Zak Brown: Ecclestone “will be a very hard act to follow”

McLaren’s Zak Brown has paid tribute to ousted Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s “enormous contribution” to the sport, but believes new owners Liberty Media can take F1 forwards.

Zak Brown: Ecclestone “will be a very hard act to follow”
Zak Brown, McLaren Executive Director
Bernie Ecclestone and Zak Brown, Just Marketing International
Bernie Ecclestone
Zak Brown, McLaren Executive Director with Donald Mackenzie, CVC Capital Partners Managing Partner, Co Head of Global Investments

Brown, who is Executive Director of the McLaren Technology Group, says his team is eager to help Liberty develop F1 in new directions – especially in terms of fan engagement.

“Formula 1 wouldn’t be the international sporting power-house that it is today without the truly enormous contribution made over the past half-century by Bernie Ecclestone,” said Brown. “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.

“Bernie will be a very hard act to follow, 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.

“But, as I say, 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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