Wednesday 13 November 2019

Ecclestone hints at F1 departure

F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone
F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of Formula One, has given his strongest indication yet that he is preparing the way for his departure from the sport he has dominated for almost four decades.

The 83-year-old, who will go on trial in Munich at the end of next month on bribery charges, changed his line on his future yesterday, having insisted in recent months that despite multiple legal proceedings it was "business as usual".

Ecclestone admitted for the first time in a newspaper interview that the case in Germany had left him unable to devote what he "normally would do" to running F1.

When Ecclestone was indicted by German prosecutors in January, he stood down from Formula One's board but retained control on a "day-to-day basis".

However, yesterday he said: "I've been spending time on this (civil) case and to spend time on Munich I am not able to give what I normally would do, 24/7, to the business.

"I've been looking, over the last few years, for somebody who can join me. I will eventually be in a position, if I decide to retire – or unfortunately become dead – to have someone to step into my shoes."

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