Ecclestone: Carey said I hadn’t done a good job recently

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: In his first interview since being replaced in charge of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone claims new CEO Chase Carey felt he hadn’t done well for the business over the last three years.

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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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57 comments on “Ecclestone: Carey said I hadn’t done a good job recently”

  1. Yeah, Bernie. You hadn’t done a good job. Far from it, actually. Your approach only hurt the sport.

    1. I think his own words show perfectly what was wrong with his work. The singular focus of extracting as much cash as possible from the sport.

      1. And also that he viewed F1 as a business that should return maximum profits to its shareholders, and not as a sport that should deliver maximum entertainment to its viewers.

        For example, getting unloved venues to pay such exorbitant fees that the profits don’t rely as heavily on having anybody turn up is a great move for a business but a terrible move for a sport, and the same for restricting viewers to a smaller but more profitable audience with pay TV.

  2. Naughty McLaren. When Honda improves and Rb snatches their engines, I won’t be sorry for McLaren.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      18th March 2017, 7:19

      How can you not be sorry for them after all the pain Honda have put them through? They are desperate and at rock bottom, they’ve certainly given Honda plenty of opportunity to prove themselves.

      1. @rdotquestionmark, I suppose it could be argued that at least some of the problems of the team have been self inflicted.

        It was Ron who drove the team towards a partnership with Honda, and it was Ron who insisted that Honda should enter the sport earlier than they had intended to because he wanted to buy back Mercedes’s shares in an effort to strengthen his position within the team (given the friction with Ojjeh and Mumtalakat).

        Some of the problems with earlier iterations of the engine were linked to McLaren’s requests to downsize components in an effort to gain aerodynamic benefits from tighter packaging, and it has to be said that McLaren have had some flaws on their side as well (the 2016 chassis wasn’t as great as McLaren made it out to be).

        Even now, it has to be said that not all of the mechanical issues which the team experienced in the pre-season tests were down to Honda alone. Although the focus has mainly been on Honda, at least two of the failures that forced them to stop early were down to failures caused by McLaren’s own components (a gearbox fault during the first test and a wiring harness failure during the second test).

        Now, that is not to say that Honda’s performance is flawed, because it most certainly it – however, it is to say that McLaren’s performance hasn’t been quite as flawless as they have made it out to be over the years.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          18th March 2017, 9:27

          Interesting points. I always find it amazing that this whole situation was born out of Whitmarsh’s decision to allow Brawn GP to have Mercedes engines.

          1. @rdotquestionmark
            For want of a nail….

          2. Ironically you could argue that its down to Honda quitting F1 forcing Brawn to ask for Mercedes engines. It changed the course of history thats for sure

          3. Ironically you could argue that that was caused by Honda quitting forcing Brawn to ask for Mercedes engines. He duly got them and that single decision has changed the course of recent history of F1. It shows how crazy this sport can be and how important timing can be

        2. I thought the wiring harness issues were suspect too until it came out that they were being caused by excess vibrations from the engine. I’m with you in the sense that I don’t think that McLaren have the chassis to compete at the front, but they’d certainly be in the midfield and possibly towards the front of it with any other engine.

  3. @keithcollantine you make me Feel really old. Can’t believe its been 20 years since ten years ago already.

  4. Ecclestone talking about money and then, in the next news entry, Manor’s demise.

    I see what you did there, @keithcollantine

    1. ‘…the point you never get, Bernie, is that you were supposed to be there running F1 for the
      benifit of F1, it’s teams, it’s fans, it’s popularity. But in reality you were running F1 purely
      as a profit generator for a tiny group of already very rich people…..and Chase Carey had
      the appalling temerity to tell you what a lousy job you were doing….’

      1. @loen: So Spot on. And its not only the last 3 years Bernie has been doing this.

  5. “Mercedes finger holes to help F1 2017 starts”

    Oh my… I need to get my head out of the gutter!

