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F1 ‘not a business’ under Ecclestone – Bratches

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Sean Bratches says formula one is working hard to improve.

Last week, Liberty Media’s F1 commercial boss agreed with Fernando Alonso that a lack of track excitement was a big problem for the sport.

But he says moves are afoot to get things right, after a long period of stagnation during Bernie Ecclestone’s regime.

“There was no business,” Bratches told Bild newspaper.

“No digital structure, no market research, nothing. There was no strategy, only Bernie Ecclestone.

“Actually, you have to have a lot of respect for how he managed to do it at all. But it’s also clear that formula one survived in the 21st century but did not grow. Now we are building it up for the long term.

“The best days of Formula 1 are yet to come.”

Some are sceptical. Liberty’s new ‘F1TV’ streaming service, for instance, began with huge technical glitches.

Bratches says F1 has now solved the problems, adding: “We’re trying to turn formula one from a motor sport into an entertainment brand that puts racing at the centre.

“Let’s not have any misconceptions — we are now a media and entertainment group.”

He would not comment on whether the entire race weekend format needs to be changed.

“Let’s see,” he said. “First we crawl, then we walk and then we start to run. Market research is currently underway on the topic. Ross and his team will handle it,” said Bratches.

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