Bernie Ecclestone is 87 year of age. Good for him. It’s a good score. It is pretty remarkable given his lifestyle for the last 50 years. However, in the end, he sold everything, pocketed the money on offer and was given the role of chairman emeritus of the Formula One group. He said at the the time that he did not know what that meant. In academia there is a honorific element to the description, but in business it means “Shut up, and go away”.
But Ecclestone doesn’t want to hear that. He is used to telling people how it is. He has grown accustomed to people kowtowing to him. Obviously, it is hard for him to accept change, but the shareholdings tell the story and while Bernie can still jerk a few strings with puppets (and Muppets) in the media world, his reign is over. Liberty gave him the option of a graceful exit but, being Bernie the racer that he is, an elegant way out was never going to be easy.
What Bernie says is probably true: one needs to be a dictator to make F1 function properly, but he seems not to have understood that beneath the smiles, the Liberty men in F1 are quite happy to tell Ferrari where to go, if push comes to shove. They showed him the door and they will do the same if Ferrari gets uppity. It might be cruel to make the point, but it is there nonetheless: Ecclestone’s day is done and it would be best for him to go quietly, rather than sounding like someone who craves to be back in the spotlight. The spotlight has moved on and trying to remain a star is all rather too Sunset Boulevard…
Look in your wallet Mr E the answer is there.