    1. Lol 😂

    2. I read that line at least 10 times. Oh my …

  6. In the Bernie article he states that he thought he did a good job, and that CVC thought the same thing. But he bases that on making alot of money. Yes to an investment company that would be considered a good job, but thats only one aspect of what he should base whether or not he did indeed do a good job overall. I would say that overall in recent years, he hasn’t done that great of a job of actually improving the sport, he just lined his and CVC’s pockets.

    1. I would argue that he may have done well financially for CVC, but a large factor in that is the relatively low cost at which they entered the investment. Ecclestone’s recent work has clearly harmed the potential for further revenue growth in the sport for the new owners, which is exactly why he hasn’t been retained, even if you stay in a context of financial management.

      Profit generation at all costs works great for exiting owners, but even for private equity firms it’s very important to have quality operations to accompany that income stream.

    2. Which, to be completely fair, was his job. Making CVC (and himself in the process) richer. Now, had he been given the task of making Formula One more popular, would he have been successful? I guess there’s no answer for that.

      1. @casjo His “job” was to direct promotion of the F1 brand and to manage TV rights acquisitions and financial distribution amongst the teams as well as FOG.

        Making lots of money and making F1 more popular aren’t mutually exclusive. Bernie’s focus became gaining MAXIMUM profit, not “lots of money”, and that’s what led to the abandonment of his other responsibilites, and ultimately, his job.

        1. Precisely Ninjenius !

          If you have an intimate knowledge of a hugely and internationally popular sport
          as Ecclestone always had, and you have manipulated the control of that colossal
          money making enterprise so that the revenue is entirely unregulated in any normal
          sense, you eventually have to respect the need for continual regeneration of
          the driving forces ( ie, the teams and the fan-base ) so that regeneration is
          virtually automatic.

          Ecclestone, for whatever reasons he cares not to admit, failed absolutely to read
          the critical signs of unfairness, of lack of balance, of the huge effects of international
          economic conditions. Narrow greed came to dominate all his plans and interest.

          A pitiful epitaph.

    3. Short term versus long term. I can sell a rotten potato for a lot of profit. Once or maybe twice. But my store will soon be empty and out of business.

      1. Spot on. In the end it’s quite clear that Bernie was only a secondhand car salesman all along.

  7. I remember in 2009 Brawn GP arrived at the second test missing first with a Mercedes engine, it started topping the timesheets right of the first lap. Diffuser sagas aside people said that they were doing it to attract sponsors on a plain white car.

    Well the rest is history . I mean Sometimes testing results do give some clues for the season to come. Although I must admit Ferrari looked good too many times in the past in the tests that it is somehow hard to believe what we see. One more week. We know !!!! Same time next week.

    1. @tmax
      Agree but there is some sort of difference between past to now in terms of Ferrari approach
      In the past they usually do big statements and promises almost every year you hear we are going to win world championship with this car and this season with the exception might be 2015 but compared to now even 2015 they said they will try to win races.
      Until Today no team member never spoke about their prospects of what their plans is and what are their targets, when ever they are asked they just said we are doing our job we don’t know where we stand in terms of rest of grid ,Mercedes is still the challengers to win and benchmark of formula 1. They might have been the same old Ferrari who won World Preseason Championship many times in past since 2009 but their approach is Different to past , Lets hope we see the difference on race tracks and their challenger really challenge the Front runners on pace for first time in 9 years of time.

      1. yes I do really hope that they do well this time around.

        Otherwise “As we say every year….one more year of this dominance and I am out” only to come back the next year after the Winter starves us of F1 !!!!

  8. Mrs Wolff was also fined £500 and ordered to pay £345 costs and a £15 victim surcharge

    So that’s £860 for 5mph over the limit? I can hear Clarkson laughing already.

    1. The first 500 must be for “outscoring” her license, next 345 for appealing and then losing, and the last 15 just for the sake of it.

