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bernie ecclestonef1f12017formula oneopinion

Goodbye Bernie – “The king is dead. Long live the king.”

So the reign of Bernie the great dictator is over … or is it? 

Bernie Ecclestone, as chief executive of Formula 1, has been deposed by the sport’s new owners, Liberty, and its powerhouse leader, Chase Carey. 

Bernie is to be retitled as Chairman Emeritus an oddly disjointed title in an oddly disjointed scenario.

Chase Carey was fulsome in his praise of Bernie’s achievements, if startlingly frank in his observations  that it was time for the 86 year old dictator to head into exile.

He also said in recent years there had been many mistaken decisions pointing the finger of blame in Bernie’s direction.

So we are promised a brave new world of F1. New ideas,  new arrangements,  a new concentration on on-line media as global TV audiences have been plummeting and a greater concentration on entertainment. 

Given that the various teams and team bosses have all got very rich under Bernie’s rule, it will interesting to see if Chase Carey can corral them into making decisions that benefit the sport rather than their own pockets, personally and corporately, which has often been where the poor decisions came from.

So let’s hope the new era under someone who will probably have to become a new dictator is better than before, but pause a moment.

Let’s thank Bernie for 4 decades of F1 where his mostly benign tyranny has made a small time weekend warrior sport into a globe-spanning multi-billion pound spectacular where everyone has got rich, the racing has often been spectacular and it’s been safer than for many decades without the regular annual slaughter of the young heroes. 

Bernie has yet to say his piece, and it wouldn’t be the first time that Bernie has sold something that turned out to be ephemeral, at a price that was very real.

Graham Benge

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