Piccinini to be the new Bernie?

NEWSPAPER reports in Europe have suggested in recent days that Bernie Ecclestone - who is now 68 years old - is planning to leave Italian banker Marco Piccinini in charge of Formula One Holdings when - and if - the business is floated. The 46-year-old has been a pal of Ecclestone since the early 1980s when he, Bernie and Max Mosley negotiated the Concorde Agreement. At the time Piccinini was Sporting Director of Ferrari, a job he held between 1978 and 1988.

Piccinini has all the right qualifications for the job. He built his own Formula 3 car in 1974 before becoming Enzo Ferrari's eyes and ears in Grand Prix racing in 1978. After Ferrari's death in 1988 he went back to banking, although he remains a director of Ferrari. He went on to become president of the Italian national sporting authority and a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

When Ecclestone first announced that he was planning to float Formula One Holdings he named Piccinini as deputy chief executive. He is currently a non-executive director of FOH.

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