Formula 1 needs to be looking ahead to the post-Bernie Ecclestone era.
That is the view of Sergio Marchionne, the Ferrari and Fiat president, amid rumours the powerful manufacturers including Mercedes may be pushing for the retirement of the F1 supremo in the coming months.
“There is much work to do,” said Marchionne when asked about the general state of the sport amid a tumultuous political climate at present.
“Ecclestone is very good at negotiations but sooner or later we all have to retire,” the 63-year-old is quoted by Italy’s La Repubblica.
“And when that is, we will have to re-think everything and build a more solid F1. With a real structure,” Marchionne added.
He said the sport would get a big boost if more manufacturers decide to compete, like Audi.
“It would be perfect,” said the Italian-Canadian. “Ferrari built its myth by beating the best — beating Manor does not build a myth.”
Marchionne has said repeatedly in recent times that Alfa Romeo could be the next big name on the grid, but when asked if he was joking he insisted: “No, it’s a real project.