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‘Bernie’s Horner comment a joke’

London: Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has dismissed as a joke the suggestion that Red Bull boss Christian Horner could replace Bernie Ecclestone as the Formula One supremo.

The 83-year-old Ecclestone, who is facing legal challenges including a $100 million damages claim in London over a 2005 business deal, told British newspapers in Brazil last week that he would like to hand over one day to Horner, 40.

“Ecclestone sees Horner as his successor? It’s a joke. As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I’m happy he still has the desire to do so,” the Italian said in the interview broadcast on Tuesday night.

Montezemolo also addressed Ferrari’s failures over a season that saw the sport’s oldest and most successful team finish third in a championship dominated by Red Bull. He denied that Ferrari had lost any of their political clout, highlighting that they alone among the teams had a historic right of veto.