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Bernie: 'My F1 end is near'

2014-03-19 08:24

THE FINAL CURTAIN? F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says the 2014 season might be the last time the sport sees him as the boss. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone has admitted 2014 could be his last at the helm of Formula 1 one.

He also insists that is not because of the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption court case that, if he is found guilty, would at best see him fired and at worst see him in a German jail.

Until now the F1 chief executive had always said he had no intention of stepping down. "As long as I feel I can deliver, and the shareholders are happy for that to happen, I will stay."

'THINGS HAVE CHANGED'

That, it seems, has all changed... he was quoted by the UK's Daily Mirror as saying: "I'm going to be 84 at the end of 2014 so I'm probably going to have to start to think 'do I want to go into the 85th year doing what I've been doing for goddamn how many years?'.

"It's something to which I'll have to give some very serious thought."

Ecclestone likened his thoughts about quitting to a sports star at the top of his game. "The important thing is to know when you should hang up your gloves so you are not going to end up going into the ring and getting a good hiding."

He said the Gribkowsky case, in which he is accused of bribing the now-jailed Gribkowsky to the tune of dozens of millions of dollars, has nothing to do with his new thoughts about retirement. "No, that's nothing. No, no! It's the way people have to run businesses today compared to how they used to."

He said he was referring to today's era of "corporate governance" involving "different committees, ethics committees and god knows what else boards to report to". "I didn't know about any of these things back then,"Ecclestone said. "Probably, if I had, I wouldn't have lasted as long as I lasted.

"And we will be more restricted as time goes on. That's how the world is. It's coming that way. I don't agree with it.

"What we are slowly but surely managing to do is get rid of entrepreneurs. Getting rid of people who think outside the box," he said.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
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