Ecclestone ‘no longer feels wanted at Grand Prix races’

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Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says that the sport’s new owners don’t want him attending Grand Prix events in 2018.

Ecclestone is officially still ‘chairman emeritus’ of F1. However, he believes that the new management installed since Liberty Media’s takeover would prefer he wasn’t around.

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“I have the feeling that my successors do not want to see me at the track anymore,” he told Auto Motor und Sport this week.

Ecclestone said that he disapproves of Liberty’s approach of investing heavily in marketing the sport.

“It is important that the teams market themselves, and that the promoters promote their event,” he explained. “If FOM competes as a third party, that’s only confusing.”

He’s also no fan of their proposals for engine development after 2020.

  • Ecclestone: ‘Liberty has achieved nothing’

“I would have scrapped this [hybrid] engine, it was a disaster from the date on which it was introduced,” he admitted. “But two years ago I told the teams they could keep the damn engine if they increase the fuel flow and the fuel load.”

Liberty’s proposals have been strongly rejected by Ferrari. The manufacturer’s president Sergio Marchionne has even threatened the team could pull out of F1 if the plans go ahead. And Ecclestone doesn’t think that’s an empty threat.

“Sergio can live without Formula 1,” he said. “He is only interested in the business. If Marchionne doesn’t like what he sees, he will stop.

“I’m afraid that Ferrari can live without F1, but not vice versa,” he continued. “The Ferrari against Mercedes duel mobilised the fans.

“[In the past] I actually apologised to the promoters,” he added. “They paid for the old Formula 1 and all they got was Mercedes winning. Now, they’re getting value for money again.”

“[Ferrari] were smart enough to look at the other teams and bring on board good people.”

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