Mosley confirms opposition to News Corp interest

Mon, 9 May 2011, 10:31

May 9 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone reverted to his typical humour and image of invincibility when asked in Turkey if he fears formula one slipping from his grasp.

Asked by Bild am Sonntag if he is worried he may soon have to relinquish his role as the most powerful figure in the paddock, he answered simply: “Yes.”

Asked why, the 80-year-old Briton told the German Sunday newspaper: “Because I can’t do my job when I’m dead.”

He suggested to Bloomberg in another interview that he cannot understand the interest of News Corp and Ferrari-linked Exor when the sport’s current owners CVC are not interested in selling.

And he revealed: “There’s been other interest for quite some time”, adding that CVC might only be swayed with a “bloody enormous” offer.

FIA president Jean Todt confirmed on Sunday that the governing body has the right to veto a sale.

Ecclestone commented: “I don’t, but I could just walk out.”

Curiously, another spanner in the works could be Todt’s predecessor Max Mosley, who called the FIA veto the ‘Don King clause’ because the flamboyant boxing promoter would not be an appropriate owner for the sport.

It’s about “having a suitable, proper person” owning F1, Mosley told Bloomberg. “From a personal point of view, I don’t think they’d be the right person,” he said, referring to News Corp.

Mosley’s main gripe with Rupert Murdoch is his UK tabloid News of the World, responsible not only for the infamous ‘Nazi hookers’ story but also for hacking the phones of celebrities.

“There has been clear illegality,” said Mosley.

A News Corp spokeswoman declined to comment on Ecclestone or Mosley’s comments.

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