Formula One's new owners plan US street race
Formula One's new owners plan to add a street race in the United States in an attempt to improve a sport which they feel stagnated under Bernie Ecclestone's control.
Chase Carey, who ended Ecclestone's four-decade reign as F1's chief executive, told The Associated Press yesterday that the sport will no longer be run as a "one-man show."
Carey, though, will be as dogged as the 86-year-old Ecclestone in negotiations with circuits, insisting that less-lucrative races in heartlands like Britain will have to prove they can become more profitable , rather than being allowed to renegotiate hosting fees.
International sports and entertainment firm Liberty Media, which is controlled by 75-year-old tycoon John Malone, completed its takeover of F1 on Monday from investment fund CVC Capital Partners.
Driving growth in the United States is seen as a priority for Liberty, which also owns baseball's Atlanta Braves and has investments in cable TV companies. F1 currently only makes one stop during the season in the United Sates - to Austin, Texas but adding a street race is high on Liberty's agenda.
"We would like to add a destination race in the US in a location like New York, LA, Miami, Las Vegas," Carey said in a telephone interview. "We think we can create something that will be a really special event. Obviously, the US is all upsides for us. We haven't invested in the way we need to build the US market."
The sport has remained stuck in the past, making "events feel a little tired," while the modern media landscape was not grasped by Ecclestone, according to Carey.
"Bernie really ran a one-man show," Carey said. "I don't plan to run a one-man show."
Although Ecclestone remains on board as an honorary chairman and will be an F1 adviser, power clearly now rests with Carey, who is a veteran Fox executive.