Hong Kong: Formula E chief Alejandro Agag hailed Bernie Ecclestone as a “genius” and said he’ll be hard to replace when he departs F1 — but insisted he had no intention of stepping in to the role.

Speculation has swirled over F1’s long-standing ringmaster Ecclestone, 85, after America’s Liberty Media announced a multi-billion takeover of the sport last month.

“I think Bernie’s going to be incredibly difficult to replace,” Agag said, before all-electric Formula E’s season-opener in Hong Kong on Sunday.

“He’s created Formula One as it is today. I’ve had the luck to know Bernie Ecclestone for many years, I’ve seen him do incredible things.

“He’s a genius, what he’s done is incredible. It’s a challenge to replace him but every challenge has also opportunities ... and I think he’s still there for a while.”

Agag, along with sports marketing guru Zak Brown, has been tagged as a potential successor to Ecclestone, who has built F1 into a powerhouse over the past four decades.

But the Spanish businessman and former politician said he wasn’t looking beyond Formula E, the electric racing series which is now entering its third season.

“Not at all,” he said, when asked if he would ever consider succeeding Ecclestone in Formula One.

“For me my job is Formula E, I’m totally focused on Formula E. I haven’t had any conversation whatsoever about Formula One.

“But also it’s a job that I’m not interested in because I’m only interested about growing Formula E.”

Agag added that he was a supporter of F1’s takeover by US billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Media, a member of the same group which holds a stake in Formula E.

“I think it was the right moment to do this kind of transaction probably. I think the new owners have great potential,” he said.

“Obviously we share in a way the same extended family ... so I think it’s very positive for the sport. The better Formula One does, the better the whole of motorsports does.”