"The way they ran that was mad": Bernie Ecclestone on the current state of F1
Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone recently shared his views on the current state of the sport. Ever since Ecclestone left the sport, things have changed quite a lot. With the boom in popularity in the US and the introduction of Netflix's Drive to Survive, the overall racing spectacle that is F1 has now been molded differently, at least in his eyes.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, he pointed out how the sport is currently portraying itself in American races. He gave an example of Miami and said it was crazy to see how the sport was trying to be American, whereas he would have kept it more traditional, and without much fluff. He said:
“I think you can see with the races in America that they are doing — which I think is completely mad. The one in Miami — the way they ran that was mad, trying to be American rather than the way I did it, which was trying to be pure Formula 1 as it was, rather than as it could be."
Although he remarked that his way of running things could have been wrong as well, the 92-year-old said he is baffled when he watches practice sessions and races. He also pointed out how Netflix's Drive to Survive has further captured the behind-the-scenes drama of the sport and teams.
“Maybe they are completely right; maybe I was wrong trying to keep it more F1," he added. "I watch every practice session and every race and I look and I think, ‘My God are we trying to show Formula One or are we trying to show other things?’”
“Netflix has captured them a little bit and they follow that a bit too much. Netflix is in the entertainment business as long as it suits them. It’s not like our old broadcasters who have been with us forever," Ecclestone said.
Overall, Bernie Ecclestone is not too happy with the way the sport has been run in recent history but also feels that this method could be the correct one.
Liberty Media rejoices massive F1 viewership gains in 2023
Liberty Media's CEO Greg Maffei recently said that the sport is doing extremely well on various broadcasting channels and websites. As per GPFans, Maffei explained how ESPN has been gaining viewers year after year, while F1TV is performing well as well.
“Viewership on ESPN is up on season to date versus the 2022 average viewership with strong F1TV performance as well. The 2023 season has already seen three of the four largest live audiences in F1 history on US TV, including Miami, Monaco and the Canadian GPs. All but two of our races have averaged more than one million viewers. Huge numbers for the US market," Maffei said.
Despite fans complaining and discussing how Max Verstappen's dominance is ruining the sport, overall viewership, according to Maffei, is still on the rise.