JANUARY 30, 2017

Experts doubt Ecclestone will go quietly

The F1 world is poised to discover 'deposed' supremo Bernie Ecclestone's next move.

The F1 world is poised to discover 'deposed' supremo Bernie Ecclestone's next move.

The sport's long-time but now former chief executive has denied reports he is planning a breakaway series, but some commentators are refusing to believe the 86-year-old Briton will simply fade into the night.

"Why should a man, who has always been the same for 86 years, suddenly say 'I'll just go away with this comical new title'?

"Sorry, but this is not Bernie," said former F1 driver Christian Danner, now a pundit for German television.

"I would not be surprised if something happens in the background and suddenly the whole situation looks completely different," he told Germany's motorsport-magazin.com.

The 'comical' title given to Ecclestone by Liberty Media is Chairman Emeritas', but some think Liberty would have been wiser to ensure his role is more hands-on.

"Of course it would be an advantage for Liberty and all of us if we could keep using the expertise of Ecclestone," Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team boss, told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.

"But it is a tightrope to walk if you want that but also want to emancipate from Ecclestone," he added.

F1 legend Alain Prost told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the Ecclestone era had to end eventually.

"Everything has an end," he said. "Bernie is 86 years old. It is natural, and even right, that sooner or later his era is over.

"The good news is that I understand that the new owners have a clear idea of what to do and are experts in communication and the show," Prost added.