Carey: Ecclestone regime didn’t ‘fix’ issues

Jamie Woodhouse
Bernie Ecclestone would delay the new Formula 1 rules for three years.

Bernie Ecclestone would delay the new Formula 1 rules for three years.

Formula 1 boss Chase Carey has criticised the previous regime under Bernie Ecclestone, saying it just “complained” and didn’t “fix” issues.

Carey took over the CEO role in the Formula One Group after Liberty Media completed their purchase of the series in January 2017, replacing Ecclestone.

Since taking over Carey has overseen a shift in attitude with F1 looking to expand its global reach, embrace new technologies, but also reduce the costs of competing – something which the new regulations for 2021 will look to address through the introduction of a budget cap.

Ecclestone regularly stated his dissatisfaction over the V6 turbo-hybrid engines which came in to F1 from 2014, but Carey thinks there were a lot of cost-related issues which weren’t dealt with correctly under the previous regime.

Speaking to Autosport, he said: “There were things that the sport needed to get on top of that it hasn’t.

“I do think the issue with things like costs got to a place that should have been dealt with before.

“I think the sport probably did not organise itself.

“I’ve talked about the hybrid engine and the incredible technology involved in it, and yet the years preceding us mostly was all people crapping on it as opposed to saying: ‘This is the most efficient engine, it’s an incredible piece of technology,’ and it was really a step for the sport to deal with an important issue.”

The Vietnam and Dutch GPs will join the Formula 1 calendar this year while a race in Saudi Arabia down the line looks likely as the series continues to expand into new markets around the world.

Carey says that demand for races now outweighs the supply with the promoter side of the business being an area that needed major work – he believes the previous ownership just “complained” and didn’t “fix” issues.

“There were questions about the promoter side of our business, and I think the strength of that has been indicated and been a real positive,” he explained.

“I think the strength is first and foremost just demand, realistically. We have the good fortune of having a lot more demand than supply for races.

“We want to be selective and we want long-term partnerships, but that has been a positive.

“I think it is a sign of the interest in the sport, the interest that is there that wasn’t being tapped into because the sport wasn’t doing things that you need it to do.

“The sport had gotten a little too critical of itself, as I said, crapping on the engines, Bernie saying I wouldn’t buy a ticket.

“It’s complaining, not fixing.

“There were problems, but there wasn’t enough action to address the problems, like the costs.

“People complained about it, but they weren’t doing anything about it.

“Usually in life, if you’ve got issues, you fix them.”

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