Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign as Formula One’s supremo has ended with the sport’s new owners Liberty Media replacing the 86-year-old Briton with American Chase Carey.
Liberty said in a statement on Monday (Tuesday AEDT) that Carey had been appointed chief executive in addition to his current role as Formula One chairman.
Ecclestone was appointed ‘Chairman Emeritus’ with Liberty saying he would remain “available as a source of advice for the board of F1”.
“I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula One,” Ecclestone said in the statement.
“I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport.”
Carey, a 62-year-old who was executive vice-chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, was appointed F1 chairman in September when Liberty took over the sport’s commercial rights from CVC Capital Partners.
The acquisition, which has now been approved by Liberty shareholders and the sports governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), and has been valued at $US8 billion ($A11 billion) including debt, is expected to be completed imminently.
The deal has been broadly welcomed in a sport featuring famous car brands such as Ferrari, McLaren and world champions Mercedes.
Carey has spent his time since September familiarising himself with the sport, and has made clear that fundamental changes need to be made to the business model.
Formula One currently lacks a marketing department and has derived much of its revenue from television rights and race hosting fees, with Ecclestone making the deals.
The Briton has also taken the F1 circus to new destinations, such as Azerbaijan and Bahrain, that are prepared to pay handsomely to host a round of the championship even if they lack the motorsport heritage of historic European circuits.
Liberty, owned by US cable TV mogul John Malone, has emphasised the importance of the traditional venues and wants to expand in the Americas.