The end of Bernie Ecclestone's four decade rule of Formula One could be in sight as the new owners Liberty Media look to stamp their identity on the sport.

Formula One's governing body, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), approved the sale of the sport's commercial rights to the US company earlier this week. Sky News reported that Ecclestone will quit as chief executive of Formula One Group and "an announcement could be made as soon as the first half of next week".

It was initially understood that Liberty Media would look to tap into the F1 supremo's expertise on the motorsport by keeping him on as chief executive, but the short-term plan appears to have taken a new turn.

Sky News reported: "The sport's veteran boss has been offered a less hands-on role – with a title such as life president – but Liberty Media is determined to demonstrate that it is taking F1 into a new era by pursuing a radical overhaul of its commercial operation."

The octogenarian had conceded earlier this week that his future rests in the hands of Liberty.

"We have to see how we create the company. It does not depend on me, but it is a question of seeing in which direction they want to go. It is something that would have happened equally. We need to put something together if I am not here because I have become deceased or something," he told the Press Association (PA).

"We were in the middle of that process and when we knew that [Liberty] were going to buy, we went back and we wanted to wait because they are the owners of the company and they are the ones who have to decide," he added.

Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly been offered a reduced role in Formula One Getty

Reports suggest that Chase Carey, the 21st Century Fox vice-chairman who has been named as Formula One chairman, is already hunting for a replacement for Ecclestone. He is reported to have approached Sean Bratches, a top former ESPN executive.