Exclusive: Ecclestone says new F1 owners would want him to stay

Wed Sep 7, 2016 7:42am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been asked to stay on for three years after an imminent takeover of the sport is completed by U.S. cable TV mogul John Malone's Liberty Media.

"They want me to be here for three years," the 85-year-old, who over the decades has built the sport into a business with annual turnover of around $1.9 billion, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Media reports have suggested the first part of a broader deal between outgoing rights holders CVC and Liberty Media could be announced on Wednesday.

However Ecclestone and CVC chairman Donald Mackenzie voiced some scepticism about the time frame at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"Honestly, I don't think anybody knows -- including our friends from Liberty, and Donald," said Ecclestone, who still expected the deal to get over the line.

The Briton said he would not be attending next week's Singapore Grand Prix, the social highlight of the sport's Asian calendar, because of the negotiations.

"Because all this is going through, they (CVC) want me to be there (in London) to help them with all sorts of things. I can't afford to be away for five to six days."


Germany Formula One - F1 - German Grand Prix 2016 - Hockenheimring, Germany - 30/7/16 - President and CEO of Formula One Management Bernie Ecclestone before practice. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski