Liberty Media completes F1 takeover, signalling end of Ecclestone era


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Liberty Media has announced the completion of its £6.38bn acquisition of Formula One and confirmed the end of Bernie Ecclestone's lengthy stint at the helm of the sport.

Long-term F1 supremo Ecclestone, who had held the reins of power in F1 for almost 40 years, was quoted by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport as saying he had been deposed as chief executive on Monday.

And a subsequent statement from Liberty Media - the corporation that agreed a deal to take over F1 last in September - confirmed Chase Carey as the sport's new chief executive officer, with Ecclestone taking up the role of chairman emeritus.

The release did make it clear Ecclestone, 86, will remain "available as a source of advice for the board of F1".

Greg Maffei, the president and CEO of Liberty Media, said: "We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of F1 and that Chase [Carey] will lead this business as CEO.

"There is an enormous opportunity to grow the sport, and we have every confidence that Chase, with his abilities and experience, is the right person to achieve this.

"I'd like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, who becomes chairman emeritus, for his tremendous success in building this remarkable global sport."

Carey, who had already been appointed as F1 chairman, said: "I am excited to be taking on the additional role of CEO. F1 has huge potential with multiple untapped opportunities.

"I have enjoyed hearing from the fans, teams, FIA, promoters and sponsors on their ideas and hopes for the sport. We will work with all of these partners to enhance the racing experience and add new dimensions to the sport and we look forward to sharing these plans overtime."

Ecclestone, meanwhile, added: "I'm proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years and all that I have achieved with Formula 1, and would like to thank all of the promoters, teams, sponsors and television companies that I have worked with.

"I'm very pleased that the business has been acquired by Liberty and that it intends to invest in the future of F1. I am sure that Chase will execute his role in a way that will benefit the sport."

The Liberty Media Group will be renamed the Formula One Group following the takeover.

Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group, was quick to pay tribute to Ecclestone's impact on F1.

In a tweet from McLaren, Brown was quoted as saying: "Today we should all pay tribute to a remarkable entrepreneur. He will be a very hard act to follow."