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Mike Stevens | Oct 29, 2010

Ross Brawn has revealed he is worried about F1's future without Bernie Ecclestone.

As the sport's long-time 'supremo' turns 80 on Thursday, Brawn admitted he is concerned there is no "structure" in place to replace the diminutive Briton who has steered and shaped F1 for decades.

"We discuss it frequently," he told the Telegraph. "We don't have a solution.

"That is one of our fears. A succession plan for Bernie and (F1's owners) CVC is not clear and is one of the things which teams are always seeking clarity on," Brawn said.

But Max Mosley, the former long-time FIA president whose career in F1 politics began as Ecclestone's lawyer and sidekick in the 70s, is confident the sport will not implode without him.

"No, it would just be different," he said.

"When I wanted to step down from the FIA in 2004 I was told I couldn't until I had a succession plan. Bernie needs a succession plan too but, secretly, he probably has one," added Mosley.

Mosley hailed Ecclestone as a "master tactician", and another long-time colleague Sir Frank Williams is also full of praise for the wily Briton, an "unparalleled negotiator".

"What would happen if he were gone tomorrow? Well, not to devalue him in any sense, but I would hope Formula One would not implode," said Williams.

"Not only has Bernie structured long-term contracts with key parties, but he has placed a robust infrastructure around Formula One and helped to populate it with clever people, so a bright, creative successor would emerge, such is the way of the world," he added.

(GMM)

 

Red Bull's Horner Vows Equality For Vettel

Christian Horner has stated emphatically that Red Bull will not be asking Sebastian Vettel to take a supporting role for the last two races of 2010.

"We have two fantastic drivers and we will continue to support both equally in line with Red Bull's credible sporting ethos," he told the Austrian team's official website.

The declaration follows speculation it would make better sense for Vettel - who is 25 points off the top of the Drivers' Championship - to help his teammate Mark Webber close his 11 point deficit to Ferrari's title leader Fernando Alonso.

Horner's comments also follow German Vettel's admission that he only has a "tiny chance" of becoming the 2010 World Champion.

"My chances? They are how they are, but as long as I have a tiny chance ..." the 23-year-old said.

"We have two races to go and we saw in Korea how quickly things can change. Let's wait to see what Abu Dhabi brings," Vettel added.

The situation moved Spain's daily sports newspaper Marca to nominate Vettel as Alonso's "greatest ally" for his third drivers' crown.

(GMM)

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