There are always two sides to a story. One that is impressive and hence, appeals to a larger lot. It tends to gain the popular or the famous vote (or view) of the public. And then, there’s that sort of biased view, which may or may not necessarily take into consideration a holistic picture of the event. It could, hence, also make space for purely an individualistic perception that may have little to do with reality.
The above perhaps holds true for the view that a certain Bernie Ecclestone has – and still holds- of the Miami Grand Prix, a first of its kind event in the timeline of the checkered history of Formula 1.
And of course, if you know Bernie Ecclestone a tad bit, you’d know that what space he is coming from. A traditionalist but nevertheless, an F1 pioneer who governed the sport over a decade back in the day, Formula 1 has come a fairly long way since the days of Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone.
The sport has changed and with it, have changed its audiences, and not to mention, a slew of technical and highly sophisticated features and techniques that have only added to the appeal of the sport.
For instance, much like there were no sidepods back in the day and no DRS zones, truthfully speaking, there were not so many races (then) in the Americas.
Today, in addition to the famous Circuit Of The Americas, an American Grand Prix in Texas (COTA), there’s now the Miami Grand Prix.
Like with changing times that definitely beckon a shift of sorts in the pecking order, there’s things like E sports, which wasn’t even there back in the day.
Formula 1, arguably speaking, in its bid to cater to a wider fan base and seek growing audiences, is going to places where it hadn’t been before. Which is why when you see a Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia today, it makes perfect sense. Though, that may not have been the case in the nineties perhaps.
And on those lines, another important change for the sport has been its arrival in Miami, Florida, North America. A sort of change that has clearly made the fastest form of single-seater racing in the world a tad bit ‘American,’ or perhaps a bit too much for the liking of Bernie Ecclestone.
Maybe that is why Bernie Ecclestone was no fan of the recent Miami Grand Prix, a race whose result mattered ever so much for both Max Verstappen and his Red Bull as well as the Ferrari team and their blue-eyed boy Charles Leclerc.
That being said, what was it about the Miami race that didn’t appeal to Bernie Ecclestone and what did he have to say about it?
“They are producing Formula 1: American Style. 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.”
However, that being said, the current CEO of Liberty Media, Mr. Greg Maffei wasn’t at all impressed with what Bernie Ecclestone had to say about the recently-concluded Miami Grand Prix of Formula 1, the first of its kind Formula 1 Grand Prix that was held in what is essentially a party destination.
The following is what he had to say:
Bernie Ecclestone has to say something. That’s how he operates. Bernie deserves massive credit for building the sport. He built an enormous juggernaut. But the reality is, it didn’t move forward, in our judgment, over the last few years and the audience has stalled. Bernie’s line was ‘I like old rich white guys to pay for the sport’. Our view has been that there’s an opportunity to be much broader, to bring in gender diversity, to bring in age diversity. And I think that’s worked out well. And I’m willing to take Bernie’s criticism.”