Ecclestone admits overcharging for F1 hosting rights

In a rare show of contrition, Bernie Ecclestone admits concern for F1 after charging exorbitant hosting fees during his time as chief.

Ex-Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has admitted overcharging circuits for the right to host races, and expressed concern over the long-term damage it may have caused.

Ecclestone sold up to Liberty Media last year, but remains as president emeritus and has been spotted in the paddock for the first time this season at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 86-year-old is reportedly at the Sakhir circuit to negotiate a new deal with the owners, having claimed to have saved the Singapore Grand Prix after seeing Malaysia ditch F1 in favour of MotoGP.

Iconic races such as the French and German Grands Prix fell by the wayside under Ecclestone, with Liberty hoping to restore them in 2018, and the former chief showed contrition about the issues he left the American company with.

"When I convinced people to build this place and all the other places, I feel a little bit responsible," Ecclestone told reporters in Bahrain.

"I charged them too much for what we provide. So when they ask me things, I try to help them. Nothing to do with Liberty.

"On my watch, we didn't deliver the show that we charged people for."

Ecclestone added in an interview with Autosport: "The only thing that would be good for everyone would be if we could charge the promoters a lot less money.

"I did some good deals commercially. They are paying a lot of money, and most of them, if not all of them, are not making any money. Quite the opposite.

"Sooner or later I'm frightened that the governments behind them will say enough is enough, and bye-bye.

"If we could reduce the fee they pay they could then charge less for tickets and sell more tickets.

"So if you want to look after the fans, that's the way to do it."

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