Mike Stevens | Nov 2, 2010

Bernie Ecclestone has played down suggestions Formula One might be sold to the public.

A few years ago, the F1 Chief Executive said an initial public offering "would probably be the right way to go" for the sport.

But he has now told the Financial Times: "There's no way I would sit in front of a load of shareholders.

"It wouldn't float under me," the 80-year-old said.

F1 is currently majority-owned by private equity investor CVC Capital Partners, with Ecclestone holding 5.3 per cent.

The report said the Briton values the organisation at $6 or $7 billion, but he is not worried about who will run F1 in his stead.

"Somebody will emerge when I'm not there," Ecclestone said. "I think two or three people may come out the woodwork but I don't think it could be carried on in the same way as it has."

He said there is "no truth" to the rumours Flavio Briatore is a leading candidate.

Ecclestone also admitted that he would like Red Bull's Mark Webber or Sebastian Vettel to win the 2010 title, so that there are five active World Champions on the grid in 2011.

(GMM)

 

Massa Will Not Be Number Two In 2011: Domenicali

Even if Fernando Alonso wins the 2010 World Championship, his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa will not be relegated to a full-time supportive role next year.

That is the claim of the famous Italian team's boss Stefano Domenicali, even though Brazilian Massa was playing a subordinate role to Alonso's title push even before his own title chances were mathematically over for this season.

Domenicali said Ferrari drivers race primarily in the interests of the Maranello based team.

"Our drivers have to know what is in the interest of the team," he said in an interview with the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

"I can confirm that Felipe will be able to start from scratch in 2011, but always knowing that Ferrari is the most important," added Domenicali.

He denied that Massa's problems have only been about Bridgestone's tyres in 2010.

"I trust him completely and want to make clear that he is a great team player and a great driver," he said.

"I think that when you do not have a perfect season, you have to look at yourself and react. Felipe knows that the team is with him. He knows we are here to make him the best driver he can be.

"I don't think his performance is related only to the tyres. We have to put all the pieces together and try to understand the reasons for him not having the best possible season," added Domenicali.

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