Image: Huffington Post
Every dog has its day and Bernie Ecclestone was quite the hound. The 86-year-old business magnate will no longer serve as CEO of Formula One.
The news broke this evening when the ‘F1 Supremo’ told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport that he was ‘forced out’ of his position by new F1 chairman Chase Carey. “I was dismissed today. This is official. I no longer run the company. My position has been taken by Chase Carey,” said Ecclestone this evening.
The decision follows an expected shake-up following Formula One’s recent takeover by media conglomerate Liberty Media Corporation for an estimated $4.4 billion. Chase Carey, also vice-president of 21st Century Fox and a very recent chairman of Formula One, will now take the reigns as the pinnacle of motorsports’ CEO.
To say Carey has big boots to fill is quite an understatement, regardless of the publics perception of Bernie. He has been involved in F1 since the mid-1950’s, shortly after its inception. He began in driver management by becoming the manager of Stuart Lewis-Evans, who competed in the 1957 and 1958 seasons. Lewis-Evans earned two podium finishes and two pole positions along with a non-championship victory at the 1957 Glover Trophy held at Goodwood.
Bernie even tried his hand at competing in the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix in a privately entered Connaught Type B, however failed to qualify for the race.
He then managed Jochen Rindt, notable for being the first and only posthumous winner of the F1 championship in 1970. Two years later, Ecclestone began managing the Brabham F1 team after purchasing the once successful team from owner Ron Tauranac. Bernie owned and ran Brabham until 1987. It was in the early 80’s where the Ecclestone-owned Brabham earned major success with two drivers’ championships courtesy of Nelson Piquet in 1981 and 1983, however no constructors championships.
He then became an executive for Formula One alongside his Brabham Ownership. He formed the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) in 1974 alongside notable F1 bosses such as Frank Williams and Colin Chapman of Lotus.
After he passed the Brabham torch to Swiss financier Joachim Luhti after the 1987 season, Ecclestone underwent his role of ‘F1 supremo’ due the secretive nature of what he actually does. His supreme reign has come to an end as a fresh chapter in Formula One emerges. The Liberty Era is expected to bring more changes and more heads will certainly roll over the next few weeks leading up to the season opener in Melbourne on the 26th March.