F1 'unimaginable' without Ecclestone - Horner
Ecclestone is currently facing allegations he bribed a banker during the sale of F1 to current owners CVC Capital and has been indicted by a German court. Meanwhile, in London he and other defendants face a claim from Constantin Medien - a German media group which used to own a share of F1 - for damages of at least $171m amid claims Formula One was undervalued when it was sold to CVC from previous owners BayernLB.
But despite Ecclestone's looming legal issues, Horner cannot imagine the sport running smoothly without the 82-year-old at the helm.
"Bernie is a unique individual who has run Formula One tremendously successfully for the last 40 or 45 years," Horner was quoted by the Daily Telegraph. "The business, 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."
Horner said he fully backed CVC's decision to leave Ecclestone in power amid the current legal issues.
"It's obviously very difficult for us to judge the issues [Ecclestone] is currently dealing with, but I'm sure he is fully focused. 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. And he has the full backing of the shareholders of Formula One."
And Horner denied he is being groomed as a potential replacement for Ecclestone.
"No, not at all. I'm fully focused on what I'm doing. Bernie is a remarkable guy, and I doubt he has given much thought to succession to be honest with you because he is focused on the here and now, which is where the issues tend to be. I hope he goes on for a long time to come."
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