Bernie Ecclestone, 2012

Ecclestone successor ‘to come from outside F1’

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bernie Ecclestone, 2012In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone’s successor will be appointed from outside F1, a CVC source tells The Telegraph.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Ecclestone’s successor will be from outside F1, CVC reveals (The Telegraph)

“The business is too small to have a successor lurking in the ranks. The successor almost certainly has to come from externally.”

Sirotkin: not too soon to make F1 move (Autosport)

“At the moment maybe I am a little bit too young but that doesn’t mean I cannot be ready. I have more than half a year to learn, I am doing a good preparation programme, and I can be ready.”

McLaren refuse to hit panic button (The Sun)

Managing director Jonathan Neale: “We?ve got to look long-term. McLaren have been around for 50 years, we?ve got 182 race wins. We will be back, we will be winning.”

How do you drive a supercomputer round a Formula 1 track? (The Register)

“How much computing power do you need to simulate a wind tunnel? Lotus?s beast runs at 32.5 teraflops, and packs in 10,000GB of RAM, with 1PB of storage, and generates 10TB of data a week.”


Comment of the day

Where has it gone wrong for Red Bull’s aspiring young driver Antonio Felix da Costa this year?

I think there?s something a little more tangible going wrong with Da Costa?s Formula Renault 3.5 season.

Even though it looks to all the world that he?s sneezed and let all of his talent go, you don?t go from megastar to mediocre in the space of a winter. The kid is clearly gifted.

He was GP3 and FR3.5???s fastest man in 2012, and in the opening round at Monza this year he started to catch Vandoorne by 1.5 seconds before getting the puncture that rather set the tone of Da Costa?s season.

Beyond the extra large helping of reliability issues Da Costa has had, Arden really haven?t been setting up the car properly. Both Da Costa and Pietro Fantin spend most of the races defending as their pace evaporates, and I know Fantin isn?t exactly in the running for an F1 drive, but to see two team mates struggling rather suggests a core problem with the way in which the team sets the car up.

Couple Da Costa?s setup woes with a ton of bad luck, and another ton of technical issues and you have a promising season comprehensively ruined. That however doesn?t detract from the fact that he drove excellently in the Young Driver?s Test and clearly has lost none of his potential – and is now looking a dead cert for a seat with Toro Rosso with Daniel Ricciardo probably signing on the dotted line as I type.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

It’s also happy birthday to two-time Grand Prix entrant Torsten Palm, who’s 66 today.

The Swedish driver unusually arrived in F1 via Brazilian Formula Three. He raced in F1 twice in 1975 driving a Hesketh. He failed to qualify in Monaco but got on the grid for his home race at Anderstorp, retiring shortly before the end with a lack of fuel. That marked the end of his brief F1 career.

84 comments on “Ecclestone successor ‘to come from outside F1’”

  1. There is a problema for Felix Da Costa if he can´t work with the team to find the right set up. Most of the Red Bull Young Driver Program are described as being very good working with the team and in technical department.

    1. Oh dear! fertile ground for the conspiracy theorists.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      23rd July 2013, 9:31

      One would hope that an experienced F1 team like Toro Rosso would be better at finding a balance Da Costa likes than the mash up of resources that is the Arden Caterham FR3.5 team.

      1. @william-brierty I think is the other way around. The driver is the one that is suppose to learn these things in the lower categories. If you can´t work with a small team of engineers, how are you suppose to do with the big lot that form a F1 team and is trusting your feedback to set up the car?

        @jcost @hohum I don´t think is has anything to do with conspiracy, more to do with Da Costa not being ready to F1 or at least for a team to rely on his feedback

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          23rd July 2013, 17:41

          @celeste Well, yes, that’s a competant argument and certainly better than the arguments wsrgo has been serving me all day, but I just find all too strong a conincidence to see both Fatin and Da Costa struggling so fundamentally during the race. It’s almost as if the team is desperate to solve its setup woes, with both Fatin and Da Costa running drastically low levels of downforce at the weekend race in Spielberg.

