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GP Week : Issue 185
EDITOR: Kate Walker firstname.lastname@example.org MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott F1 NEWS EDITOR Abhishek Takle TECHNICAL EDITOR Paolo Filisetti RACE EDITOR Trent Price CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leigh O'Gorman BUSINESS EDITOR Caroline Reid PRODUCTION ARTIST Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Daniel Kalisz PUBLISHER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED By: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK Formula One supremo Bernie ecclestone seems unruffled by the prospect of spending time behind bars if charged and found guilty in a case related to the sale of a stake in Formula One to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. It was reported last month that prosecutors in Germany had wrapped up an investigation into allegations that Formula One’s ringmaster had allegedly bribed former Bayern LB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to arrange the sale of the bank’s stake in the business to CVC Capital. Ecclestone has denied any wrongdoing all along, but has admitted to paying Gribkowsky some money. The money, Ecclestone says, was paid not as a bribe to arrange the sale of the stake to CVC but instead to silence the former banker after he threatened to tip off tax authorities over Ecclestone’s tax affairs. Gribkowsky for his part was sentenced by a court to eight-and-a -half years in prison last year for receiving $44 million from Ecclestone in return for arranging the sale of the stake to CVC. “I am not guilty of anything except being got at,” Ecclestone told The Times in a recent interview. “But if I get sent to jail, I will have to deal with it. I don’t think I will like it very much. But you have to get on with things.” The investigation has sparked speculation over the future of the octogenarian, and in May Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that the Munich prosecutors had charged Ecclestone with two counts of bribery, with official charges awaiting translation into English. But last month Ecclestone revealed that he had CVC’s full-backing to stay on and continue to run the sport he transformed from a weekend hobby for garagistes into a global racing spectacle generating billions in revenue. As sprightly as ever at 82 years of age, Ecclestone has continued to expand the sport’s reach to new markets in Asia and the Middle East, turning the once predominantly Europe-focused sport into a truly global ‘world’ championship. “To be quite frank, Formula One is what it is because of Bernie Ecclestone, the way he’s built the sport over the last 35 years, everything we see here is based on what he’s done and achieved and I think that without him we’d be in a lot of trouble,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said at Silverstone. “I think that the deals he’s still doing, the circuits and countries that he’s still taking Formula One to is quite outstanding, and while he has the passion and enthusiasm to keep doing his job, I think it’s in our interests he does it for as long as absolutely possible, because I think the day after he isn’t there the sport is going to be a lot worse off.” ECCLEsTONE REMAINING buLLIsH F1 >>> nEWs 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: