Formula 1

Is Bernie Ecclestone to leave F1 over bribery charges?

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It has emerged Bernie Ecclestone has cancelled an order for a new motor home for 2014 raising questions as to whether he will be in F1 next season. Could F1 be about to lose the man who has run the sport for the last 40+ years?

"Is it because he can still use the old one," theorised the German-language Speed Week, "or because he knows he will no longer need one at all in 2014?"

Speculation around Ecclestone's future has been high all year following an indictment by a court in Munich on bribery charges over a payment made to jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky during the sale of F1 to CVC back in 2005. If found guilty the Briton could be jailed.

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, who hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with Ecclestone, believes F1 needs to start planning for a post-Ecclestone era.

"We will need to rethink everything, with a structure that provides for a head of administration and finance, a commercial director and a number one for technical matters," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport this week.

"The work can no longer be centralised around just one man."

Meanwhile plans are in motion to extend the Friday practice sessions in 2014 from their current 90 minutes to two hours in a bid to increase the amount of running time young reserve drivers can get in F1 machinery.

Under the plan both a reserve driver and a race driver would be able to drive the one car during the extended session.

The reserve drivers would have to obtain an 'International A' license and have not participated in any more than two races within a certain time.

The response to the proposal set to be put to the World Motor Sport Council has drawn a mixed response.

"For us, it would take an hour to convert the car from one driver to another," said Williams' team manager Dickie Stanford.

But Force India's Andy Stevenson insisted: "At Monza, it took us ten minutes to get the car ready for Paul di Resta after James Calado drove it."

Germany's Auto Sport und Motor admitted top teams like Red Bull and Ferrari would likely not change their policy sticking to their race drivers for all sessions, but for teams down the grid it could become "a welcome source of income".

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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