Flavio Briatore: Bernie Ecclestone treated poorly by F1's new owners

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Former Benetton and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore believes Bernie Ecclestone was not treated well by Formula One's new owner Liberty Media.

Briatore and Ecclestone formed a close relationship during their respective spells working in F1, and also spent time working together as co-owners of the Queens Park Rangers football club -- before selling their shares in the club to Caterham F1 founder Tony Fernandes.

Ecclestone was forced out of his position as F1 chief executive officer earlier this year, after US giant Liberty Media successfully completed its $8 billion (£6.4 billion) takeover of the sport. Liberty Media quickly put together a new structure spearheaded by Chase Charey, Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches.

In a video posted on his Instagram account, Briatore explained he had organised an event to celebrate Ecclestone's career on Tuesday night in London, which was attended by leading F1 figures including the likes of Prince Albert of Monaco, former FIA president Max Mosley and Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

"I organised a surprise dinner in London for the 40 years in Formula One of Bernie Ecclestone," Briatore said. "The amazing thing is that all the people I invited were present. Normally, if you invite one hundred people, you have 60 people who confirm they can attend because you are talking about people that are very busy -- or who live many thousands of kilometres away.

"But everybody came to London, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Salman of Bahrain, Luca di Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali, Piero Ferrari, David Coulthard, Max Mosley, Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda, and many other people.

"It was a kind of tribute to Bernie's career. He was not treated well by the new Formula One bosses. People forget easily what this man has created. It was a bit of a sad evening, but very beautiful."