  2. Da Costa is going through the same problem Sergio Perez is suffering right now: The car lets you down and your nerves start shaking too. But I’m optimistic: For both of them there will be a nice climb-up

    1. @omarr-pepper

      Da Costa may be destined for greatness (he’s still an unknown quantity), but I’m not so sure about Perez. He’s obviously a worthy McLaren driver and a good one as we saw from his Sauber days. But will he ever join the league of Alonso/Vettel/Kimi/Hamilton in terms of raw pace? I doubt it. Managing tyres will only take you so far. I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but from what I have seen from Perez, it’s unlikely.

      1. In other words, a Coulthard-esque McLaren driver ;)

  3. Pirelli wristbands… hope they are the revised kevlar belted versions

    1. Just wear them in one hand, never swap sides left-to-right or they will fall into pieces @sebsronnie

      1. you forgot to mention not to run them without high enough pressure and avoiding the edges of your desk @omarr-pepper!

        1. +1 to @MartyF1 @omarr-pepper & @bascb Thats brought a smile to a down trodden Aussie Cricketing fan.

    2. I have ’em for more than 6 month now (so the old compound) and it scratches my arm up when I wear ’em for too long.

      1. Maybe the wear rate is high when you wear ’em

      2. So Pirelli’s rubber is causing suspension damage on long stints?


  4. Ecclestone’s successor will be from outside F1

    Didn’t I say something similar in a comment a few days back :P

    Its as I said then, Fans moan about Bernie for various reasons, But at least he loves the sport & having worked in F1 for what about 45yrs he understands the sport, the people involved & how to deal with them to get what’s needed done (As well as what he wants).

    The person who replaces him may be a great business person, someone able to run a company & all that, However if they don’t love the sport, If they don’t understand the sport & don’t know how to deal with the politics of F1 or how to work with teams who want only whats best for themselfs then is that person really going to be better than Bernie?

    Its why I always say when there’s all the Anti-Bernie (Sometimes rightly) comments from fans, The grass ain’t always greener on the other side so be careful what you wish for.

    Been honest however I think its now almost inevitable that Bernie’s successor will be someone from outside MotorSport because F1 is now a business, Not just for Bernie & CVC but for everyone involved & no matter how many people complain about that fact or how right or wrong it may or may not be, Its not changing.

    1. GT_Racer, you did indeed, however if you read the article, they refer to “outside FOM” not outside F1. So maybe, Toto, Ron Dennis, even but unlikely imo Chris Horner, there are plenty of candidates but whoever it is they will be chosen for their ability to maximise profits for the shareholders.

      1. Bring back Adam Parr?

        1. I’ve suspected this ever since Parr left Williams. It was rather weird in the way he left and it was said that Bernie wouldn’t settle an agreement with Williams unless Parr had left Williams. So in light of this I couldn’t help but think that there was another motive within that; then I got thinking and wondered if he’d be a good fit to be Bernie’s successor… I think so.

    2. That article about Ecclestone doesn’t reveal anything except how many people work for him. All the other information is just speculative fluff, regurgitated by the Telegraph and every other F1 news site. The headline says an outside successor is revealed, but the text says: “It is widely thought that Christian Horner, the British boss of championship-winning team Red Bull Racing, will take over from Mr Ecclestone. Names from outside the sport have included Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King and former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose.” that’s both contradictory and unrevealing. I do agree with GT_Racer though… whoever does take over had better love the sport.

      1. Yeah, as much as people loathe Bernie, we have to had it to him. F1 wouldnt be where it is without his wheeling and dealing.

        Toto is relatively a little green to run F1, probably in about 10 years maybe? Ron Dennis would be a logical solution, but his interests with Mclaren might derail him. Here’s a thought, what about Flavio? His image is a bit tarnished after the crashgate fiasco, but he is in that league of hard headed experienced leaders who know how to get things done in the sport…helluva a character as well..not mention that he is a very successfull business man as well. He fits the bill.

