Gone, but not forgotten, Bernie Ecclestone may not be at Albert Park this weekend, but he still has much to offer Formula 1®, according to the sport’s leading team bosses.
The former commercial ring-master’s name was on many lips ahead of this weekend’s season-opening 2017 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the first to be run under the control of new American owners Liberty Media.
"What Bernie's done for Formula One has been amazing," said Red Bull Racing team chief Christian Horner.
“The sport is what it is today because of what he created. I think in the role that he has, he's still going to be in a position to contribute.
"He still has a huge amount of historical knowledge, respect and relationships around the world and I think that harnessed and used in the right way is an asset to Formula One.”
He added that he hoped the new owners would find a way to use Ecclestone “constructively” in his new advisory role as ‘chairman emeritus’.
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "Bernie deserves all our respect because if we are here, and if the sport grows, it is thanks to him.”
Ecclestone was a great supporter of the Australian Grand Prix and worked closely with former Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Ron Walker to create and maintain the event in Melbourne.