JULY 26, 2002
Ecclestone and the Olympics
Ron Walker, the man in charge of the Australian Grand Prix and the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, is a powerful figure in Formula 1. He is a member of the Formula 1 Commission in his position as one of the major promoters of F1 outside Europe and he is close to Bernie Ecclestone and played a role in the sale of part of the Formula One group to the Californian venture capital group Hellman Friedman a few years ago.
It is interesting, therefore, that Walker has publicly stated that Ecclestone (71) could be the man to lead a bid for the Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012. Walker suggested that if Ecclestone was asked to chair the bid it could be successful.
Walker appears to have overlooked the problems that have occurred between Mr. E and the current British government.
One would have thought that Ecclestone has enough on his plate with sorting out F1 although it is always possible that moving on to an Olympic bid might be a nice exit strategy for Mr. E, if he ever decided that he wanted to stand down as the boss of F1, which could happen at the end of 2005.
Another way to read Walker's comments is that this might be part of the negotiations that are now going on between Ecclestone, the German banks and the car manufacturers over the future of F1.
Whatever the details, it is unlikely that Walker would have started talking about Ecclestone without a reason to have done so.
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