      2. How about Jonathan Palmer?

      3. I’d say King will take the job. There’s no secrets in his world anymore.

      4. I think a hint of why that is, is in its author. Mr. Sylt has been acting as Bernie’s non official press officer before.
        So the purpose of it is probably to show that CVC are not dumping Bernie, that they do have some kind of plan if its needed, but really there’s not all that much to worry about.

    3. Just curious: if Bernie’s successor will be from outside Formula 1, will his role be different from Bernie’s? Like, will he be more invisible than Ecclestone because he doesn’t (yet) know this sport like the back of his hand?

    4. John Bergqvist (@)
      23rd July 2013, 19:18

      I worry that an outsider would outsource World Feed & Season Review coverage to outside FOM, which IMO would be a bad idea in terms of quality.

  5. Gary Anderson made an interesting observation about PDR recently:

    As a driver, Di Resta is as talented as necessary to win races. Whether he can win world championships or not, the biggest thing that lets him down is his attitude. In F1, if you’re going to win the world title, you need everyone around you. Every member of the team needs to be pulling for you and really be on your side. And Paul doesn’t know how to create that environment for himself. He has a lot to learn and he doesn’t seem to be learning it.

    There’s more to being a top driver than simply being a top driver.

    1. What a great comment, and really true. There is lots to being a top driver than driving fast.

    2. Personally I get the same vibe from Hamilton. Maybe I’m wrong, it’s just the feeling I have. Living the superstar life is probably not something the mechanics can really relate to (as opposed to working hard and keeping your feet on the ground). And perhaps to that, you can also trace reliability issues, pit stop issues and strategy issues. If you don’t have the team 100% around you, they might not do that extra step for you.

      1. Of course, it was Hamilton’s fault.

    3. And as much as it pains me, this is true. About both DiResta and Hamilton. Just look at Vettel and the amount of work he puts in to get the team working around him correctly. As much as I dislike him, this is one aspect of him that I absolutely cannot fault. And his results speak for themselves…

      1. @chapor Actually that’s one of the very few qualities which I believe has really set vettel apart from the others. He and alonso may be political , cocky or arrogant but they work their a$$ off outside the cockpit too and make sure they have that extra bit of chemistry between their mechanics.Hell, ferrari could give alonso a truck and he would still politely say the car is bad rather than saying they have messed up. I am not part of any racing organization but as a lay person from hearing all the interviews, promos,blogs,twitter and feeds I feel my favorite driver could do a bit more in that direction :) . I am not saying Hamilton doesn’t do all that stuff but he has to start using ‘we’ instead of ‘they’. It goes a long way.

      2. @chapor I don’t want to discredit Seb but, I suspect Lewis Hamilton could do, at least, just as fine if he was driving for Red Bull. Maybe Vettel is better at teaching engineering and design to his tech team and mechanics than Di Resta or Hamilton… but I think both DIR and HAM could land a good number of wins for Red Bull as well.

        1. It has nothing to do with “teaching engineering and design” to your tech team and mechanics, and everything to do with with instilling in your tech team and mechanics the desire to go the extra mile for you. You do this by making your success, their success. You spend more time cultivating the people who are important to you winning and less time cultivating the press. You say things like “We win as a team, and lose as a team”. And you mean it. When you win a race, you don’t brag about how great you are: you compliment your team for the great job they did. As you do your victory lap you say things like “Thanks, guys, the car was fantastic today, and the strategy was spot on!”

          The down side of this is that some people who don’t know any better and who are used to drivers being self-centered braggarts will think you’re not a very good driver and merely, through pure serendipity, just happen to have a fabulous car. The upside of it is, you win. A lot.

          1. @jonsan pretty much every driver says

            “Thanks, guys, the car was fantastic today, and the strategy was spot on!”

            after a successful Sunday.

        2. @jcost on talent alone? I’m almost certain Hamilton could do as good a job as Vettel. On the technical and team side? Not so sure. Vettel spends the most time of anyone with his engineers going through the data to find those last tenths and I think that’s what’s allowed him to be so successful as the season nears it’s climax: he’s nailed the car set-up down to the finest details and so has it exactly as he likes. Hamilton seems to have had some problems in that respect.

