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F1 needs an entrepreneur, says Brundle

NEWS STORY
08/06/2020

In a move that will hardly endear him to the bosses at F1 Towers, driver turned pundit, Martin Brundle has said he believes the sport needs a charismatic, entrepreneur to lead the sport.

From the outset, Chase Carey has never looked entirely comfortable as head of Formula One. Ironically, in 'replacing' Bernie Ecclestone he had huge boots to fill, and while the sport has moved forward in some areas in others it appears to have lost ground.

Ross Brawn was recruited to be the 'friendly face' of F1's management, but for the most part his PR-style role has had the opposite effect.

Quick to criticise Bernie Ecclestone's "dictatorial" management of the sport, Carey has since discovered for himself why such an approach is often needed with a group of ten teams all looking out for themselves.

At a time Toto Wolff and Christian Horner have both been linked with Carey's role, Martin Brundle believes the sport would benefit from a management shake-up.

"What F1 could use is an entrepreneurial racer figure facing forward, backed by a really clever but not-very-vocal businessman at the rear," tells Autocar.

Admitting that things were "dictatorial and slightly scary" under the previous management, Brundle adds that "Bernie was very quotable, but Chase is less so".

Giving credit to the move which saw Liberty Media bring in $1.4bn from another part of its empire, claiming that the move is proof the media giant is in it for the long haul, Brundle believes moves like the introduction of a budget cap will prove good for F1.

"The leading teams, Ferrari and Mercedes, spend £300 million on the same season's racing that costs Williams and Racing Point £100 million," he says. "And you couldn't honestly say that what Ferrari does is three times better than Williams.

"But before you condemn Ferrari, you've got to walk a mile in their shoes," he continues. "They supply Haas and Alfa Romeo, they construct a lot of stuff others don't, so they have higher costs. They're also fighting against the pain of releasing 400 or 500 people, which is understandable.

"But maybe it's not as painful as having three fewer teams on the grid," he adds. "If we don't find a way to curb these huge team structures, the whole thing could go bang.

"If we don't entertain and make the sport sustainable, we won't continue to have the manufacturer and sponsor support we need," he says. "Maybe this pause will encourage us to stop squabbling over details and face the big questions. What's F1's purpose? How do we meet the electric-petrol-diesel challenge? How do we stay relevant?

"On sponsorship, we've got to give decision-makers every reason to stick with us. At the moment, there's very little downside to a sponsor pulling out - not the way there used to be. In some quarters, it's almost viewed as a pragmatic decision.

"We've got to make it easy for people to stay in, to help them understand that we still have a mighty business, bigger than anything but the Olympics and the World Cup, that in normal times runs for most of the year."

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1. Posted by F One, 09/06/2020 23:29

"F1 does not and never has needed to be relevant."

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

2. Posted by English Tony, 09/06/2020 22:51

"At the rate this is going Bernie will be able to buy back the rights for even less than he planned

Which means he's going to need new reinforced pockets to trouser the cash in once he sells again

"

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