Ecclestone: Horner would be ideal to succeed me, someone who knows the sport

Bernie Ecclestone with Christian Horner

Bernie Ecclestone with Christian Horner

Formula 1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone has named Red Bull team boss Christian Horner as the ideal candidate to succeed him when he finally relinquishes his grip on the sport, British media reported on Friday.

Ecclestone, who has built Formula 1 into a global money spinner over the past four decades, has always shunned talk of retirement but is now 83 and is facing legal challenges relating to a 2005 business deal.

“Christian would be ideal,” Ecclestone told reporters at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo. “I would be happy to hold his hand. We could have a transitional period. It needs someone who knows the sport.”

Horner, 40, is a Briton like Ecclestone. His Red Bull team and their driver Sebastian Vettel have dominated Formula 1 for the past four seasons.

Settling the issue of a successor to Ecclestone would make it easier to float the business on the stock exchange, a long termaim of private equity firm CVC, the largest shareholder in Formula 1

CVC boss Donald Mackenzie (right) with Bernie Ecclestone and Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006

CVC boss Donald Mackenzie (right) with Bernie Ecclestone and Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006

Ecclestone said that he would not favour handing over the role to someone from outside of Formula 1. “If someone comes in from outside, a corporate type, I don’t think I could work with them. It wouldn’t last five minutes,” he added.

CVC said this week it would sack Ecclestone if he was found guilty of wrongdoing in his dealings with a jailed German banker.

Ecclestone is facing a damages claim in the London High Court over allegations he thatundervalued the business in 2005 when CVC became the controlling shareholder after buying out banks including BayernLB.

A German court will decide next week whether to put Ecclestone on trial for corruption over a payment he made to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, former chief risk officer at BayernLB, who was jailed last year.

Ecclestone, who denies wrongdoing, says that he was the victim of coercion by Gribkowsky, saying that the German was threatening to make false claims about his tax affairs. (Reuters)

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  • Boycottthebull

    Oh boy like that would be good for F1. Horner would in no way show any bias towards his former team? He cant even hide playing favourites within his own team now. Bernies pick is like a mafia boss choosing their own successor, the one most likely to run things as corruptly as he does.

  • bobw

    Boycottthebull – spewing poison as usual I see!

  • Dr. Azlan

    Bernie is spot on. A 40 year old is the ideal choice.

  • the fan

    if you idiots think that ferrari are getting favors from the FIA via todt then why deny that red bull wont gain if horner replaces bernie? its really simple.