Briatore says F1 needs dictator to survive

Flavio Briatore with Donald Mackenzie in Monaco

Flavio Briatore with Donald Mackenzie in Monaco

Formula 1 needs a dictator to run the sport, according to the flamboyant and often outspoken former team boss Flavio Briatore.

Embroiled in a corruption scandal that could end his reign, Formula 1’s current ‘supremo’, Bernie Ecclestone, has hinted that his bosses at CVC could be about to replace him.

“I feel sorry for him,” Briatore said on his customary trip with his yacht ‘Force Blue’ to Monaco, “but if I was Ecclestone, I would have left five or six years ago.”

Reports suggested that Italian Briatore, who left Formula 1 amid his own scandal some years ago, might be a potential successor for Ecclestone, but the 64-year-old played that down.

Asked if he wants to be the ‘new Bernie’, Briatore told Auto Motor und Sport: “I prefer the old Bernie.”

Pressed as to whether he is interested in the job, however, Briatore just “grinned, turned around and left”, recounted correspondent Michael Schmidt. But before he left, Briatore admitted that he knows the kind of person that needs to be running Formula 1.

“What Formula 1 needs is a dictator,” he said. “He makes the rules and the teams have to follow. If you don’t want to, look for another job.

“Formula 1 is a strong brand,” said Briatore. “Bernie took 30 years to build it, but without him, it could be that it is destroyed in two or three. What is needed now is a man who has a clear plan for the Formula 1 of the future.”

Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of Daimler, also said that amid the corruption scandal that could end Ecclestone’s reign, the next steps for the sport are crucial.

“It is very clear that Bernie Ecclestone is responsible for the success of Formula 1,” Zetsche, whose Mercedes camp is utterly dominating the 2014 season, told Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“That is why it is in everyone’s interest that his incredible work, ‘Formula 1′, which he has built up over the years – the story that he wrote – is not damaged,” he added. (GMM)