Bernie Ecclestone has come under fire recently following is time interview in which he waxed poetic about Hitler, dictators and the failure of democracy. This didnâ€™t set well with the owners of F1â€™s commercial rightsâ€”CVC Partners.
It seems that the CVC board redressed Bernie over the issue and things have since been sorted. This comes on the heels of an article in the Times stating that pressure was mounting and the CVC could be showing Ecclesstone the door.
Thatâ€™s not the case says Donald Mackenzie, managing partner of CVC Capital Partners:
“Bernie Ecclestone will remain in post,” he explained. “There’s no question of moving him into an honorary position or upstairs. There has never been any doubt about
“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.”
Keying on that notion, Ecclestone said:
“I can’t understand where that information could have come from, although it is obviously from a malicious source.”
“Max will be happy when the Concorde Agreement is signed,” Ecclestone said. “I’m sure then he will take his holiday and not stand for re-election. He would have no reason to stay.”
It is important for the CVC to keep the temperature cool during their negotiations with FOTA. They stand to lose billions should this not get sorted out and Ecclestoneâ€™s future with the firm, at this point, is secondary and perhaps tertiary behind ridding the FIA of Max Mosley. Playing down the incident is perhaps the best tack at this point until a new Concorde Agreement can be signed but it would not shock me to see Ecclestone and CVC part ways post-FOTA agreement.
One of the outcomes of this battle is that it has brought CVC Partners and the teams together in negotiation which is not being put through the bravado and ego filters of Mosley or Ecclestone. FOTA knows they hold the upper hand and should CVC make any drastic changes now, it may scare FOTA from signing.
If Ecclestone feels he can close the deal in the next 48 hours with invoking Hitler or any other chest-pounding Mosley anticsâ€”they will probably see him out. But should he drop the ball or attempt another strong-arm tactic with FOTA and the member teams leave; CVC will hack slash and burn the two older gentlemen at the helm in favor of the future revenue of the sport.
Thatâ€™s my opinion and I am sticking to it.