Sir Jackie Stewart, a true veteran of the formula one scene, has criticised Bernie Ecclestone's iron rule of the sport.

Sir Jackie Stewart, a true veteran of the formula one scene, has criticised Bernie Ecclestone's iron rule of the sport.

69-year-old Stewart, a triple world champion, former team owner and long-time ambassador and commentator, is often stridently disparaging of Max Mosley, believing the FIA president should step down.

But the Scot also believes Ecclestone, F1's chief executive, wields too much power and is therefore an obstacle to the sport's need to adapt to difficult times.

Stewart hails the billionaire's feat in making formula one what it is today. "But having done it, he now rules and nobody is up for taking on a battle with him," he told The Times.

Stewart also thinks Ecclestone is not planning for the sport's future beyond his own rule.

"He has been so used to total control that if you look at his structure you have to ask yourself 'is there a successor?' and you would say 'no'.

"That is wrong. The commercial reality has to be recognised ... and there has be continuity that the ageing process makes necessary," he said.

Stewart also thinks Ecclestone, 78, and Mosley are too closely aligned, despite the impression earlier this year that they fell out amid the sex scandal.

"They haven't looked after the house properly and the foundations are built on just this two-man working relationship," said Stewart.

He describes the loss of North American races on the Ecclestone-penned calendar as "ridiculous", and dismisses the diminutive Briton's call for a medals-style scoring system as nonsensical.

"The era of big change is now essential because the sport has grown larger than either the governors or the commercial rights holders. And that's just a fact," Stewart said.

"It has taken too long to achieve the things it should have achieved years ago and that other sports have long ago matured to, and other sports have prepared themselves more fully for the opportunities that have come their way."

 

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