    2. Jeremy would be aghast that someone, who races as a career, should be forced to pay £860 because they were “a tiny bit over the limit”. The reality is the chances of dying in a crash double with every 10 km/h above the posted speed limit, so the chances of dying at 35 mph were almost twice that of 30 mph.
      Regardless, the most important point I see is she never denied the claim by the police that she was doing 5 mph above the posted speed limit, which is much different from what can happen to others. I think the integrity of the police is fundamental in this situation, and there wasn’t any evidence the claim by the police was flawed.

    3. A British speeding incident has a default penalty of 3 points (the same as driving with a broken headlight or other standard-issue driving offence). It can be reduced to 0 points if it is a minor violation and the police or courts believe a speed awareness course will help avoid a recurrence (usually, this is done for first-time offenders for whom lack of awareness was a plausible reason for their breaking the speed limit – so not offered to people who were doing it because they were doing street races, being drunk or anything like that). The speed awareness course is typically around the same amount as the speeding fine would have been, once travel to and from the venue is taken into account, but it doesn’t go on any sort of criminal record and job candidates who have been on one can legally tell an employer that their driving record is clean (assuming they have no other offences on record).

      It is possible to get an increased number of points for a single offence if the amount of excess speed is too high, and indeed Susie may have done so at some point, because she had only 2 previous offences and 2 * 3 does not equal 9 points. If I remember rightly, 96 mph is an automatic disqualification, regardless of other circumstances, and the automatic disqualification limit is lower if the speed limit is lower. A 6-point speeding offence would be more likely if, for example, one did 41 mph in a 30 mph zone, rather than 35 mph. Alternatively, Susie may have a non-speeding offence in there – if she was once caught with a broken headlight or something, that would also explain the 3-point discrepancy.

    4. Where I live, anything up to 5mph over the limit is considered grounds for a warning (except in school and construction zones), rather than a ticket. Granted, Mrs. Wolff had a number of other tickets, or she wouldn’t have gone over the points limit, but this still seems fairly draconian.

  9. Unusual COTD

    1. They’re excited! I am too! I think that’s why it’s COTD despite being from a fanatic.

      1. Yeah, I can see (and feel) the same excitement. But I just don’t see Max ‘thrashing’ Daniel. I can only see an epic fight. Hence I found COTD slightly odd.

    2. Plenty of people seem to indulge in frequent Maxturbation

      They can’t help it

      1. @dimsim I don’t think that’ll catch on quite like “teflonso” or “crashtor maldonado”, but it certainly made me chuckle.

        1. Evil Homer (@)
          18th March 2017, 11:53

          Yep- if that was COTD then I am Brad Pitt. (Keith are you a fan boy too haha :)
          If Max thrashes Dan this year I will do a shoey, eat my boot, then walk to the moon LOL

          The kids a great talent no one doubts that, but Dan is no slough potatoe is he- GO DAN!!

    3. Hehe! It was I that wrote the COTD and I agree that I was being over-enthusiastic! Danny Boy really is no slow couch. But when I think about what Verstappen managed in his races so far, I am thrilled to think how he may develop this year!! Let’s have more drivers like him and let’s get rid of some the less-inspiring ones (I won’t name names; I don’t want to fight you all too much!).

      Peace, Bro’s!

  10. The article on Bernie really highlights why he isn’t capable of heading Formula 1 anymore. Bernie measured his success over the past 3 years in revenues generated, but completely over shadowed the other performance indicators of his business.

    Bernie should have been measuring his business by the growth rate of viewership, increased viewer engagement levels and increased interest from other car manufacturers to enter Formula 1. What Bernie fails to highlight is the dropping viewership, and the fact that 3 major car manufacturers have left the sport over the past decade (BMW, Toyota, Honda). It’s a clear case of prioritising short terms gains against sustainable growth.

    Bernie’s business acumen didn’t evolve much since the 1980s. If he was paying attention to the recent multi billion dollar valuations of several companies that haven’t started generating substantial revenues yet, he would have realised that he would be better off sacrificing revenues from race hosting fees and broadcast licenses, to increase the viewership and race attendance.

