Formula 1 News

CVC responds to Ecclestone’s indictment

Bernie Ecclestone

Formula 1 commercial rights owner, CVC Capital Partners, has issued an official statement in response to news that Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by a German court over bribery claims.

Formula One Group Press Release

Wednesday 17 July 2013

The Board of Formula One Group* notes the following developments in Munich:

Mr Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One Group has now received a bill of indictment, in English, from the Munich Regional Court.

Mr Ecclestone has 6 weeks to provide a response to this bill of indictment, prior to a decision being made by the Court on opening proceedings.

The Board will continue to monitor developments in this situation accordingly.

* Delta Topco Limited

Clearly, the future of F1’s long-time supremo (does anyone other than Bernie get called a supremo?) hangs on the outcome of this little saga. Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo is one man you get the feeling would be quite pleased to see the back of Bernie.

Bernie is no stranger to controversy and Andrew Benson from the BBC has taken a look at the life and times of the most powerful man in F1. We think you should read it.

[Pic: Joerg Koch/AP]

Formula 1 News

Bernie Ecclestone indicted over bribery claims

Bernie Eccelstone

Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors over an alleged bribery stemming back to the 2006 sale of F1 broadcast rights to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Involved in that sale was German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky of BayernLB, who was managing the transfer of his bank’s 47% ownership of F1 to CVC. It is alleged Ecclestone paid Gribkowsky $44m. That little transaction saw Gribkowsky charged with a breach of trust, tax evasion and receipt of corrupt payments. He was found guilty and sentenced to eight-and-a-half years jail by a Munich court.

In response to the indictment Ecclestone said: “I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It’s being translated into English.

“We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.”

Bernie claims he was being blackmailed by Gribkowsky over threats that could expose Eccelstone to UK tax authorities.

In June last year, when giving evidence against Gribkowsky, Bernie claimed: “The only alternative was that the British tax authorities followed a case that would have been very expensive for me.

“The tax risk would have exceeded £2bn. I paid him to keep calm and not to do silly things.”

That’s one big tax risk you have there Bernie!

The F1 supremo has previously said he has “nothing to hide” on this matter and it looks like we’re about to find out if that is actually the case.

[Source: BBC & The Guardian | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

Fifth Gear

Fifth Gear – Series 13, Episode 1

Fifth Gear 13x01While this blog will mostly focus on the Nurburgring, I thought it might be a good idea to include a few updates for other things motor related. If you’ve found this site then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve seen BBC’s TopGear and Five’s Fifth Gear.

Series 13 of Fifth Gear has just started in the UK and as usual there’s some tasty cars and tasty driving featured.

Cars featured in Episode 1 include:

  • Lotus Exige S and the Caterham 7 CSR 260 Superlight at Anglesea
  • Bernie Ecclestone’s classic car collection
  • Mercedes-Benz CLK AMG Black Series