          Di Resta I wouldn’t be so sure of: I’m a fan of his and want to believe he had the talent but I’m highly skeptical that he does. I rate Hülkenberg more highly.

          1. @vettel1 man I’d say most drivers spend a good time of their lives studying circuits and their cars, even those who have recording studios at home. Certainly Vettel is not winning because of his extra 40 minutes of “data scrambling”. He just happens to be a very good driver in the best car. In the history of Motorsport, it usually is translated into greatness.

            Again, not to take things away from Seb but I guess he would find it hard to drive the MP4-28..

        3. @jcost Oh for sure, Hamilton in a Red Bull would be quite something to look out for. For pure outright speed I reckon Hamilton has the measure of Vettel. But Vettel puts in a heck of a lot of his time to study the car, setup, tracks, telemetry etc. More so than any other racer out there, and that shows… He doesn’t let himself get distracted by a flashy lifestyle etc.

          I would so love to see Hamilton with the successes that Vettel has, but sometime hard work brings more to the table than talent alone…

          1. Hamilton in a Red Bull would be quite something to look out for. For pure outright speed I reckon Hamilton has the measure of Vettel

            @chapor it takes a good understanding of the car, the circuit and telemetry to post fast laps and pole positions, which I guess, is the ultimate measure of pure speed.

            You guys are making it look like Di Resta, Hamilton or Alonso are being beaten because they don’t work as hard as Seb but I don’t buy that. Seb is a great driver who happens to drive the best car.

          2. I don’t know, JCost, I don’t find your dogged insistence that whatever car SV is driving at any given moment is always “the best” to be especially persuasive. But even if we assume for the sake of argument that it is “the best”, don’t you think SV has something to do with making it that? Both in the technical sense, and in the sense of motivating his engineering team? You make it sound like he shows up to a GP every few weeks, hops into a “best car” which somebody else kindly made for him, wins a race, then goes home to play on his X-box.

          3. @jonsan

            Drivers give valuable feedback to engineers but what I’m trying to say is, Alonso, Hamilton, Webber or Massa have enough years in motorsport to give same quality inputs. Again, Vettel is a top driver on the way to become one of the greatest but the idea that he’s beating the likes of Alonso, Hamilton or Button because he works harder seems unfair.

      3. @chapor Actually that’s one of the very few qualities which I believe has really set vettel apart from the others. He and alonso may be political , cocky or arrogant but they work their butt off outside the cockpit too and make sure they have that extra bit of chemistry between their mechanics.Hell, ferrari could give alonso a truck and he would still politely say the car is bad rather than saying they have messed up. I am not part of any racing organization but as a lay person from hearing all the interviews, promos,blogs,twitter and feeds I feel my favorite driver could do a bit more in that direction :) . I am not saying Hamilton doesn’t do all that stuff but he has to start using ‘we’ instead of ‘they’. It goes a long way.

        1. he has to start using ‘we’ instead of ‘they’

          @hamilfan You hit the nail on the head there…

    4. jimscreechy (@)
      23rd July 2013, 11:24

      I appreciate this point, but like so many things I don’t believe it’s an absolute. It is certainly better to have all the team pulling for you, but it is hardly a necessity. Managing people well will always make your walk through life that much easier, but history shows as many walk with aides and subordinates snapping at their heels while achieving. Raikonnen For example, is a prime example of the “just give me a fast car and I will win with it school of thought” Ferrari let him go with a years salary in favour of Alonso, which doesn’t lead one to believe he had particularly good people skills. I am not saying he is an unpleasant character but I don’t think many would list affableness or garrulousness in his list of qualities; – “Pulling for you and really be on your side” – I’m not so sure I would word it that way… but as I said, I do appreciate the point.

      1. No it is probably not a absolute, but your example of Raikonnen is exactly what @chapor and Mo are talking about, he was paid off at Ferrari precisely because he couldn’t galvanise the team around him and drive it forward which surely goes to emphasise the point Gary Anderson made about PDR and others have drawn similar parallels to Hamilton.

