Bernie Ecclestone has named Red Bull team principal Christian Horner as the man he wants to succeed him in running Formula One.

The 83-year-old has controlled the sport for 40 years and believes Horner is the best candidate to replace him to avoid a significant change in the management of the sport.

Ecclestone has a close friendship with the Red Bull boss and admits he would prefer someone with first-hand knowledge of the sport ahead of Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and J Sainsbury chief executive Justin King, who have reportedly been linked with the role.

"Christian would be ideal," he told various national newspapers. "I would be happy to hold his hand.

"We could have a transitional period. It needs someone who knows the sport.

"If someone comes in from the outside, a corporate type, I don't think I could work with them. They wouldn't last five minutes. I don't want anyone who is a corporate type.

"People deal with me because they know me. I have known them for a long time and they trust me. They know I am straight with them.

"That is how it is with Christian. I hope we can do it."

Horner, 40, has supervised Red Bull's dominance of the constructors' championship while the team's German driver Sebastian Vettel has become the world's youngest triple world champion during his tenure.