Ecclestone admits trials are a distraction from F1
Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he can no longer fully focus on Formula One due to his forthcoming bribery trial in Germany.
Even though he stood down from the board of Formula One's parent company Delta Topco earlier this year, Ecclestone insisted he would remain in day-to-day control of the sport. However, following his High Court battle last month with Constantin Medien and ahead of his upcoming trial in Germany, Ecclestone admits he is no longer able to dedicate as much time as he would like to F1.
"I've been spending time on this [civil] case and to spend time on Munich I am not able to give what I normally would do, 24/7, to the business," he told the Financial Times.
Ecclestone says he has started the search for someone to replace him should he no longer be able to run the sport.
"I've been looking, over the last few years, for somebody who can join me to assist with what I have to do. I will eventually be in a position, if I decide to retire - or unfortunately become dead - to have someone to step into my shoes."
The sport's main shareholder CVC capital has so far stuck by Ecclestone, although co-founder Donald Mackenzie said in November: "If it is proven that Mr Ecclestone has done anything that is criminally wrong, we would fire him."
The talk of a succession plan comes one week after the Times tipped Red Bull boss Christian Horner to replace Ecclestone.