F1 without Ecclestone “unimaginable” – Horner

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says it is hard to imagine Formula One existing without Bernie Ecclestone.

The Formula One Group boss had played a major role in running the sport for the last four decades. But his future in the role is in doubt as he faces charges of bribing a German banker during the sale of Formula One to CVC Capital partners seven years ago.

“Bernie is a unique individual who has run Formula One tremendously successfully for the last 40 or 45 years,” Horner told The Telegraph. “The business, as it is today, is because of the way he has run it and operated it. It is unimaginable for him not to be there.”

Horner is one of several people who has been tipped as a potential successor to Ecclestone, though he has played down the claims.

He said it was “very difficult for us to judge” how serious the threat to Ecclestone’s position is. But he is in no doubt Ecclestone remains the best person for the job:

“So long as Bernie is able to run the business, then he is absolutely the right guy to be running it. It’s as simple as that. And he has the full backing of the shareholders of Formula One.”

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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