/ Motorsport

Ecclestone insists he is staying put

Updated: Tuesday, 14 Jul 2009 08:24

Bernie Ecclestone has played down rumours that he is to retire
Bernie Ecclestone has played down rumours that he is to retire

Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished rumours he is to 'move upstairs' in the wake of a turbulent time for the Formula One supremo.

Ecclestone came in for considerable criticism following recent remarks seemingly praising former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and some critics believe that, at the age of 78, it is perhaps time for him to take a backseat in the sport.

There have also been suggestions he has lost his touch around the negotiating table given the FIA-FOTA war that has raged for more than two months.

It is known FOTA have spent considerably more time dealing with CVC, Formula One's commercial rights holder, than with Ecclestone himself in recent weeks in an attempt to resolve the matter.

But a defiant Ecclestone said: 'Any story suggesting I'm going anywhere is completely untrue. I don't know where they came from.'

Donald MacKenzie, managing partner at CVC, further supported those remarks and praised Ecclestone for the role he plays, even if the comments about Hitler have soured his standing of late.

'Bernie Ecclestone will remain in his post,' asserted MacKenzie. 'There's no question of moving him into an honorary position or upstairs. There has never been any doubt about that.

'There have been no meetings to discuss it either. Bernie knows me well enough to know his position is not under threat. He runs the business and does so very well.

'We did not like what he said about Hitler.He knows that and it was dealt with. That's the end of the matter. There never was anything more to it than that.'

Ecclestone is firmly of the belief the battle between motor sport's world governing body and the eight teams that comprise FOTA will be resolved within days.

A new Concorde Agreement - the confidential document that governs the commercial side of the sport - is almost ready for the FIA to sign, the proviso being that FIA president Max Mosley issues a cast-iron guarantee he will not run again for a post he has held for the last 16 years when his current mandate ends in October.

Ecclestone confirmed over the weekend that Mosley is an honourable man, and that he will ultimately do the right thing.
With the matter seemingly close to being resolved - again - Ecclestone added: 'I hope to have a Concorde Agreement in place by Wednesday.

'Max will be happy when we have it sorted. He will have achieved everything he set out to achieve, including a new agreement and cost-cutting.

'He will then be in a position to to do what he said he would do and step down.'

Futher underlining his own position, Ecclestone added: 'As for me, I'll be around for the future.'