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Ecclestone removed as F1 chief

Friday 27 January 2017

Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise at the University of Salford Business School comments on Bernie Ecclestone losing his position at the head of F1

Simon said: “The ousting of long-time F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone marks something of a coup, and leaves a whole series of unanswered questions facing the sport. For several decades, critics have been questioning how F1 is governed and how it generates revenues, and have therefore often cast doubts on its long-term future.

“With yesterday's unexpected development, speculation will now rise about how F1 will change, and how it may look in 5 to 10 years time.

“There is an opportunity for the sport to become more open and democratic, much better governed; one of the challenges for Liberty will be to keep the major manufacturers on-board so as not to precipitate breakaway threats re-emerging. At the same time, F1's business model will come under close scrutiny, with a view to building revenue streams beyond the television and hosting revenues that have sustained the sport in recent times.

“F1 has been poor at taking advantage of its digital and social presence, and we should therefore expect to see new products being developed that capitalise upon the sport's obvious strengths, such as glamour and excitement. There could be links to online gaming and e-sports, more teams being admitted to the competition, changes in rules to make races more exciting, and races being staged in new countries, at new venues and in new formats to build fan engagement. These are potentially exciting times for F1, providing that Liberty is bold, creative and decisive in strategically changing the way in which Ecclestone previously ran F1.”

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Sam Wood

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