World champion Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg have jumped to the defence of Formula 1’s embattled chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Already under fire by German prosecutors over the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribe affair, Ecclestone’s troubles worsened this week when a London court ordered his bosses at Formula 1 owner CVC to release hundreds of documents about the sale of the sport years ago.
The Financial Times said the documents relate to German media group Constantin Medien’s $171 million lawsuit which claims that Formula 1 was undervalued when it was sold to CVC in 2006.
Most figures in the paddock have been reluctant to comment on Ecclestone’s troubles, which could end the 82-year-old’s four decade reign over F1.
Vettel is quoted by Germany’s Bild newspaper: “The bottom line is that he is the one who brought Formula 1 to such a high level.”
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg reportedly added: “He has done so much for this sport for so many years.”
According to media speculation, one potential successor for Ecclestone is Christian Horner, currently Vettel’s team boss at Red Bull.
The Briton played down the prospect, insisting “I am fully focused on what I’m doing”.
“I hope [Ecclestone] goes on for a long time to come,” Horner is quoted by the Daily Mail.
“The business, as it is today, is because of the way he has run it and operated it. It is unimaginable for him not to be there.” (GMM.)
Subbed by AJN.