May 5 (GMM/ Mercedes and Red Bull have joined Ferrari in reportedly moving against F1’s long-time ‘supremo’ Bernie Ecclestone.

Reports recently suggested Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne had proposed that the 85-year-old Briton be replaced by a new, three-pronged leadership team.

When asked about the viability of Ecclestone’s continuing reign, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told the German news agency DPA: “Some may think they are immortal, and that performance remains the same.

“However, there is a great responsibility to the sport to do what is right for the future,” he added.

Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko has a similar view, backing Marchionne’s vision of a three-person leadership team perhaps involving Niki Lauda.

“When I think about the sporting side, then for me Niki Lauda is one of the hottest candidates,” he told Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper, referring to the F1 legend and Mercedes’ team chairman and co-owner.

As for rumours Wolff might be another candidate, the 44-year-old himself answered: “I have a plan, but it’s too early to talk about it. I enjoy the role I have at Mercedes.

“I have the support of the board, Daimler and the team, so in this respect I have very good conditions to pursue my objectives with Mercedes,” Wolff added.

What is clear, however, is that the anti-Ecclestone rhetoric is heating up amid an intense political climate in F1 at present.

Referring to recent headlines attracted by controversial comments by Ecclestone, Wolff said: “Irrationality and excessive emotion has no place in the job.

“Times change, we live in a digital world and to cause headlines like that every few days without thinking about it is certainly not the right way,” he added.


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