F1 links: Briatore to replace Ecclestone?

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Details continue to emerge about how a settlement to F1’s latest political dispute might work out.

Now the focus is on Bernie Ecclestone’s future as commercial rights holder, with The Times suggesting CVC want him replaced by Flavio Briatore. The Daily Telegraph claims CVC’s unhappiness with Ecclestone’s infamous remarks about Hitler are part of their eagerness to get rid of him.

Pressure builds on Bernie Ecclestone to go

"Ecclestone, who will be 79 in October, is determined to retain his place in the commercial driving seat, but there are whispers that he will be asked by CVC to stand down at the end of this year. His rumoured replacement is his friend and partner in QPR football club Flavio Briatore, 59 and currently team principal of the Renault team."

Bernie Ecclestone’s future at top of Formula One in doubt

"[CVC bpard members] Sorrell and Brabek, who are both Jewish, are also known to be furious about an interview given by Ecclestone to a British newspaper last weekend, in which he praised Adolf Hitler's ability to "get things done"."

CVC reaches F1 settlement with Lehman

"The sale is a sign that, despite facing threats of a rival series, F1 ownership is still considered valuable and its debt repayment is considered likely."

Bernie flips F1 into GP1

"Trademark applications for logos to ‘GP1 Series’ and ‘GP1’ have been filed by Epsilon Ltd, an offshoot of Mr Ecclestone’s business empire."

Ecclestone Applies For GP1 trademark

Dated 2005…

Formule One minus its despots would still lose the race for respect

"F1 has treated its audience with contempt for so long that one wonders whether it can ever learn how to behave, post-Max and Bernie."

Mercedes plans to supply three teams

"Mercedes-Benz is planning to supply three customer teams in Formula 1 next year, fuelling speculation that Red Bull Racing will make the switch from Renault."


Ecclestone given ultimatum over new championship

"Fota have given Bernie Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners, the holders of the sport's commercial rights, until this weekend to indicate their willingness to go along with their proposed breakaway grand prix championship, unless things can be sorted out for all three parties to agree a lasting peace with the FIA. Fota do not want to wait any longer to start up their series, if talks with the FIA remain at their current impasse."

Bulgaria edges closer to GP deal

Bulgarian Grand Prix organiser Rumen Petkov: "It'll be near the one of the three biggest cities in Bulgaria – the capital city of Sofia, Varna or Burgas. It's because they offer the best accommodation facilities while one of our biggest aims is to prolong the tourist season."

Vatanen wants a new era for the FIA

"Of course that [cabinet] system has been made to protect the incumbent president, and if I got there one day, then that would be the first thing I would change – so people could get rid of me easier than what is possible now."

Rubens Barrichello: ‘Good things will come my way soon’

Rubens Barrichello: "Technically, I couldn't run the wheel covers which give downforce because my rear brake callipers were altered. And because he's taller he can run with the weight distribution further forward than I do. So there is an explanation for the tenth of a second that doesn't happen when I have a full fuel load. I beat him more than he does me on light tanks and then he beats me when we run race fuel."

Loeb interested in Bourdais’ seat

"Although I must say a grand prix is not the same as a rally. It is 70 laps and physically I'm not ready. In rallying you do not have the same conditions as an F1 driver."

German GP Chalk Talk

The excellent Steve Matchett explains how an F1 engine is like a water mill. No, really. Also includes the memorable line, "I'm not even sure it's a real duck".

Max Mosley will stand down, Bernie Ecclestone promises

"Ecclestone offered this reassurance to those who fear that Mosley could yet split Formula One by trying to stay in office for a fifth term as president of the world governing body. 'I have no doubt in my mind, as long as I’ve known Max, he’s always done what he said he would do,' Ecclestone said in an upstairs office in one of his motorhomes."

These are links I’ve bookmarked using Delicious. You can see my Delicious profile here.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “F1 links: Briatore to replace Ecclestone?”

  1. PrisonerMonkeys
    12th July 2009, 11:37

    Briatore replacing Ecclestone?

    God, that’d be even worse. Just picture: “You can’t have a Grand Prix unless you let Alonso win it”.

    1. As much as I support FOTA and all members within it, I honestly hope Briatore does not grab power of anything alone. He would be much worse than Bernie. We just need him to be seated in the background and help where he can. that is all.

  2. What I dont understand is why the teams are so anxious to be on good terms with CVC. How many divisions does CVC have ?
    In my opinion, the teams have the upper hand : fans, and thus advertising money, will follow their national drivers and teams wherever they go. There are plenty of eager racetrack owners and TV channels out there, ready to do business.
    What is it that CVC has that is so indispensable for the teams ? this is what I dont understand.
    In any case, Briatore, a very capable man, will not make that much of a difference with his new emphasis on entertainement, if this entertainement is done on a track with empty grandstands in the middle of nowhere.

