CHANGE AT THE TOP: Top teams want F1 CEO, Bernie Ecclestone, to step down. Image: AFP
London - Mercedes and Red Bull have joined Ferrari in reportedly moving against Formula 1's long-time CEO Bernie Ecclestone.
Reports recently suggested Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne had proposed that the 85-year-old Briton be replaced by a new, three-pronged leadership team.
Thinking about the future
When asked about the viability of Ecclestone's continuing reign, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told the German news agency DPA: "Some may think they are immortal, and that performance remains the same.
He added: "However, there is a great responsibility to the sport to do what is right for the future."
Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has a similar view, backing Marchionne's vision of a three-person leadership team; perhaps involving Niki Lauda.
Marko told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper: "When I think about the sporting side, then for me Niki Lauda is one of the hottest candidates."
As for rumours Wolff might be another candidate, the 44-year-old himself answered: "I have a plan, but it's too early to talk about it. I enjoy the role I have at Mercedes.
"I have the support of the board, Daimler and the team, so in this respect I have very good conditions to pursue my objectives with Mercedes," Wolff added.
Change is needed
What is clear, however, is that the anti-Ecclestone rhetoric is heating up amid an intense political climate in F1 at present.
Referring to recent headlines attracted by controversial comments by Ecclestone, Wolff said: "Irrationality and excessive emotion has no place in the job.
He concluded: "Times change, we live in a digital world and to cause headlines like that every few days without thinking about it is certainly not the right way."