Of all the big beasts in the F1 jungle, Bernie is the most formidable of all. So it came as absolutely no surprise at all at the Nurburgring over the weekend that he roundly dismissed media speculation that he might be ‘pushed upstairs’ into a background role within the administration of F1 in the wake of his recent unfortunate remarks concerning Adolf Hitler.

In fact, far from being sidelined the 78-year old billionaire powerbroker says he is set to “sort out” the sport’s current problems which all stem, at least in large part, from the need for the world championship to generate sufficient interest to service the $2.8bn (£1.7bn) bond which was launched in 2007 by investors CVC Capital Partners to buy a stake in Ecclestone’s F1 business.

Ecclestone said he hoped that agreement could be reached on a long-term deal which would secure the future of the sport by the middle of this week.