's political power extends even to the identity of Bernie Ecclestone
's eventual successor. Amid his legal troubles surrounding the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption scandal, 83-year-old Ecclestone recently named Red Bull team boss Christian Horner
as his preferred successor.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, however, dismissed Horner's naming as a "joke". "As the years go by, he (Ecclestone) more and more enjoys making jokes and I'm happy he still has the desire to do so," he told Italian television Rai.
In the same interview, Montezemolo confirmed for the very first time long-standing paddock rumours that Ferrari has the unique ability to "veto" proposed changes by Ecclestone and the governing FIA
. "We are the only team with the right of veto," he said. "More political weight than that is impossible! We are aware of our strength in formula one, which without us, would be completely different."
Now, in an interview published by CNN, Ecclestone has played down his comments about Horner, arguing that he only mentioned his 40-year-old friend because he was "walking past" at the time. And he told the F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: "Firstly CVC would never agree (to Horner's appointment) and secondly Ferrari would have a say," said Ecclestone. (GMM)