    I hope all of this is resolved for the better

    1. It’s CVC & Bernie’s side that puts the show in front of it’s audience. They have the whole set-up in place, tried & tested. If FOTA can work with CVC it is in CVC’s (& FOTA’s ) interest to make the series as popular & prosperous as possible. That`s the case whether it’s the an FIA run series or not.

      1. Absolutely correct, persempre.

        Also worthy of note is that Epsilon LTD filed for trademarks on “GP1”, “GP1 Series”, and some other related terms on June 19th. Which I missed at the time. Not surprising, though, since Bernie owns it.

        Now, the real question is: Was that Bernie covering his butt so FOTA couldn’t use those terms? Or, was it Bernie doing as CVC told him to do, in case CVC & FOTA go it together in 2010?

        Probably a moot question, at this point, as it appears almost certain that CVC is going to kick Bernie upstairs. So CVC will control the new trademarks, anyway.

        But I think the trademark papers for GP1 will lay gathering dust. A decent settlement with FiA is practically a certainty. CVC got involved in the negotiations firsthand, and all of a sudden Lehman juggles it’s possesions from one held company to another, to keep hold of it’s F1 stock. Not a move they’d make if they weren’t certain FiA Formula 1 is going to survive and succeed. Lehman holds 15% of DeltaTopco, which is the CVC-held company that nominally ‘owns’ Formula 1.

        So I’d bet the farm CVC won’t screw longtime associate Lehman, and that in 2-3 weeks time Bernie & Max will be gone, or neutralized, and we will have nothing but the racing to discuss.

        Flavio as the new media head? Oh my, not what I was thinking at all. And wouldn’t he have to relinquish his racing holdings to avoid charges of conflict of interest?

  3. Yes, dsob, pretty much exactly my thoughts.

    CVC &, currently, Bernie have covered themselves whichever way FOTA goes.
    I, too, think, the only way CVC would have agreed to Lehman passing its’ shares to a holding company was because the value is not in danger.

    I’m not sure whether to believe the Flav thing. I think it may come from the fact that Briatore was going to be the FOTA representative working with the commercial side.
    I don’t know whether Bernie has actually been grooming him to take over. It’s possible, of course. They are good friends. I have an open mind on it, though, as it may just be media, as usual, making 2+2=5.

    Whether we see Bernie & Max go as soon as you say (or even if we see Bernie go in the next year) I also keep open.
    I think it’s definite that Max will have to leave but Bernie may have more of a reprieve.
    CVC will, if they are sensible, want someone onboard with real F1 contacts & experience. If not, as suggested, Flav then someone else will need to be in place before Bernie goes, I think.

    1. I think, as you say, this whole Flavio thing was instigated from his position as a FOTA representative working with the commercial side. But if there is any chance of this, I honestly have doubts if Flavio would be the best choice..

  4. There were rumours that Flavio would hand over day-to-day running of Renault to Bruno Michiel, currently GP2 Series head honcho, at the start of this season. So I can imagine it wouldn’t be too much of an issue for Flav to leave Renault to Michiel and step into Bernie’s shoes should the situation arise.

  5. I think Flavio is much more of a ‘hands-on’ leader than Bernie, and does appear to have more respect in the paddock, even if he does come across as a one-horse salesman to the fans, and since he already has links with GP2, he may be seen as a natural successor by CVC. Maybe he is already on their payroll…..
    It looks as if Bernie has settled his future with his pre-German GP remarks, so I wonder if CVC would ensure they have more control over his replacement?

  6. While I think Ecclestone does need replacing I hope it is not by Briatore.

    Also I don’t have anything against Bulgaria but I am not looking forward to the prospect of a Bulgarian GP, mainly because of all the other countries which I think should get one first.

  7. Bigbadderboom
    13th July 2009, 9:56

    Out of the frying pan into the fire! Flavio is a fantastic, colourful and enthusiastic character, but recent events has taught us that anybody in Bernies position needs to be very considered in what they say……And if we are honest that is probably not one of Flavios strengths.

    1. needs to be very considered in what they say……And if we are honest that is probably not one of Flavios strengths.

      Agreed. And during the Max & Bernie Show of recent years, I’ve had my fill of “colourful” characters and remarks. I wish now for sanity and reason.

      Replacements for Max & Bernie should be good business people and good administrators. While I still favor someone outside of motorsports as FiA President, I don’t suppose that will happen as it’s the car clubs that cast the votes.

      Well, perhaps Vatanen will win the election. At least as a politician he did accomplish some good things.

  8. Its amazing that Bernie is 20 years older than Flav, and seems in better shape. Flav likes pancakes too much.
    Bernie, tell us your secret ! and with a full head of hair and everything. Outstanding.

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