After Brexit, F1 Now Awaits Ecc-xit

Formula 1 fans have long awaited Bernie Ecclestone’s exit as the Chief Executive of the sport. While the octogenarian has done wonders to the business of the sport via television and central sponsorship deals, one could put a question mark on his interest in marketing it. Especially as the sport enters newer territories like Azerbaijan, Russia, India, etc. (Read: Formula 1 Needs Better Marketing)

Ecclestone’s dislike for social media is public and this is probably why the sport’s adoption of social media is fairly limited. However, we’re expecting the new Heineken – Formula 1 deal to spruce up the sport’s digital presence. I have written about how Heineken is Formula 1’s official social media agency and how a ‘boring’ Formula 1 could do well for their beer sales. (Read: A Boring Formula 1 Would Be Good For Heineken’s Beer Sales)

As the world woke up the news of the ‘Brexit’ (Ecclestone would’ve voted in favour), Formula 1 fans wonder if there will be the long awaited ‘Ecc-xit’ ever. Is it time for a referendum? Ecclestone himself has said that he quit only over his grave! And for long, the sport’s business administrators and team owners / management have been trying to appoint Ecclestone’s successor. (Read: Ecclestone Steps Down)

After much research, Sebastian Vettel is who I believe should be his successor. The German is known for his autocratic diplomacy, discipline and humour – some of the qualities that mirrors those of Ecclestone’s. I have explained this before in this post – ‘Sebastian Vettel Should Replace Bernie Ecclestone As CEO‘. (Read: Bernie Ecclestone Backs Donald Trump For President)

Lastly, Heineken are keen to look at a second Formula 1 team to partner with. Ferrari would be my choice, if I were Heineken. First, their lead driver (Vettel) seems intoxicated in most of his pre/post race interviews whereas their No. 2 driver (Raikkonen) has been driving like one (remember Monaco?). Second, the Italian team still believes that they still have a shot at the 2016 Constructors’ Championship. Now you’ve got to be drunk to believe that!

Here’s your chance to tune-in to ‘Ban The DRS, Not The Radio‘ where Mithila and I speak about several trending topics in Formula 1. This includes Rosberg’s copying of Hamilton’s car set-up and helmet manufacturer, Mclaren’s appointment of a luxury brand as lifestyle partner to aid Alonso’s ‘luxury retirement’ and more.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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