If not Bernie then who?


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
So far we have discussed if Bernie's time in F1 is reaching an end. The next logical question then is if he goes who takes over.

Here we face the first problem. Bernie has been creating his empire since the mid 70s and within the F1 establishment since 1987. The web of companies within companies that manage the commercial aspects of Formula one is enough to make your eyes pop and your brain freeze just trying to sort it all out.

Some how I don't expect an orderly handover from Bernie to a replacement so the manor of Bernies departure will be critical to the stability of the sport as well. There seems to be a feeling of better the devil you know with Bernie and if he goes the vacuum at the top of F1 could create other serious problems as various factions, the FIA and FOTA for example, move to reclaim parts of the sport that they think they own.

After the EU court case where CVC exerted their right to control F1 Bernie efectively became an employee of CVC (no matter how hard he tries to convince people he's personal friends with the chairman). So in theory CVC could remove Bernie from his post at any time.

Is there anyone currently involved in the sport that could run FOM after Bernie or is his replacement likely to come from big buisness outside of the sport? Can anyone actually manage to replace Bernie or is the sport in danger of tearing itself apart over internal power struggles in the wake of not having that figurehead in overall control?
It crossed my mind that Bernie's upset at Flavio getting a life ban could have been because he considered him as a possible replacement. Flav had spoken of stepping down as a team prinicipal for quite some time and you have to wonder if he was the anointed one.

Max Mosley is out of a job but I'm not sure he would be condsidered as an impartial figure and he's not that much younger than Bernie. One person who I thought could do a good job is Damon Hill. He is well respected on the grid, has a long list of contacts and ran (runs?) the BRDC so has some exposure to the commercial side of the sport as well as the racing side.

My guess though is we will end up with someone from a city type background who has had experience in the world of sport, perhaps someone like Adam Crozier or similar.
It's something I've wondered about myself.

However, the whole strutcture of FOM is not what it was, now that it is owned by CVC.
As we all know, they see it as a business and not how Bernie possibly saw it when he started, although he too now treats it just like a business.

That being the case, I think CVC will put a pure business person in the position.
All they care about is getting the maximum price they can for each GP and you don't need a background in any sport to do that.

The drawback is of course F1 loses a little more soul and becomes more of a pure business.

On the plus side, one of the founding members of the "old boy's club" will be gone (along with Max) so perhaps there will be less politics?
Top Bottom