Fresh doubt is being cast over Bernie Ecclestone's F1 reign.
News is circulating around the Suzuka paddock on Friday that the sport's 'supremo' has been denied his planned return to the executive board.
Although he always remained chief executive, the 83-year-old had stepped down from the parent company Delta Topco amid his recent corruption trial in Germany.
When he controversially settled that case recently, Ecclestone said he expected to return to the board.
"I stood down for obvious reasons, but I'll be back on again now," he had said.
But the British newspapers the Telegraph and the Daily Mail report that the board has turned down the opportunity to reinstate Ecclestone.
The Telegraph explained that "during the last board meeting, he (Ecclestone) did not meet certain 'conditions' required for him to be reinstated".
The Daily Mail added: "The wildest, but not necessarily ill-informed rumours suggest that Ecclestone could be discarded within a fortnight."