London, May 4 (AFP) Formula One’s new chairman Chase Carey has accused predecessor Bernie Ecclestone of failing to grow the sport adequately during his four-decade tenure.
Carey succeeded Ecclestone in January after Liberty Media’s 6.4 billion ($8.3 billion, 7.6 billion euros) takeover of F1.
While the American admires Ecclestone for building the sport into a multibillion-dollar business, he believes opportunities were missed to increase its global appeal.
“It was very much a sport that got into a habit of saying ‘no’ too much. I want to be saying ‘yes’ to a whole lot more,” Carey told Britain’s Press Association in an interview published on Thursday.
“What is the value of having an idea if the answer to everything you want to do is ‘no’? All it does is create frustration. There are an array of things that weren’t done that needed to be done.
“We felt it was a sport that for the last five or six years had really not been managed to its full potential or taken advantage of what was here.
“All of us make mistakes and nobody is perfect. Bernie took a business from decades ago and sold it for $8 billion.
He deserves all the credit in the world for what he has done.
“But in today’s world you need to market a sport. We were not marketing the sport.”
Friday marks Carey’s 100th day at the F1 helm since taking over from Ecclestone, 86.
While he has worked to increase the sport’s social media footprint, to date he has made no significant changes to the grand prix weekend format.
But Carey defended Liberty’s early record and said any changes would be introduced gradually.
“It has been three months and we have been very clear that one of the things the sport has not been served well by is a continued short-term focus,” he said.
“We care more about where the sport is going to be three years from now than three months from now. Bernie was always very focused on the short term and our focus is on building long-term value.
“We want to make sure we have the tools to manage the business as opposed to throwing things out there so somebody has a media story.” (AFP) CM
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.