Chase Carey vows to change Formula One '˜one-man show'
Bernie Ecclestone, who last night was forced to concede his four-decade reign of the sport had ended, wanted to host a race there. But, despite throwing his weight behind a number of projects – which would have seen Formula One cars roar past significant landmarks such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament – he failed to turn his dreams into reality.
But Carey, the sport’s new chairman and chief executive officer following Liberty Media’s £6.4billion acquisition of the sport, wants to see races staged in a number of major cities across the world.
“London is a great city, and there is no question [you think of it] when you think where are the cities you want to be in,” Carey, 62, said.
“I don’t want to get too far into speculation on any particular city at this point, but London is obviously a great city.”
The future of the British Grand Prix was recently cast in doubt after Silverstone’s owners suggested they may activate a break clause to cease racing there beyond 2019.
Silverstone agreed a 17-year deal to stage the event from 2010, but are struggling to afford the race fee which increases on a year-by-year basis. Unlike several other circuits on the Formula One calendar, Silverstone receive no government backing.
Carey added: “Having a race in the UK is clearly important to us. We look forward to engaging with Silverstone and talking about how we make sure that race can, and is, everything it should be.
“We think there are real opportunities to grow Silverstone beyond what it is today.”
Carey also spoke of his desire to add at least one more race to that already staged in America, in Austin, Texas.
He said that New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami were all possible candidates.
The 62-year-old wants to introduce a “Superbowl” feel to each race with greater publicity and promotion afforded to every event. On the technical side, Carey has hired Ross Brawn – the British mastermind behind Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles – to look after that side of F1 with Sean Bratches, formerly of ESPN, heading up the sport’s commercial division.
And while the American paid tribute to his predecessor, he believes Ecclestone’s iron-fisted rule and political in-fighting among the teams has stunted the sport’s growth.
The Concorde Agreement, which binds the teams, its governing body, the FIA, and the Formula One Group is up for renewal in 2020 and will be among Carey’s more challenging assignments.
“I find, particularly with the teams and promoters, there has not been a long-term vision, but the deal of the day and divide and conquer,” he added.
“The decision-making recently has been pretty inefficient and to some degree ineffective and we hope to find ways to make those decisions in a much more effective and efficient way.
“We want to create more dynamic partnerships with our our sponsors, the broadcasters and promoters to figure out ways to do new and exciting things and to some degree change the culture. It has been a one-man show.
“It is still a great sport, but it can be much greater, and we need to find the solutions, find the answers, and make it better than it is.”