‘Bernie can mouth off all he wants’: Liberty Media brush off Ecclestone criticism of ‘American Style’ F1

Formula 1's former chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that the sport would be run very differently were he still in charge.

This weekend’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix has been met with praise from current Formula 1 team principals, despite some fairly comical infrastructures around the newly built Miami International Autodrome.

Formula 1 has seen a dramatic rise in America over recent years, with the 2023 calendar set to feature three races in the United States.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that the sport has finally made it across the Atlantic.

“The city is hyped – is that how you say it?

“Formula 1 is all around, the amount of guest requests we have is amazing. I think we’ve finally landed in North America.”

Wolff isn’t the only person in the paddock who is impressed by America’s reaction to the sport; McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown went as far as saying the demand in the USA is “unlike anything I’ve seen”.

“The demand from sponsors and fans has been off the charts, unlike anything I’ve seen since my time in Formula 1,” he said.

“Soon we will have Vegas as well so I really like where we are in North America as far as Formula 1’s popularity goes.”

Bernie Ecclestone, however, certainly isn’t a fan of what he calls the “American Style”.

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The former Formula 1 supremo, who was removed from his position five years ago by Liberty Media, explained how he ran the sport very differently to how it is now.

“They’re producing Formula 1: American Style,” the 91-year-old told Bloomberg.

“It may well be that it’s good, because so many stupid things come out of America and everyone’s happy, but it wasn’t the way I ran things.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W13. Miami Grand Prix, Friday 6th May 2022. Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, USA..v1

Liberty CEO Greg Maffei, who is well-known for not having the best of relationships with the former supremo, didn’t have much to say regarding Ecclestone’s comments.

“Bernie can mouth off all he wants,” he said. “But the reality is, everybody wants in now.”

Since Ecclestone left the sport a number of things have changed, with the rapidly advancing technology being a huge reason for that.

Wolff believes that whilst Ecclestone was a huge reason for the sport’s modern success, he doesn’t think the former chief executive could’ve taken the championship into the new era.

“Bernie was great in his time – he invented this sport,” said Wolff. “But the technology changed.”