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Dennis: 'No team boss should run F1'

2014-03-10 09:08

ON HIS WAY OUT? F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone (above) will be facing trial soon for bribery charges and does not yet have a replacement in mind. McLaren boss Ron Dennis said the next boss should be recruited from outside F1. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Any eventual replacement for Formula 1's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone should be recruited from outside F1, says McLaren group chief executive Ron Dennis.

Dennis also oversees McLaren's F1 team.

Ecclestone, an 83-year-old British billionair who for decades has run F1 in autocratic style, is to be tried in Germany on bribery charges. He has no obvious successor.

Christian Horner, 40-year-old team principal of F1 champion team Red Bull, is close to Ecclestone and has been seen as a possible candidate, although both Britons have played down such speculation.

'CONFLICT OF INTEREST'

Ferrari president Luca di Montzemolo has dismissed the suggestion of Horner taking over as a joke; Dennis told Sky Sports TV there would be too much conflict of interest.

Dennis said: "I don't think it would be wise to put any former team principal into the position of running F1. There's too much conflict. The sport is more than mature enough to cope with a very competent businessperson who has to learn F1 as opposed to an F1 person who has to learn how to run the sport.

"I'd rather take the challenge of a hugely experienced chief executive who has the depth needed to run such a complex sport."

F1 has a unique business model, with the rights owner earning fees from circuits, TV deals and sponsors for annual revenues of about R16.1-billion. Private equity group CVC Capital Partners has a 35.5% stake.

The 19-race season will start in Melboure, Australia, over the weekend of March 14-16 then travel the world with races in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North and South America.

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