    Honestly, I think Liberty ousting Bernie is the only way they can try and turn the sport around. They have the 21st century mindset of running a sustainable business with a long term vision, which is something Bernie didn’t have.

    1. @todfod Call me cynical but the 21st century is becoming increasingly synonymous with short term profitability, considering how quickly the world is moving these days and how most people’s attention spans stretch no longer than the length of their arms.

      Other than that I completely agree with what you said! Great comment. I’m cautiously optimistic about Liberty. You only have to go as far as the Formula 1 YouTube channel to realise they’re already having a positive impact on the sport’s public engagement.

  11. Is Will Buxton seriously suggesting some Mercedes people helped Ferrari improve their engine?
    Is he also seriously suggesting the new Ferrari is a James Allison design when Allison left in the spring?
    Is he also seriously suggesting a fundamental flaw in the Mercedes engine?
    Also, he says all the insiders put Ferrari as the best car. But all the Sky pundits (granted, biased) put Mercedes first, as have magazine writers. Is that a case of English bias for them or wishful thinking for Mr. Buxton?
    It’s an intriguing article which gets me very excited but raises a lot of eyebrows.

    1. Very odd indeed @hahostolze

      Even when talking off the record why would anyone change their PR speech? They know he is a reporter and would share those ideas…

      Either way I think there are reasons to be excited, but I expect the Mercs will be the cars to beat

  12. Lol 35 in 30 zone… and she gets a driving ban?

    What kind of extremist country is this UK she lives in.

    I am quite certain she was fully in control of the vehicle while doing 35 much more so than normal people doing 29… Judge should.. apply some common sense.

    I feel for her.

    Here in free country of Slovenia, police applies common sense before judge ever sees the case.

    1. @jureo Did you read the article? She already had nine points on her license for two previous speeding offences. Presumably she got another three for this one, which equals 12 which means goodbye license. So the ban was because according to the article she keeps doing this. When she reached nine points it was like being on her last warning.

    2. She did it several times in a relatively short time period @jureo. That is how a points limited works. She was already quite a few points down before another case of speeding.

    3. In 2015 there were 120 road deaths in Slovenia (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 5.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2015.

  13. What were the guys that run McLaren’s twitter thinking when they came up with that image?

    When RB had this sort of beuaviour everybody said that they were trying to force Renault to terminate their contract…

  14. Yeah, feels like it’s been 20 years… :(

  15. People can say what they like about Bernie but as someone who has been very luck to have travelled the world and attended over 50 F1 races most on the good seats in Paddock Club I would ask what other sport in the world hosts such a wonderful event than Bernie did with F1

    I was in Austin last year and Bernie was having breakfast on the table next to us and when he was leaving he walked over and asked how was the event
    What billionaire does that!
    Not only did he ask if we enjoyed it he asked what could they do to make it better

    I for one think he will be missed sadly in this day and age it’s easier to focus on the negatives than giving some praise for what the man has done for this sport most of us love

    Enjoy your life Bernie I for one will miss you.

    1. What billionaire does that!


      One that thinks there’s more money to be made in catering to the elites rather than achieving mass appeal.

      1. Thanks for proving my point on focusing on the negatives

    2. You lack a certain humility which might allow you to empathize with the plebs.

    3. @Clem I think the main point here is that he had to ask you what they could do to make F1 better…as in…he doesn’t have a clue;)

      Totally kidding of course. Your point is well taken but from all I’ve read virtually all F1 insiders do respect and appreciate all that BE has done for F1 over the years, and armchair enthusiasts such as ourselves can’t possibly feel that from our vantage point, so it’s easy to make flippant comments, and of course some of those are warranted based on things he has said.

  16. Don’t think so ,post was about Bernie IMHO. I think he was not all bad for F1
    Anyway let’s hope the new owners can do a good job and improves the sport for everyone

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