Justin King's announcement that he is to stand down from his role as CEO of Sainsbury's is likely to stir old rumours that he could be headed for F1.

King, whose son Jordan currently races in F3, was being linked to motorsport's top flight less than a year ago when bribery claims against Bernie Ecclestone began to cast doubt on the 83-year old's long-standing reign, but speculation died off when he declared that he would be staying with Sainsbury's for the foreseeable future.

Now, however, King has revealed that he will be leaving the supermarket giant in early July, after ten years at the head of the company that have resulted in the brand becoming a market leader worth around ?6.8bn.

"This was not an easy decision for me to make and, in truth, it will never feel like the right time to leave a company like Sainsbury's," he told the BBC.

Dismissing suggestions that he could be tempted to move over to head up the Marks and Spencer brand, King's name has already returned to F1 speculation, amid claims that he could be primed to replace Ecclestone as the man trusted to run the sport by rights holder CVC.

Waiting on the outcome of one bribery trial, bought by German media company Constantin Medien through the High Court in London, and facing other similar charges that could result in legal battles in both Germany and Switzerland, Ecclestone this month stood down from his position on the board of Delta Topco, the company running F1.

He remains in control of the sport on a 'day-to-day basis', while being subject to 'increased monitoring and control from the board'.