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Brawn the right man to help F1, says Steiner

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Brawn the right man to help F1, says Steiner
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Feb 1, 2017, 9:10 AM

Formula 1's new owners Liberty Media pulled off a master-stroke in signing up Ross Brawn to help make the sport better, says Haas team boss Gunther Steiner.

As part of a shake-up of F1 management, which included Bernie Ecclestone being moved aside, Liberty announced last week that Brawn was being brought on board as managing director to help improve the on-track spectacle.

Steiner, whose Haas team is about to enter its second season in F1, believes that Brawn's experience and the fact he has not been recently affiliated to one team makes him the perfect candidate for the role.

"In taking Ross on they made a very good decision in my opinion," said Steiner about the Liberty move. "He is the ideal candidate.

"He knows F1, he has nothing to prove, and he doesn't need to do it, which is always a good point to do a good job. Because if you don't need to do it, you can make decisions or decide not to do it.

"So I think F1 has got a good future, but everyone who has ever worked in F1 is grateful for Bernie to have taken us to where we are now."

Steiner has paid tribute to the work that Ecclestone did to make F1 such a success, and says the sport will have a good future even if Liberty don't make radical changes.

"F1 would not exist like it is now without Bernie," he said. "We have to give the guy a lot of respect for it, because he is now quite old.

"F1 without him? We will miss the character but it will move on. There is always something after everything, and I hope the new shareholders will do a good job – as good or better than Bernie. If they do as good a job as Bernie, it will be a good sport for a long time to come."

Americanisation

Steiner believes that the likely path that F1 will take over the next few years is one of increased commercialisation, which will likely manifest itself with new partnerships and sponsorship deals.

"I think F1 is pretty commercial right now, I would say, but for sure if Liberty Media should have some experience of something it is to get more, newer technology to transport the sport to more fans and increase the fan base. I hope they do that and they are in a good position to do that.

"They have this experience. Chase Carey comes from that environment, he comes out of a tough business environment to get money, and I hope they can grow the business. What is important for us is that we have a lot of eyeballs on us. That is important for us.

"How do they want to do it? They have started to leak stuff out on how they want to do it and how they plan to do it, but we have not seen a plan.

"There are a lot of ideas floating around and Chase Carey gave an interview lately to one of the big channels here in the States – he gave a little bit of a taste of what he wants to do.

"There is nothing like 'Wow, I didn't think of that one', but they just want to get better and use technology more in the media world, and maybe put a budget cap on."

Additional reporting by Lee Spencer

 

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble