Liberty's "dumb Americans" were laughed at for cost cap - Maffei

Liberty Media says its chiefs who pushed through Formula 1's cost cap should have been praised rather than "laughed at" for being "dumb Americans".

Liberty's "dumb Americans" were laughed at for cost cap - Maffei
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A $145m cost cap was introduced for this year after teams came to an agreement with former F1 boss Chase Carey, who was replaced by Stefano Domenicali in January after he stepped back to take the non-executive chair role at the organisation.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei stressed that the cost cap, which was further reduced from the initially agreed figures after the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, was a significant achievement for Carey.

Maffei suggested that an American company managing to do what the likes of former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone or former FIA president Max Mosley had not achieved deserved recognition.

"Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley after the '09 recession tried to get a cost cap in, and couldn't get it done," said Maffei in a Wall Street webcast.

"We got there. Dumb Americans, what do we know about the sport? We say we want to get it done, and they laugh at us. Chase gets it done, full credit - Chase and team.

"So Chase did an amazing job, changing the tone, setting the sport in the right direction. And above all, getting that Concorde Agreement with a cost cap. Chase remains our non-exec chair, and that relationship is valuable."

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Maffei also feels the "cantankerous" relationship between F1's owners and the teams has changed for the better since the Liberty Media took over.

"Chase did an amazing job. I feel guilty at times as I was the one who sold him to take the job, and then he had to go to fly around the world and deal with recalcitrant teams. And Chase was a warrior for the right thing, and has driven such good changes.

"Bernie Ecclestone built the product, and deserves unbelievable credit. But there wasn't the long-term vision. And there was a very cantankerous relationship with promoters and F1, the rights holder, us. There was a very cantankerous relationship between the teams and F1, us.

"That's totally changed, and the tone is so much better that we're in this ecosystem together and building things. And Chase was able to get a new Concorde Agreement done, which is such a major achievement compared to what was done before."

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