Even amid the corruption scandal, FIA president Jean Todt continues to support embattled F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Earlier, a co-owner of the sport, the Norwegian central bank Norges’ Yngve Slyngstad called on the 83-year-old Briton to be “suspended” while he faces criminal charges in Germany.
But Todt told the Telegraph: “At the moment, he (Ecclestone) is not guilty.
“Has he done a good job? He has done an outstanding job. That’s the only thing I concentrate on,” the Frenchman added.
Todt also told Germany’s Welt newspaper this week: “Without him, formula one would not have become the global business that it is today.
“Some day in the future formula one will have to do without him, but that’s the case for all of us.
“Currently, the relationship between the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone is not affected,” he insisted.
And Todt said there is currently no sign that F1’s owners, CVC, have a different view.
“When CVC … want to move him on, they will let me know as president of the FIA,” he told the Daily Mail. “There has been no talk of that with them.”
Where Todt and Ecclestone do differ is on the sport’s all-new and revolutionary look for 2014, with the Briton recently slamming the “farce” of unreliable cars and disliking the milder V6 engine tones.
Todt, however, is unapologetic.
“If we had not gone this way,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, “some manufacturers might have gone away.
“I’m not sure if Mercedes would have stayed or whether Honda would have come back,” added Todt.
Meanwhile, as one of the injured Michael Schumacher’s closest friends who visits the great German in hospital almost daily, Todt insisted he still has high hopes of a recovery.
“I can tell you that we still have big hopes for Michael,” he said. (GMM)