Ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has suggested that Formula E has a brighter future than Formula 1.
Speaking with Reuters prior to this weekend’s 1,000th F1 world championship race, the Chinese Grand Prix, the 88-year-old British businessman said there are huge opportunities for growth in Formula E.
“It’s a different form of entertainment but Formula E will begin to get much, much bigger and better, which is slowly what they are doing anyway. And Formula One will suffer because of that”, he commented.
Ecclestone added that when looking at the two open-wheel racing series’ from a business standpoint, it’s Formula E which immediately stands out: “There’s more chance there of big, big expansion and more chances commercially than there is of changing things in Formula One.”
Ecclestone spent decades at the head of the Formula 1 World Championship and only relinquished his control over the sport in 2017, when Liberty Media purchased Formula 1. Despite not attending as many races as he once did, Ecclestone says he has probably been to more than 800 F1 races, including the very first 1950 British Grand Prix, the inaugural race of the F1 world championship.
However, while Ecclestone currently speaks in favor of the business opportunities presented by Formula E, he wasn’t always fond of the idea of an all-electric, open-wheeled racing series.
In fact, Formula E chief Alejandro Agag told CNN last month that Ecclestone was an outspoken critic of the sport and never thought the championship would prove successful. Last month, Formula E celebrated its 50th race, and during the 2017-2018 season attracted more than 300 million viewers globally.