Inside Line: Please Liberty Media keep Bernie out!
Christian Horner has come out and said of deposed Formula 1 dictator Bernie Ecclestone “hopefully the new owners can use him constructively and beneficially to build on the good work that’s already been done.”
Now why would they want to do that?
Bernie will only be destructive in the Liberty Media era and the old man should not even be allowed in the F1 paddock.
Okay that’s harsh… but keep him in the back seat of the limo and never, ever allow him to drive it again or even allow him to sit on the front seat.
There is no doubt that Ecclestone steered Formula 1 from a largely amateur sport, in the seventies and eighties, into the global sporting colossus that it now is and for that he should be eternally respected and even honoured.
Have a statue made of him, name some corners after him… but never allow him to make decisions that impact the sport at any level whatsoever.
He had his time, did a fantastic job we all agree but he lost his way in the past decade. The sport stagnated, did not embrace new technology, did nothing to attract new fans, while the dictator entrenched himself and became insanely wealthy.
Just about everyone in the Melbourne paddock, at the season opening Australian Grand Prix, described the atmosphere as less tense, pleasant, full of energy and hope.
In stark contrast to the austere, highly controlled and downright tense aura that prevailed the paddocks around the world during the Ecclestone era.
For example, it has now emerged that former Grand Prix drivers could not get access to the paddock! Outrageous, thanks to Ecclestone and his cronies.
Thankfully Liberty Media are shrewd enough (and Ross Brawn no fan of Mr.E) to keep the guy out of any decision making process since they received the keys to the F1 kingdom. That they ousted him so quickly I applauded at the time and continue to applaud.
The old man thought he was in it for another two year ride, but they pulled the Bernie-plug the moment the last signature – on the change of ownership contract – was dry. Bravo!
The cancer was removed before it grew into the new body. Liberty have absolutely no need for any input from the self serving autocrat that Ecclestone was.
There are many instances in history, of mankind, of men who liberated their respective countries and did a whole lot of good, but turned into nasty megalomaniacs that ended up destroying all the good work they did and taking down everything around them in their desperate bid to keep power.
Fortunately Ecclestone was ousted just before he was able to fully destroy what he built while just allowing him to retain some credit for what he achieved all those years ago.
Allowing him back into the decision making bunker will play into his well known and sinister divide-and-rule tactics that have served him so well over the ages.
For Ecclestone the time at the helm of the sport is truly over, as it should be full stop! He has made a massive fortune from the sport and therefore he is owed absolutely nothing.
But if some believe he deserves a form of accolade, then grant him a parade lap in a vintage car ahead of each grand prix, build that statue, name a corner after him and, of course, give him a couple of free tickets to his beloved Paddock Club.
In Melbourne, Horner said provocatively of Ecclestone’s absence, “How do you know he’s not still in charge?”
That he keeps harping on about the former F1 supremo smells of a misguided case of brown-nosing or sheer stupidity or a hidden agenda. Whatever the case it is ill-timed and uncalled for.
The Red Bull F1 team chief is clearly stirring the pot and there is only one question for him: What are you thinking?
Inside Line Opinion by Paul Velasco