Liberty Media’s new management structure is helping race promoters enjoy “a good collaboration” and make certain changes more easily than with Bernie Ecclestone, according to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix promoter.
Ecclestone was replaced at the head of Formula 1 when Liberty completed its takeover of the sport at the beginning of 2017, with the new owners looking to expand the number of people tasked with running the sport. Below a senior management trio of Chase Carey, Sean Bratches and Ross Brawn, Liberty has created a new structure that Baku City Circuit executive director Arif Rahimov says has distributed power and makes life easier for promoters to get quicker answers.
“It’s not for the good or for the bad, it’s just with Bernie it was whenever something needed to be decided, you’d go to Bernie and get it settled with Bernie,” Rahimov said. “Now, some things can be fixed quite a lot easier, so we can just fix it with the Formula 1 middle management level – some things become harder, some things become easier.
“It’s not [a massive change] in general… In general it was good then and it’s good now. It works. The thing is that it works and we can push our ideas across. They’re listening to us, we’re listening to them. It’s a good collaboration.”
Rahimov says the extra freedom afforded to promoters by Liberty is important for new races to try and offer something new to the F1 calendar.
“Of course [it’s crucial to stand out], especially with the new races because people know what to expect from the old ones – they know the circuit, the drivers know the circuit,” he said. “But with the new races this is the unknown territory; you can see the unexpected, you can see the new circuits, but it’s more of a big deal to actually do something that’s different.
“On the good side, Liberty allows something different throughout the race weekend so now it’s up to promoters’ fantasies and creativity to ensure that they can stand out, which is good. So it’s basically giving more freedom for the promoters to sort of improvise and bring something new to the race.”