Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is ready to quit if Rupert Murdoch's media group succeeds in a bid to take control of the sport, the Sunday Times reported.
Ecclestone, 80, who has previously dismissed the idea of retirement, said in an interview with the newspaper: "I'm old enough to get a pension, so I don't have to get a job. I'd have to be sure the people (who end up owning F1) are people I would like to work with and whether they would want to work with me."
A source familiar with the situation said last Tuesday that News Corporation had held early talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and at least one of the sport's big car manufacturers about forming a consortium to acquire control.
Separate sources had previously said that private equity firm CVC, the current owner, was conducting a strategic review and could sell.
A takeover by News Corp has a clear logic but would face many challenges to secure the backing of the sport's high profile players.