Ecclestone 'may still attend GP races'

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Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that he will continue to attend at least some Grand Prix races on the calendar in 2017.

The 86-year-old has been a near-permanent fixture on the Formula One starting grid for nearly four decades, but that will no longer be the case now that he has been removed from his position as the sport's chief executive officer by new owners Liberty Media Group.

Ecclestone still retains the title of chairman emeritus, but has already begun the process of selling off virtually all of his remaining shares in the business.

"My new position is an American term, a kind of honorary president. I hold this title without knowing what it means," he admitted.

"Maybe I will attend a Grand Prix sometime in the future," Ecclestone told Sportsmail this week. "I still have many friends in Formula One, and I still have enough money to afford to attend a race."

Liberty Media Group chairman Chase Carey told Sky Sports that he would be happy to see Ecclestone continue to play a role in the paddock.

"He will always be part of the Formula One family, he will always be welcome, and I want to try and make this something he can continue to feel part of," Carey said. "Hopefully we'll find a way that it continues to be rewarding for him."

The Mail also reported that Ecclestone’s chief lawyer Sacha Woodward-Hill will be moving from Formula One's existing headquarters at Princes Gate in Knightsbridge - where Ecclestone lives in a penthouse apartment - to Liberty’s new offices. The group's chief financial officer Duncan Llowarch has also been retained by Liberty.

However Ecclestone's long-time right-hand man Pasquale Lattuneddu - known in the sport as “the paddock’s policeman" - has already confirmed he will be leaving his role.

Ecclestone has ruled out launching a rival series, saying that the last thing that he wants is to see his life's work damaged.

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