F1 to be 'more fan-friendly' after Ecclestone – McLaren's Zak Brown

Formula 1 will be more fan-friendly and run more freely following Bernie Ecclestone's departure, according to McLaren executive director Zak Brown

F1 to be 'more fan-friendly' after Ecclestone – McLaren's Zak Brown

On Monday, F1's new owner Liberty Media announced Ecclestone had lost his role as chief executive to Chase Carey with immediate effect.

As part of the reshuffle, former Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has returned to F1 as managing director, motorsports.

McLaren executive director Brown said Ecclestone has built a strong foundation for Liberty to build on.

"Bernie will be a very hard act to follow," said Brown.

"But he's created a fantastic springboard from which Chase Carey and his Liberty Media colleagues will be able to take Formula 1 forward and make it even bigger and even better.

"And we at McLaren will be eager to help them - indeed we already enjoy great relationships with the Liberty Media principals and we're looking forward to working very closely with them.

"How will 'bigger and better' manifest itself? I think the clue is in the words 'liberty' and 'media'.

"Over the next decade I expect the way Formula 1 is run will become both freer and more fan-friendly, and as such we can expect to see new generations of Formula 1 devotees recruited and delighted via the proactive embracing of digital and social media, gaming etc.

"Fan engagement is where it's at these days, and it's clear that the Liberty Media guys get that."

Brown praised the job Ecclestone did in transforming F1 into a global sport during a 40-year reign at the helm.

"Formula 1 wouldn't be the international sporting powerhouse that it is today without the truly enormous contribution made over the past half-century by Bernie Ecclestone," he added.

"Indeed, I can't think of a single other person who has had anything like as much influence on building a global sport as he has.

"Today is a day on which we should all pay tribute to a remarkable visionary entrepreneur called Bernie Ecclestone, and to say thank you to him too."

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