Site logo

Mosley: Liberty should have made use of Bernie

NEWS STORY
04/02/2017

Though his attention is now focussed on the media, Max Mosley still keeps a watching eye on the sport he helped build.

The barrister and racer who went on to help create March, which was to build race cars for numerous series including F1, became legal advisor to the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) in the late 70s. Ironically, FOCA, which was led by Bernie Ecclestone, was created to represent the commercial interests of the teams in their dealings with the FIA.

The street-fighting former second-hand car salesman Ecclestone and the urbane, Oxford educated Mosley, became a formidable partnership, seeing off the challenge of the grandee teams in the FISA-FOCA war and in time taking control of the sport, one as its supremo the other as head of its governing body.

In mid-2009, despite having previously said he would stand for a fifth term as president, the Briton opted to step down, subsequently throwing his weight behind the election of Jean Todt as his successor.

It is fair to say that between them Ecclestone and Mosley built F1 into what it is today, and despite Liberty Media's assertions that it is "ineffective" and "dysfunctional", the pair must have done something right in order for it to be one of the world's most watched annual sporting series and consequently worth $8bn of the American company's money.

Speaking in London, Mosley has said that Liberty was wrong not to make full use of Ecclestone's experience and knowledge, the company essentially having moved him stage-right out of the public eye and with a title that means nothing, certainly not to the Briton himself.

"I think it may be quite difficult," he told ITV News of the task facing Chase Carey and Liberty. "I think what he was brilliant at was dealing with the promoters and the organisers and the whole structure of the championship. For somebody new to come in without all the personal relationships it may be difficult."

"If it had been me I'd have kept him on doing the things that he's demonstrably very good at," he continued, "and concentrated my efforts on doing the things that up to now have not been done, like interactive television, virtual reality, social media, the internet and all the rest of it. All of that's been slightly neglected in Formula 1 and that's the sort of thing that Liberty will probably be very good at.

"People tend to forget that probably the potential in the World Rally Championship is, and always has been, greater than Formula 1," he said, when asked about Ecclestone's legacy. "Arguably also long distance racing like Le Mans. But Bernie came into Formula 1, and it was big when he came in, and he's made it so much bigger.

"When I was FIA president I kept thinking why can't we have another Bernie to do the rallies, to do the long distance and there just wasn't one. All of those different aspects of the sport could be built into just as big a business as Formula 1."

Since buying the sport, Liberty, and especially F1's new boss Chase Carey, has been highly vocal about where the sport has missed out and where the new management can make improvements. However, as promise follows promise, one cannot help thinking that while Carey and Co may talk the talk, will they be able to walk the walk and deliver.

Indeed, some are of the opinion that not only is Liberty promising things which it cannot hope to deliver, but that in some ways the company and its lieutenants are out of their depth.

"It's hard to tell," said Mosley. "They may be brilliant and they may have the whole thing completely thought through. On the other hand they may find it more difficult than they thought.

"I always imagine if somebody put me in charge of horse racing and said 'right, you've got to sort that out', it always looks easy from the outside. You see all the things that you think they're doing wrong. And then when you get all the files and the dossiers put in front of you, you find out what's really going on."

At a time various aspects of the sport, some of which are a hangover from his time in charge of the FIA, are causing fans to drift away, Mosley believes Liberty's main aim must be to rebuild the audience. However, he does not believe that the increasing move to pay-per-view will damage the sport.

"It's now become so established it would take a fairly major effort to wreck it," he insisted. "I think there's always a conflict between getting money from television rights and then perhaps distributing it to the teams but less money from sponsors, or more free-to-air television and more money from sponsors. That's quite a difficult business decision which Liberty would have to take."

One of Mosley's greatest achievements in F1 was his push for safety, especially in the years that followed Imola 1994. In terms of the racing, the Briton, much to Pitpass' frustration, insisted that it was strategy - especially pit stops - that excited the fans as opposed to out and out dicing on the track.

Having presided over the sport as it continued to focus on aero grip as opposed to mechanical it comes as a surprise to see Mosley criticise the new regulations for 2017, the Briton fearing that they may well compromise what he regards as his greatest achievement, improves safety.

"My personal view is that it may have gone in the wrong direction," he said. "I would have gone for less aero and perhaps more mechanical grip. Deliberately setting out to make the cars quicker is questionable because all the rules for the last 40 or 50 years brought in by the FIA have been to make the cars slower... either slower or safer, because speed equals danger obviously."

However, the Briton is delighted with the recruitment of former adversary Ross Brawn, a man who, like Ecclestone, knows every trick in the book... and then some.

"Ross completely understands the sport and he understands what needs to be done and he's got an absolutely first class analytical brain," said Mosley. I think he'll be an enormous asset to them and that side isn't really what Liberty should be doing. Ross is outstanding so they made a good choice there."

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by petes, 15/02/2017 3:13

"I'd guess there wasn't too much left of the old Bernard to use.
I mean after the way CVC and McKenzie milked him....."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 06/02/2017 10:17

"As the piece points-out, you gotta love that 20/20 hindsight from Mosely! Whilst he's at it he might like to re-examine the sweetheart deal he did with Bernie that gave him near total power over F1 for 100 years.....
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by F One, 05/02/2017 14:16

"Far too much nauseating Bernie cheerleading. He's finally gone and good riddance to him!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Hardliner, 04/02/2017 15:05

"is this the beginning of the double act to undermine Liberty and make them realise that they have just paid $8bn for a phantom...."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2020. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms