Bernie Ecclestone steps down as F1 CEO

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Formula 1’s first man Bernie Ecclestone lost his position as the CEO of the Formula One Group as the new shareholder Liberty Media completed the last transaction in its take-over process from former owner CVC Capitals.

The acquisition by the US media company Liberty Media of the Formula One racing business has already indicated a new era for the sport in its early phase, but today marks the first sweeping change of the take-over process. F1 ‘supremo’ Bernie Ecclestone who has controlled the commercial rights of the Formula One Group had to step back and give up his position as CEO.

"I am simply gone. It's official. I am no longer the leader of the company. My position has been taken by Chase Carey,“ Ecclestone said to Auto Motor und Sport.

"My new position is one of those American terms. It's something like an honorary president.”

It is believed that former majority shareholder CVC Capitals’ boss Donald McKenzie intended to keep Bernie Ecclestone on board and give him a hands-on, important role, but Liberty Media’s chief John Malone was keen to replace the 86-year-old Briton.

The news did not come as a shock as Bernie Ecclestone has been rumoured to lose his role as of the first transaction of Liberty Media’s take-over. The American media company took over the commercial rights of the Formula One Group from the London-based CVC Capitals in various steps and now it completed the last one.

Official announcement is expected for Tuesday. Former Ferrari and Mercedes boss Ross Brawn and former ESPN chief Sean Bratches are tipped to take up newly created sporting and commercial roles. It would mean Bernie Ecclestone’s exclusive role would be divided into various smaller roles.