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What was former CEO of the Formula One Group, Bernie Ecclestone, comment on Netflix in F1?

The British business magnate and one of the wealthiest men in the United Kingdom remarked on Formula One’s portrayal in the Netflix series.

Bernie Ecclestone.

Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone spoke to the Daily Mail about Max Verstappen, saying he is the best driver in history. On the other hand, he also had words for Liberty Media, which now manages Formula 1.

While serving as the boss of Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone made some controversial moves, but the sport had become somewhat dull. Liberty Media was tasked with the challenge of attracting more viewers. The Americans have attempted this in various ways, such as increasing the number of races and turning Formula 1 drivers into Netflix stars, which Ecclestone now thinks.

 ‘My opinion is that 18 races is enough. We did 20 and I often thought that that was a bit too much. Because you have to think of the teams. Before long, they will have to employ double staff. With 22 or 23 races there will be too many divorces.'

On Netflix...

'I watch every practice session and every race and I look and I think, “My God are we trying to show Formula One or are we trying to show other things? Netflix has captured them a little bit and they follow that a bit too much. Netflix is in the entertainment business as long as it suits them. It’s not like our old broadcasters who have been with us for ever.’

Bernie Ecclestone, who had been the CEO of Formula One for nearly 40 years, was removed from the position on January 23, 2017, by Liberty Media after their $8bn (£6.4bn) takeover of the sport. However, he was given other roles within the organization as chairman emeritus and adviser to the board. Ecclestone was instrumental in transforming F1 from a relatively niche activity to one of the most popular television sports in the world, second only to the Olympics and the football World Cup. After selling Brabham in the late 1980s, he devoted himself entirely to the administration of the sport.

In the mid-1990s, Ecclestone took over the commercial rights of F1 from the teams, and he immediately expanded its television coverage. He introduced a new approach, forcing companies to broadcast the entire championship rather than just a few races, which was the norm until the early 1980s. However, he was criticized for his authoritarian leadership style and controversial decisions. His demands for higher fees from race tracks were also questioned, ultimately leading to his removal as the CEO of Formula One.

At the end of his interview, he also talked about the drivers and Verstappen’s dominance, who will win the third world championship title in 2023.

‘Max is the best driver ever. No doubts. I used to say Alain Prost. Now I would say Max. He’s the greatest. He is brightest with regards to getting the best out of the car. He doesn’t muck around. He gets right on the programme. In my list he is above Lewis Hamilton.

‘Lewis is obviously super-super bright, super-super talented. Lewis understands people and gets the best out of them, whereas Max gets the best out of the car.‘