King could be heir to Ecclestone’s F1 throne

4 Comments

Could supermarket boss Justin King succeed Bernie Ecclestone as the man in charge of the world’s number one form of motor racing?

Ecclestone’s vision has shaped Formula One for almost four decades, harnessing the vast income from the sale of television rights to make it a truly global sport.

The 82-year-old’s work ethic remains indefatigable, but it’s no secret that he cannot go on forever.

Acknowledging that, F1 owners CVC appointed head hunter Egon Zehnder last year to craft a succession plan so the sport is prepared for life after Ecclestone.

Among those tipped as a potential successor to Ecclestone is 51-yeal-old Justin King, boss of major British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

King fulfils the first requirement of a potential successor: he’s a fan of the sport. So much so that son Jordan is pursuing a career in racing.

Jordan King has graduated from Formula Renault 2.0 to the FIA’s European Formula Three championship this year. The fact his blue-and-white Dallara’s flanks bear the logos of Goodfellas pizzas, King of Shaves razors and other Sainsbury’s suppliers has not passed without comment.

Ecclestone remains tight-lipped as ever on the subject of his successor: “I’ve no idea whether the boss of a company like Sainsbury’s could do my job,” he told The Guardian.

Whoever gets the gig certainly has big shoes to fill: Ecclestone was recently named the 22nd most powerful man in sport by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.