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Ecclestone 'just trying to help' F1's new owners

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Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that he has little to do with the sport now. That's despite his official position as "chairman emeritus."

Ecclestone was speaking to the media in Bahrain on Friday. He was making his first appearance at a Grand Prix since he was ousted from his former role, following Liberty Media's takeover of the sport.

"If there's any help they want, I'm there helping," the 86-year-old said. "I spoke to Chase [Carey, F1 Group CEO] this morning. He was asking me some things which I could help him with, which I did."

Not that Ecclestone is sitting back and twiddling his fingers doing nothing.

"I'm in the office the same sort of time I always was until sometimes later than I used to be," he revealed. "There seem to be more emails coming in. Lots of people want to know if I can help in different ways, so I try to help."

Ecclestone said that he had spoken to the new director of motorsport at Formula 1, Ross Brawn. However, so far he hasn't even met the sport's new commercial director Sean Bratches.

"Ross popped in to see me for 10-15 minutes a week or 10 days ago," said Ecclestone. "I knew Ross from the past obviously and I feel sorry for Chase being thrown in the deep end."

He added that Liberty was in the fortunate position of taking over a sport in which everything was already in place and didn't have the same need to make money as previous owners CVC.

"It's like they bought Starbucks: everything's done. Even how much milk you put in the coffee," he explained. "It's a case of keeping what's done."

Ecclestone said that Liberty's deep pockets meant that they could develop areas that Ecclestone hadn't been able to, such as social media.

“It doesn't seem to me that they are doing things for money, which is good, whereas I was," he said. "Adding on top of it things that I didn't do because it wasn't earning money, like this social media.

"I was running the company to try and make money for the shareholders. It doesn't seem that's the thing that's driving them. [Chase] wants to get more happy spectators I think.

"He's in the lucky position that I wasn't in," Ecclestone concluded. "They don't seem to have the same problem. They can do lots of things and not worry about the income."

GALLERY: All the pictures from Friday in Bahrain

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