Meet the men who’ll replace Bernie
Three key people will steer Formula 1’s future in place of Ecclestone’s ‘one-man band’ model
Following the ousting of Bernie Ecclestone as CEO of F1, a new management structure has been introduced by new owners Liberty Media.
Ross Brawn has been brought in as F1’s managing director of motor sports by chairman and chief executive Chase Carey. Brawn will oversee changes on the sporting and technical side and tackle various problems. He has an opposite number on the commercial side in Sean Bratches, a former sales and marketing chief at US television network ESPN.
One of the most successful F1 engineers ever, Brawn was responsible for all seven of Michael Schumacher’s world titles, rst at Benetton and then at Ferrari. He ran the eponymous double-title winning Brawn GP in 2009, and then as Mercedes team boss from 2010 to 2013 he laid the foundations for the domination that the team have enjoyed over the past three years.
The other two men charged with improving the sport over the next few years are less well known outside American sports administration circles. Carey, 62, made his name as a long-time lieutenant of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He launched the Fox Sports and Fox News channels in the US and later became chief executive officer of DirecTV, a US satellite provider that was taken over by Murdoch’s News Corporation. There, Carey added a million subscribers in six years before returning to News Corp as president, chief operating officer and deputy chairman in 2009, and then chief operating officer of Murdoch’s lm business, 21st Century Fox, in 2013.
Sean Bratches, 56, spent 27 years at US sports network ESPN and is described by Carey as “a driving force in building ESPN into one of the world’s leading sports franchises.” Carey added: “His expertise and experience in sales, marketing, digital media, and distribution will be invaluable as we grow Formula 1.”
At ESPN Bratches ran sales and marketing and was responsible for the distribution of related HDTV, broadband, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television, pay-per-view, Spanish-language, and sports syndication products.
This gives an insight into the direction Liberty want to take Formula 1, with a massive diversification of its offering across all forms of visual media.
The new faces of Formula 1: (l-r) Sean Bratches, Chase Carey and Ross Brawn