Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is still being hotly tipped as the next Formula 1 supremo.
A source at Delta Topco, the CVC-controlled group that owns the sport’s commercial rights, has named 40-year-old Briton Horner as the top choice to succeed embattled Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone.
The news follows suggestions that external figures like Justin King, the outgoing Sainsbury’s chief, or Formula 1 marketing specialist Zak Brown are in fact the more likely picks.
Horner, the Red Bull team boss, has repeatedly denied he is interested in the job, even after a judge last week damagingly found that Ecclestone had paid a “bribe” to Gerhard Gribkowsky.
If convicted of that very offense by a German criminal court later this year, the Formula 1 board would certainly remove the 83-year-old.
Horner, however, said last week that he would “never consider” replacing Ecclestone.
“My function and commitment is to Red Bull, and I certainly hope that Bernie will continue for another 20 years,” he told Sportbusiness International.
But even in light of Horner’s repeated denials, a source close to the Delta Topco board said this week: “There is no doubt that Christian fits the bill.”
“We need someone with experience of Formula 1, someone who can deal with television rights and commercial contracts,” the source told The Times newspaper.
“The fact that Bernie would train Christian up, in effect, looks like a solution to many of the directors.” (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.