Bernie Ecclestone 'deposed' as chief executive of Formula One

The 86-year-old has claimed in an interview with German publication Auto, Motor and Sport that he is no longer running the sport

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The Independent Online

Formula One is set to enter a new era after after American company Liberty Media completed its £6billion purchase of the sport which ends Bernie Ecclestone's four-decade reign in charge.

Chase Carey, who was already installed as the sport's chairman, replaces Ecclestone as chief executive officer.

Ecclestone, 86, has been handed the role of chairman emeritus, and will be available as a source to the new board, but he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of Formula One for the first time since the 1970s.

"I'm proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with," Ecclestone said.

"I'm very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport."

Ecclestone had stated earlier on Monday that he had been stepped down.

In an interview with German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Ecclestone said: "I was deposed today. This is official, I do not run the company any more."

And after completing the deal, Liberty Media, which is now expected to usher in a new dawn for the sport, paid tribute to the departing chief executive.

"I would like to recognise and thank Bernie for his leadership over the decades," Carey, also the vice chairman of 21st Century Fox, said.

"The sport is what it is today because of him and the talented team of executives he has led, and he will always be part of the F1 family.

"Bernie's role as chairman emeritus befits his tremendous contribution to the sport and I am grateful for his continued insight and guidance as we build F1 for long-term success and the enjoyment of all those involved."

I was deposed today. This is official, I do not run the company any more.
Bernie Ecclestone

Greg Maffei, President and CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, added: "I'd like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who becomes chairman emeritus, for his tremendous success in building this remarkable global sport."

When Liberty bought an 18.7 per cent stake from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in September, Ecclestone said the prospective new owners wanted him to stay on as chief executive for three years.

But the diminutive and sometime controversial Briton has been moved aside in a radical shake-up of the sport.

Ross Brawn, the British technical mastermind behind Michael Schumacher's record seven world championships and Jenson Button's 2009 title triumph, returns to the sport as managing director. Sean Bratches, formerly of ESPN, takes on the leading commercial role.

"It's fantastic to be returning to the world of Formula One," Brawn, the former Mercedes team boss, said in a second statement released on Monday.

"I've enjoyed consulting with Liberty Media these last few months and I'm looking forward to working with Chase, Sean and the rest of the Formula One team to help the evolution of the sport.

"We have an almost unprecedented opportunity to work together with the teams and promoters for a better F1 for them and, most importantly, for the fans."

Carey added: "I am delighted to welcome Ross back to Formula One. In his 40 years in the sport, he's brought his magic touch to every team with which he has worked, has almost unparalleled technical knowledge, experience and relationships, and I have already benefited greatly from his advice and expertise."

PA

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