Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that he is going nowhere – as he quashed rumors on Monday that he was getting sidelined and instead vowed to sort out the sport's future in the next 48 hours.
After a weekend of speculation pointed towards Ecclestone being moved aside to make way for a more direct involvement in F1 by its commercial rights holders CVC, the man himself has declared that he will play a central role in helping get a new Concorde Agreement signed off this week, which should help finally bring an end to the threat of a breakaway championship.
"Any story suggesting I'm going anywhere is completely untrue. I don't know where they came from," said Ecclestone, regarding a piece that appeared in the UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph
. "I hope to have a Concorde Agreement in place by Wednesday. Max [Mosley] 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 do what he said he would do and step down. But as for me, I'll be around for the future."
Ecclestone's stance about his future was backed up by Donald Mackenzie, managing partner of CVC Capital Partners.
With CVC having become proactive in dealing with F1 teams directly to frame the Concorde Agreement, there were suggestions that it was trying to operate outside of Ecclestone's involvement. However, Mackenzie has made it clear that the venture capital company has total faith in Ecclestone to help guide the sport in the future – despite the huge controversy caused by his recent remarks about Adolf Hitler.
"Bernie Ecclestone will remain in his post," he explained. "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. 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."