Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has said Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is peerless as the person in charge of the series’s commercial interests, despite the 82-year-old being indicted for bribery by a German Court, in July.
Ecclestone, who formed the Formula One Constructors Association in 1974 and has since become the head figure in F1 business and politics, is accused of bribing German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky $44m (29m pounds) in the lead up to the sport’s float on the Singapore stock market.
Ecclestone though has denied the allegation and says the money was a means of stopping Gribkowsky from making false allegations that could have made him liable for billions of dollars in tax.
Gribkowsky was sentenced in June to eight-and-a-half years in a Munich prison, while Ecclestone’s case will be held later in the year.
Despite the indictment, Christian Horner has said he has no doubts about Ecclestone’s ability to steer the sport in a positive direction.
“Bernie… has run Formula One tremendously successfully for the last 40 or 45 years,” Horner said to the Telegraph.
“[F1], as it is today, is because of the way he has run it and operated it. It is unimaginable for him not to be there. ”
So long as Bernie is able to run the business, then he is absolutely the right guy to be running it. It’s as simple as that.
“ Despite recent speculation surrounding Ecclestone seeking a successor to his position as the sport’s commercial head and the effect the indictment may play on his ability to operate within the sport, Horner said he was certain Ecclestone had shareholder support.
“Bernie is a remarkable guy,” Horner said. ”I hope he goes on for a long time to come.”