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Horner remains favourite to take over

Wednesday 26-February-2014 11:29

According to a report in the Times, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner remains the only realistic candidate to replace Bernie Ecclestone as Formula One boss.

The 83-year-old F1 supremo was cleared by the London High Court earlier this month of charges that he knowingly undersold F1 shares, but his position of power in the sport remains unclear after the judge ruled that he was "untruthful and unreliable".

The Times reports that the major shareholder in F1 - private equity firm CVC Capital Partners - are wholly against replacing Ecclestone unless he is found guilty of bribery when he stands trial in Munich in April.

Even though CVC chairman Donald Mackenzie remains wholly against replacing Ecclestone, the Times understands that Horner is the man that Delta Topco, the CVC holding company where Mackenzie has a ruling share, has identified as his successor.

"There is no doubt Christian fits the bill," the Times learned from a Delta Topco board member.

"Bernie is unique and no one can do what he has been doing. Simple as that. We need someone with experience of Formula One, someone who can deal with television rights and commercial contracts. The fact that Bernie would train Christian up, in effect, looks like a solution to many of the directors."

Horner's reputation as a manager has largely been formed by the manner in which he used the funds provided by Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz to turn the Milton Keynes team into the dominant team in F1 this decade.

Should Horner be chosen, his appointment wouldn't be made without stern opposition.

Ferrari President and Delta Topco board member Luca di Montezemolo is believed to be a strong opponent of Horner as Ecclestone's successor, while it is rumoured that several of the top teams on the grid don't often see eye to eye with the 40-year-old.

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