F1

F1 facing 'giant hole' without Ecclestone - Lauda

922 views

Mar.17 (GMM) Niki Lauda has revealed he is worried Formula One will struggle for health if Bernie Ecclestone is no longer at the wheel.

F1's long-time 'supremo' could even be jailed if he is found guilty of bribery and corruption in a criminal trial that begins in Germany next month.

"Without him and his knowledge, Formula One would fall into a giant hole," Lauda, the chairman of the Mercedes team and a triple world champion, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

He said it would be "incredibly difficult" for the sport if Ecclestone, 83, is no longer able to run F1 "from one day to the next".

Given the sport's size, many insiders find it hard to believe a succession plan is not ready to be unfurled, but Lauda said: "I don't know if Bernie can be so easily replaced."

The great Austrian said the diminutive Briton has done a "perfect job" for the sport over the years.

"He made some small errors, but each of us has done that," Lauda insisted.

Even Ecclestone admits that paying the jailed former F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to quieten him about his tax affairs might have been a mistake.

"I regret paying him," he told the F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

"I should have let him write to the (British) Revenue and let them prove what he said," Ecclestone is quoted by the Express newspaper.

"It is a wonderful thing, hindsight."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series F1

User photos

Tim Holmes
F1

Tim Holmes

25 photos
EuroRacer
F1

EuroRacer

38 photos
Evan_DeCiren
F1

Evan_DeCiren

27 photos
jimmykwoods
F1

jimmykwoods

2 photos
nickmossdesign
F1

nickmossdesign

1 photos
EricDebris
F1

EricDebris

411 photos
hanmerdesign
F1

hanmerdesign

7 photos
darkcloud154
F1

darkcloud154

22 photos
Upload photo