F1: Bernie Ecclestone has no plans of retirement just yet

By Gareth Llewellyn
bernie ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone - No plans to slow down (Photo: Silverstone Circuits)

bernie ecclestone

Formula 1 commercial director Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he has no plans to retire just days before his 80th birthday.

Ecclestone has been a major part of the sport’s commercial side since 1978 and has helped turn it a multi-million pound enterprise with some of the highest global audience figures in world sport.

His recent focus has been on taking F1 into new markets, with this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix the latest in a line of new venues that now includes India and Russia.

The 79-year-old was also the driving force behind moves to exploit the automotive industry in Asia, with new races in Malaysia, China, and more recently Singapore.

“If I stop working, I cannot solve problems any more,” said Ecclestone. “If I’m not solving problems, that’s the beginning of the end. So I work and I like to work.

“I have no idea if Formula 1 is looking for my successor. They should probably look out for another used car dealer.”

Ecclestone, who has previously insisted he will remain in the role until his death, refused to name his successor but seems unlikely to favour the role going to a current team boss in the way that Ferrari’s Jean Todt succeeded Max Mosley as FIA president.

“They should probably all see that they run their own businesses properly and not worry about others,” he added.

“What is good for Formula 1 is good for everybody involved – teams and companies. Too many people only think about what is good for them. It’s the same with the rules – they only think about what can make them win.

“All the teams are very competitive and want to win, which I support completely, but they need to want to win on level terms and not try to get a big advantage. If they get an advantage because somebody designs a better car or they have a better driver or strategy, then super.

“But they should not try to devise things so that they can go in knowing that they have an advantage. Lots of them would like to go in and have a little bit of a bigger engine than the others, which is not really the way to go.”

The teams are currently negotiating the technical regulations for the 2013 season, including the introduction of smaller, turbo engines.

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