As Formula One edges into the new season next weekend in Australia, it will be the first Grand Prix in the modern era without Bernie Ecclestone, the former Chief Executive of the sport.
The former ‘dictator’ of Formula One was asked to stand down earlier this year by Liberty Medias Chase Carey, who has taken over his role as Chief Executive although is now flanked by two other directors to help him – Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches.
Talking to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Ecclestone stated that he was disappointed that he was asked to move aside, “I was a little disappointed because I was asked before they took over, would I stay here for three years if they took over and I said, provided I was fit and competent, yes, I would.”
He has also been sidelined by the new team, “I can’t do anything. Even the staff have been told they shouldn’t talk to me. They want to get rid of the Bernie era: ‘Let’s get rid of Bernie’s history’.”
There is one thing he has been asked to do, to try and save the Brazilian Grand Prix. Currently the only race in South America, the Brazilian race has held a long history in the sport and could be seen as one of the ‘must haves’ on the calendar. Talking to Sky Sports News, Ecclestone said, “The only thing Chase has asked me to do, as he knows I’m going to Brazil this weekend, is to chat to the president to see if he will put some money into the race in Brazil.
“Otherwise it’s possible we are going to lose that race, which I wouldn’t like to do as I put it there 45-odd years ago and it’s a good race,”