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JANUARY 29, 2018

F1 at risk of political turmoil

Toto Wolff says he misses F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's ability to get things done.

The Mercedes boss says Liberty Media has been in a "honeymoon period" since succeeding the Ecclestone era, but many are now predicting a fiery showdown with top teams including Ferrari.

One criticism from Wolff is that while the Ecclestone era was contentious, he would regularly pull off lucrative deals.

"Bernie invented this sport so to speak, and he had strong qualities to increase sales," he told DPA news agency.

"If I picked one point, it would be the ability to complete deals that he had."

On the other hand, Wolff pointed out that Liberty has made many plans and ideas public, but the real test will be putting them into action.

"We've heard many interesting things," he said. "But the difficulty is not having good ideas, but actually implementing them."

For instance, Liberty has unveiled plans for new engine rules and a budget cap, but Ferrari is already threatening to quit.

"Right now, many in formula one are moving in different directions," former F1 driver Gerhard Berger told Auto Motor und Sport.

"You have Mercedes and Ferrari on one side, Ross Brawn and the Americans on the other, and the FIA in the middle," he explained.

"In the good old days there was unity between Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, so it was hard for the teams to have an influence. So at the moment there is the danger of great political disruptions," said Wolff.

(GMM)