        1. @asanator very interesting point. Raikonnen could not lead Ferrari, and his championship only happened after Hamilton and Alonso took away each other points. But drivers that have multiple championships (Vettel, Schumi, Alonso, Prost, Senna, etc) were also good leaders and good in getting the team around them.

          1. jimscreechy (@)
            23rd July 2013, 17:13

            Ah yes, it is true the points tally and ultimate position, WDC or otherwise at the seasons end never tells the true story re: Raikonnen and his WDC, but Schumi caused some serious unrest at Benetton with his unwillingness to share data with his teammate, a decision backed by the then team principle. The team as a whole was certainly not harmonious. Prost and Senna at McLaren – if anything Senna was then underling but they both certainly seemed well supported. Nelson Piquet (at Williams) was know to be a very difficult man and a pain in the rear to most of the engineers who (outside of his driving abilities) largely just tolerated him. I am just highlighting that there are very clear points to the contrary from this school of thought. It seems all too easy to claim its because of ‘this or that’ why a person doesn’t achieve when really its only a very small factor in the real issue which I think is – if you don’t drive for a top team, you will in all likelihood not be a champion.

          2. @celeste

            Maybe getting the team around you has something to do with how consistently you beat your team mate. Alonso failed to get this kind of treatment when he was at McLaren and maybe a fast Kimi could make Red Bull think twice before “picking” Seb as their #1.

          3. @jcost I´m gonna side with Alonso in this one, what a shocker!, I think Alonso couldn´t take the lead figure because of Ron Dennis strong presence at that time… Dennis “protected” Hamilton, and was not about someone underminding his authority

        2. jimscreechy (@)
          23rd July 2013, 16:43

          Well that is exactly my point, he won his WDC with a team you agree he could not galvanise around him. So doesn’t it then become contradictory to also claim this is necessary to achieve world titles. You cant really use this notion to ride both sides of the debate… well you can but that in itself sort of makes the discussion pointless.

    5. That’s a very good point he has made: that’s exactly what Schumacher used to such devastating effectiveness in the Ferrari days – everybody in that team (including even Barichello) was working for Schumacher in some way or another. We’re seeing it to a lesser extent now with Alonso (just look at him in his chair and you will see exactly how much authority he has over that garage!), Hamilton (his contract speaks for itself) & Räikkönen (case in point, Grosjean moving out of his way in Germany) and if course in the Newey/Vettel pairing but I’ve yet to see Paul stand-out as the lead driver in Force India despite his better performances.

      I feel he is concentrating far too much on his own ambitions that he is forgetting to sculpt his current team around him, a key element in showing to the top teams that he is ready to make the jump. Perhaps he has shot himself in the foot?

      1. In this case I don´t think Hamilton example aplies. He is fast, and maybe is more a Brand and awareness thing that made Mercedes pay more money. But Nico has done a better job in getting the team arounf him, even when Lewis is new with them.

        1. @celeste that is true: Hamilton of course has been having the braking issues for example which leads one to suggest he might not be getting the best out of the car and lacking the constructive communication with his technical team to an extent that say Vettel has. Maybe that’s not his strength, getting the team around him so he gets what he wants. He can definitely drive quickly though no question…

          1. Obviously a champion F1 driver has to master many different skills. Vettel mentions one of these in this clip – go to the 25 second mark.


          2. @vettel1 Maybe it takes some time to get the team around him . But yeah he should definitely take that approach and put some effort in that direction.

  6. The article about Lotus is fantastic, Great insight into F1 facilities

    1. And how much money is being saved by banning testing, ha ha.

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    23rd July 2013, 1:19

    The Lotus Supercomputer article is massively interesting!

    1. My favourite quote:

      Not everything can be simulated, and not everything translates into the real world: “It becomes hit or miss.” Or as one former head of engineering put it, “Darwinian engineering”.

      Also interesting to see Boeing involved with Lotus in a no nonsense partnership where they really benefit each other, makes you wonder what secrets like this other teams may also have.

