'Life president' role mooted for Ecclestone

ยฉ XPB 

New reports this week suggest that Formula One's longtime commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone may be made "life president" by the sport's new owners Liberty Media Group in order to move him to one side and make way for a new man at the top.

Sky Sports has reported that Ecclestone will step down as chief executive and that "an announcement could be made as soon as the first half of next week" about a successor.

Last week Liberty won final approval for its commercial takeover of the sport from both its own shareholders and from the FIA.

Liberty's Chase Carey is believed to be keen to recruit former ESPN executive Sean Bratches to replace Ecclestone on the business side of running the sport.

former Formula One team owner Ross Brawn is also rumoured to be in line to help Bratches run the sporting aspect.

"Liberty Media is determined to demonstrate that it is taking F1 into a new era by pursuing a radical overhaul of its commercial operation," said Sky's Mark Kleinman.

"The sport's veteran boss has been offered a less hands-on role, with a title such as life president," he added.

It was originally believed that Liberty had agreed to keep Ecclestone on as F1 boss for a transition period.

But Ecclestone himself appeared to hint that he could soon be stepping down from his role in comments he made earlier this week in which he said "We need to put something together if I am not here because I have become deceased or something and it is about time we did that."

GALLERY: F1 drivers' wives and girlfriends

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter