Long time Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone does not believe that looming bribery charges will immediately threaten his position at the helm of the sport.
It has been claimed that when German prosecutors formalise the charges against the F1 chief executive, relating to the Gerhard Gribkowsky affair, the sport’s owners CVC might depose him.
However, FIA president Jean Todt said last week: “He [Ecclestone] has every right to his job and he does it very well. He is also employed by CVC, so it is their decision.”
Nonetheless, with Ecclestone not having a deputy who could immediately step in to replace him, some names have been floating around the paddock in recent weeks.
One of them was Justin King, UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s current chief, but Ecclestone told the Bloomberg news agency that he had rejected King.
“The people they had wanted, if they had come on board, they would have wanted to be the stars,” the 82-year-old said.
Ecclestone, however, said he was open to working alongside a deputy.
“If someone comes up who I think could do a good job, let’s have him on board,” he said. “Lots of people have been suggested but I don’t think they are the sort of people who could do the things I do.”
But he insisted that a mere corruption charge is no danger to his job.
“[CVC] are not worried with me being indicted, the problem is if I’m incarcerated,” said Ecclestone said. “They’re quite laid-back. They’re not panicking.”
But at the same time, plans to float F1 on the stock market are on the back-burner, until the legal troubles in Germany are resolved.
“It would be silly to go into the market, you don’t want any single [outstanding] question”, Ecclestone admitted.
Subbed by AJN.