GETTING TIPS? F1 great and Merc chair Niki Lauda chats with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Image: AFP / Andrew Isakovic
London, England - Niki Lauda, the F1 veteran and current Mercedes team chairman, has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Bernie Ecclestone.
That is the claim of the Austrian newspaper Osterreich, amid the latest speculation about the impending sale of the sport.
F1 supremo Ecclestone caused a stir recently when he announced that the sale could take place in December 2015.
Should Bernie stay in charge?
Sky News business reporter Mark Kleinman claims Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is being backed in an $8.5 billion buyout bid by China Media Capital.
It is believed the investors want Ecclestone, 85, to stay in charge, but others in the industry think the diminutive Briton should step down.
His anti-US, pro-Putin comments have ruffled feathers in the days before the grand prix in Austin, and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche - Lauda's F1 boss - recently said F1 must do more to expand beyond mere television.
Former F1 driver Mark Webber told CNN: "Is it hard for him to understand some of this new media and digital era? It could be.
"But there are still a lot of other things that he has nailed and has done well, he loves his old style of going about and deciding where the promoters have these events, and he'll stick to those rules which he's had for a long time, that's just the way he is."