Hill’s warning to F1’s new owners

Date published: January 26 2017

Damon Hill has warned Formula 1’s new owners that trying to bring the teams into line can be as difficult as “herding cats.”

Earlier this week Liberty Media completed their takeover of Formula 1 with Chase Carey installed as CEO, replacing the ousted Bernie Ecclestone.

Former F1 team boss Ross Brawn has been named managing director of motorsport while Sean Bratches is heading the commercial operations.

The trio are expected to breathe new life into Formula 1 but former driver Hill has warned that it may not be that easy.

“Typically it is very difficult, it is like herding cats in Formula 1, everyone has their own ambitions and they are very, very determined people so all the teams have been typically difficult to manage,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.

“Bernie’s argument always was that if one person rules then it is just a yes or no answer and eventually he can make a decision.

“But I think the angles to make it all work now are so diverse that we have the technical side which Ross Brawn will be involved in, then there is the sporting side, so possibly Ross again, then there is the marketing of the sport which is more Liberty and Chase Carey’s job.

“That is what Bernie was good at, he wasn’t as good at coming up with sporting regulations such as some of the qualifying formats he suggested and the sprinkler system that was suggested at one time that I think in all seriousness he thought would spice up the show.

“He’s come out with some fairly outlandish ideas in the past, but his real talent was packaging and selling what he had to the highest bidder.”

The 1996 World Champ also urged Liberty to avoid introducing gimmicks, adamant Formula 1 should be a sport about the best competing against the best.

“One of the concerns is we go down the route of too many gimmicks to try and garner support when the appeal of the sport is that it is the very best of automotive competition and the best drivers in the world competing in the most ferocious races across the world.

“So I think fundamentally the core of the sport is good.”