Bernie Ecclestone bites back after F1 chairman Chase Carey accuses him of stunting the sport's growth

Carey accused Ecclestone of failing to implement a long-term plan and hurting the sport

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The Independent Online

Bernie Ecclestone has hit back after he was accused by new Formula One chairman Chase Carey of stunting the sport’s growth in the final years of his four-decade reign.

On Thursday, Carey claimed Ecclestone’s failure to develop and implement a long-term vision had left the sport behind its major rivals.

“There are an array of things that weren't done that needed to be done,” Carey told the Press Association in an interview that marked his 100th day in his new role. 

“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.”

Ecclestone wasted no time in refuting Carey’s suggestions, instead defending his term as Chief Executive of the sport.

“The only reason I have ever said no to anything is (if) I thought it wasn't a very good thing to do or it didn't produce any income,” Ecclestone said on Friday.

Eccelstone ran the sport for over four decades (Getty)

“This business about a short-term focus is the only thing that I am a little bit envious that Chase has got and I never had.

“I was running the company as a chief executive to make profits and make the value of the company worth a lot more because the major shareholder, CVC Capital Partners, wanted to sell.

“I had to make sure we could get the maximum financially we could for the company to make it interesting for somebody to buy which is obviously what happened."

Ecclestone was also accused of Carey of running the sport in a ‘divide and conquer’ fashion.

“Bernie's style was divide and conquer - to keep everything very close - but we want it to be a spirit of partnership in that we compete on the track,” the American businessman commented.

But Ecclestone described the claim as “nonsense”.

Carey is not a fan of Ecclestone's management style (Getty)

He added: “As for this nonsense about divide and conquer. There was a story a long, long time ago that I used to make sure the teams didn't all get together so they could gang up and me. 

“That is an old story because we were more friendly with the teams in the last 15 years than they were with each other.

“The bottom line is that we will have to see whether the new owners are right or not. Maybe they were trying to achieve something different to what I tried to achieve. Maybe they are looking for something different.

“Maybe there are things I missed and maybe they will come up with things and hopefully it moves forward.

“I don't want to see something I spent 40 years of my life, actually more than 40 years, building up and spending most of my life doing to be dumped. I would be delighted to say it is doing fantastic, and I was part of that.”