up?

      I’m not keeping a list of things people don’t want me to write about, that would be incredibly tedious and restricting. Besides which I can’t imagine there’s going to be a lot of crossover between F1 and US national politics, I think what we have today is a bit of a cluster.

      Regarding John Walton, I think others have addressed that well enough.

      1. OK there might be one more in tomorrow’s round-up.

  9. This is total fake news, I won the caption competition, I had the best caption, it had all the best words. It was the greatest caption of all time.

    1. @hahostolze


      You DID win, it is just an ‘alternative fact’!

      1. @hahostolze Haha nice one :-)

    2. Brilliant! :D


    3. Will I be accepting the outcome of the caption competition?

      1. It’s rigged…it’s all lies…trust me!!!

  10. 2018 will be a game changer when Fernando goes to Mercedes… Lol.

    Meanwhile, Bernie is about 10-15 years past his prime retirement age. Last 10 years especially F1 was in decline FOM wise.

  11. If reports of Bernie’s demise are true, Liberty would be doing the world a favour! Not sure I agree with Bernie being heralded for what he’s done for the sport. The sport is a mess under his watch, especially these last few years. Races in dodgy places, teams living hand to mouth, etc. You could argue his focus wasn’t always on the sports well being as it was enriching himself. As for being any type of marketing genius, companies are always trying to tie themselves to anything with global appeal so any competent person or group would have moved the sport in the direction he did with regards to promotion. There was nothing remarkable under his watch! He had 40 plus years to watch and poach ideas from other sport. Not cementing a foothold in the US is a head scratcher. No doubt Liberty will be looking to turn a profit themselves but they know there’s a lot to fix to bring the sport back.

  12. Bernie going has been long overdue. He’s undersold the sport. He had a goldmine on his hands and he sold out to CVC. When NFL tv rights are sold at $8 billion and F1 is sold for less says it all. F1 should be on a par with the Champions League and NFL. Bernie did a great job of wrecking what he himself built.


    A good summary of things I think. It gives me quite a lot of hope for the future.

    Frankly I will be glad to see the back of Bernie and his ridiculous financial demands on the sport. I also think the timing is critical. Given another three or four years under his management and I think the sport would be dead.

  14. I haven’t been to a race for years, which pains me. The prices are offensive. I refused to give Ecclestone and his cronies money. If there was any sign this would change I would attend races again just to show support. With Liberty having reportedly paid 8bil I’m not sure it can.

  15. Just came across this news article from the portuguese version of Autosport:
    Original report:

    It basically says that Liberty are planning to stop giving Ferrari they’re 100M$ bonus and have a more equal distribution of the prize money! Wouldn’t that be great!!

  16. BBC News 24 are also reporting Bernie is off. Silverstone safe ?

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