Bernie Ecclestone says he has no intention of setting up a series to rival Formula One and insists he would never want to damage the sport he has spent so long nurturing.
Ecclestone was axed as boss of the sport this week upon the completion of Liberty Media's takeover of the commercial rights. He has been replaced by new F1 Chairman Chase Carey who has added the role of Chief Executive Officer.
Since then there have been some talk he might set up a rival series, although in a statement on Friday he said such rumours were unfounded.
“I wish to clear up the rumours that I am starting a series to compete against the FIA Formula One World Championship. I have built the Championship over the last near 50 years, which is something I am proud of, and the last thing I want, is to see it damaged,” he said in the missive.
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Ecclestone also added that he “would have loved” to be in the position Carey is now in being able to invest in the sport and thanked people for all the messages he has received since it was announced he would no longer be in charge.
“The new owner of the company will be able to carry out the administration of the company in a different way to the way I had, which was to produce financial results for the shareholders, the normal actions of a chief executive.
“This, I have done for the different shareholders over the last years and also when I owned 100 percent of the company. I would have loved the luxury of what Chase Carey, the CEO, is able to do.
“I hope the F1 supporters appreciate this as Chase intends to put money back into the sport.
“I am very touched by the support and thanks that I have received from the people that I have dealt with over the years.”
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Meanwhile, in a separate report, Ecclestone conceded he was surprised by the decision to oust him.
“Before the acquisition there was talk about making me CEO for another three years to ensure a smooth transition. So I was a little surprised when they asked me to step aside,” he told the Daily Mail
. “But I don't feel let down. I'm a realist. I don't feel anything about the decision.”
Ecclestone has also told Reuters
that he will attend F1 races this season in his new role as 'Chairman Emeritus', although what that role will entail is currently unknown, adding he has no intention of retiring.
“I'm not the retiring person,” he underlined.
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