      1. Boeing ís primarly interested in aerodynamics research. F1 teams are second to none when it comes to that, even ahead of aerospace industry. They can learn more from Lotus than we can imagine.

        1. It’s probably more to do with onboard fire extinguishers though.


    “We have 150 sensors on the car,” explains Caterham’s Simon Lock, who is the electronics engineer on Giedo van der Garde’s car. “That gives is a lot of telemetry information, which we get in two different ways: wired, which is when the car is plugged in, and RF, which is transmitted when the car’s driving round the track.

    1. You mean that the Lotus has up to 300 sensors and the Caterham ‘only’ has 150?

  9. I will take over for Bernie!! lol

  10. Kimi put in an article in todays F1 mag that he would love to drive an F1 car from 60s or 70s but never has. Being he drives for lotus you would think it would be easy to arrange and be a good PR event.

    Sometimes they miss the obvious.

    1. With all due respect, that’s his own fault’: at Goodwood two weeks ago, Grosjean and Valsecchi were present, but Raikkonen wasn’t. If he really wants to drive a Lotus 49 or 72 or whatever, he should have gone there and made it happen, simple as that.

    2. Please understand that Kimi is not a superstar and entire Lotus team is not supposed to cater to every whim of his. He is just a driver – a good one, no doubt – but just a part of the whole team.

      As has been mentioned above, he could have showed up at Goodwood and driven the car.

      In fact, this interview seems so reactionary in nature. “Romain got to drive an old Lotus, I didn’t! Waaah *Sob Sob*!”

    3. jimscreechy (@)
      23rd July 2013, 12:59

      I’m hardly surprised; he doesn’t want to do the PR stuff, but the good aspects of PR, like being able to drive the classics, is what comes alongside the rubbish like having to meet adoring fans and promote the rubbish your sponsors peddle. Either engage yourself (if only moderately) and give something back to the F1 community at large, or shut up about the lack of extra curricular activities.

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    23rd July 2013, 9:17

    Thanks for my second COTD, Keith.

    1. Well deserved @william-brierty and I sure hope you’re correct about AFC! ;)

  12. jimscreechy (@)
    23rd July 2013, 9:25

    Zounds!! My faith in COTD restored after yesterday’s shenanigans!

  13. I think his daughter Tamara should take over ;-)

    1. Yeah, then we can have a new rule where all teams must wear pink and start every statement with the word “like”!

      1. For sure that would be an improvement.

        1. Like, totally!

  14. I really do believe that Jean Todt is gunning for Bernie’s role. We’ve seen him come up the ranks of Ferrari to where he is now… If someone asked me who I would have thought, he’d be my pick as a natural successor. Would he be any good?

    1. I think Todt would be great at the job. He did awesome things Peugeot before Ferrari. He is a calm leader and doesn’t get easily bent out of shape. He knows all sides of F1. I can’t think of a better candidate. But who would take over his current role?? :)

  15. Having an outside succesor can be a good thing. Bernie has had his way far too long and thinks nobody can do what he does and I personally will be glad if the next guy that comes along gets it done!
    Bernie, in a way, has manipulated stuff in F1 to his advantage and indirectly he has influenced a lot with regards to the “show” aspect of things. Pirelli coming into F1 was his doing just because he didn´t want Todt to get his way and have Michelin be the provider. In the end, I think he got that way wrong but hopefully, they can replace him soon and maybe F1 loses some unwanted drama involving Bernie.

  16. You just can’t be called Felix Da … and not be tagged with Cat, forever more!

    1. Felix da RB Housecat! Lol, but I think Will Brierty is on the mark there in the COTD.

  17. I love the idea that there’s a panic button at McLaren, that makes hundreds of people in team shirts run around waving their arms about. Hopefully it’ll feature in an episode of Tooned soon.

  18. McLaren really should be panicking. They really need another ‘proper’ race driver. Tyre management is a nice game for races where you win by just being there at the end, but you ultimately they need someone with enough speed to win normal races too.

    Besides that, someone who can help the team move forward. Teams where Button had the lead drive just seemed to move backwards.

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