NOT LAYING DOWN: Bernie Ecclestone might have been removed from his position in F1, but he is reportedly already working on his next move. Image: Ap / Luca Bruno
London - Mere days after he was "deposed", rumours and reports are swirling that former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone might be planning a breakaway series.
The latest real news is that Ecclestone, 86, is selling his remaining $28-million stake in the sport, with F1 business journalist Christian Sylt writing in the Guardian that it will leave him with just 0.5%.
Dark times for F1
At the very same time, the diminutive Briton's long-time friend and business colleague Flavio Briatore has emerged in the media, predicting dark times ahead for F1.
Briatore told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "The picture is bleak with teams in financial crisis, circuits collapsing and this hybrid formula that serves no one."
READ: F1 needs fresh start from 'one-man dictator' Ecclestone
Germany's Auto Bild said a 'pirate series' set up by Ecclestone would theoretically be the old 'GP1' concept devised some years ago by Briatore, the ousted former Renault team boss.
The report said 'GP1' would be comprised of GP2 and GP3 teams, featuring normally aspirated engines and lower budgets.
One theory is that F1 teams balking at Liberty Media's idea of budget caps might also switch with Ecclestone to his new series, even though their current contracts run until 2020.
However, Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko reiterated the energy drink team's allegiance, saying: "We are fully behind F1 and want nothing to do with any other planned series."