If current F1 owner CVC Capital Partners is to exit its involvement in the sport, Bernie Ecclestone expects the decision to come ahead of the 2016 season.

While there have been similar rumours of a change of ownership in the past, the F1 supremo appeared more confident that ever as he told German business publication Handelsblatt that there were several prospective replacements waiting in the wings.

"I think [CVC] will make up their mind in the next few months, and I hope that, before the start of the 2016 championship in March, we will have decided if we sell -- or not," Ecclestone said, confirming that, with a reported $8bn price tag, the market was a limited one, "There are probably only four people who could buy it - only they have the amount of money."

The report listed Miami Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross, clothing industry billionaire Lawrence Stroll - whose son, Lance, recently signed on as a development driver with Williams - international broadcast/telecom giants Sky and Liberty and Qatar's sports investment arm as potential suitors for CVC.

CVC currently holds a controlling stake of 35.5 per cent stake, with US investment groups BlackRock and Waddell & Reed, and Norway's Norges Bank, as well as Ecclestone himself among the other shareholders. Ecclestone remained tight-lipped on whether he would be looking to off-load his 5.3 per cent stake, or whether he would be looking to retain the overseer role he has held in the sport for the past four decades.