Luca di Montezemolo has dismissed as a "joke" Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Christian Horner is his ideal successor as F1 supremo. Amid the Ecclestone corruption affair, and the 83-year-old's advancing years, it is believed the sport's owner CVC would prefer to headhunt from outside the sport.
But, even though Horner subsequently reaffirmed his commitment to Red Bull, F1 chief executive Ecclestone said last week that he would be "happy" to help the 40-year-old find his feet in charge of the sport. And when asked about his comments this week by Spain's Marca newspaper, Ecclestone answered: "He (Horner) is an intelligent man and I think he would get on with all the people he would have to."
When asked about Ecclestone's apparent naming of his chosen future successor, Ferrari president Montezemolo told Italian television Rai Uno that it was a joke. "As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I'm happy he still has the desire to do so."
Montezemolo also questioned Ecclestone's nomination of Red Bull's new quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel as better even than F1 legend Ayrton Senna. "Ecclestone says what suits him," he answered, "but there is no doubt he (Vettel) is a great driver. He is a serious young man who has won a lot and therefore he deserves respect." (GMM)