Ecclestone reveals scant contact with new F1 bosses

By Alan Baldwin
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks on before the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest, Hungary July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh/Files

By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone returned to the Formula One paddock on Friday, for the first time since he was ousted in January, and revealed how little involvement he has had with the new management.

The 86-year-old, who ran Formula One for decades, said he had yet to meet the sport's new commercial manager Sean Bratches.

"Never met Sean, I met (motorsport manager) Ross (Brawn) for 10 minutes this year and I knew Ross from the past obviously and I feel sorry for (chairman) Chase (Carey) being thrown in the deep end," the 86-year-old told reporters at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Carey, who is also at the Bahrain race, was not immediately available for comment.

Brawn is a Formula One veteran -- a former technical director at Ferrari, principal of Honda's team and winning the 2009 world championship with his own Brawn outfit before selling to Mercedes, where he was also the boss.

He and Bratches attended the season-opening race in Australia.

Ecclestone was appointed 'chairman emeritus', a job with no defined role, after being moved away from the helm and replaced by Carey.

Formula One Management has moved out of its old headquarters into new premises away from Ecclestone.

Asked whether he was acting as a consultant to them, he replied that "they’ve never asked me anything" although he had spoken to Carey earlier on Friday as well as several times in recent weeks.

"I’m busier now than I have been in the past, with the same sort of things. I’m still busy," added the Briton, who spent time on Friday talking to Red Bull principal Christian Horner and Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)