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F1 threat ends as Walsh 'walks away'

2014-12-17 11:27

DON'T MESS WITH BERNIE: F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone seems set to keep his role as the boss of the sport. Image: AP

LONDON, England - Paul Walsh is no longer a threat to Bernie Ecclestone's long reign over Formula 1. If indeed he ever was...

Specialist reports in Britain's Financial Times and The Times newspapers said former Diageo chief Walsh, hotly tipped recently as the sport's new chairman, has now "walked away".

Asked a week earlier about claims Walsh intended to "rein in" Ecclestone's controversial management style, the 84-year-old F1 supremo fired: "First he's got to be appointed, hasn't he?"

NOT AN OPTION

A source has now told the The Times: "Paul only wanted to take it on if there was complete accountability and authority. There was neither and he did not want to be simply a puppet or figurehead."

Although CVC did not comment, the news is interpreted as a blow to F1's major shareholder as Donald Mackenzie had seriously courted Walsh for the role.

The F1 teams may also be disappointed as tail-ender teams collapse, disputes over income and engines simmer and sponsorship and audience numbers decline.

An unnamed team boss said: "We are all back where we started and it looks as though nothing is going to change."

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