Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie departure ‘an opportunity’ for F1 – Kaltenborn

Monisha Kaltenborn says the departure of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could be remembered as a positive “turning point” for the sport.

Kaltenborn runs the small and struggling Sauber team, whose disenchantment with F1’s existing regime prompted it and Force India to lodge a protest with the European Commission.

Now, she has told German radio Deutschlandfunk that “The exit of Bernie Ecclestone is a turning point for the whole of formula one”.

Kaltenborn continued to the Sport am Sonntag programme: “It is a big change when the person who made the final decision on everything is no longer there.”

One major change, she suggested, is likely to be in the area of F1’s broadcast rights, which under Ecclestone’s reign have been “very restrictive”.

“As a team, we cannot use the moving images from the race of our own car, for example — on any medium,” Kaltenborn explained.

“The most important thing is that, as a sport, we can get closer to the fan and be able to communicate.”

Already flagged by F1’s new chief executive Chase Carey are changes to the controversial income distribution system, and even potential spending caps for the teams.

“I see this as all fundamentally positive,” Kaltenborn reacted. “But I am also not so naive as to believe that everything will now be right.

“I think there is a long way to go. But we now have a promising environment, thanks to the new owners,” she added.

As for Ecclestone’s actual removal as CEO, Kaltenborn commented: “I see this less as a relief and more as an opportunity for the whole of formula one.”

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