Formula 1

F1 reacts to Ecclestone's bribery indictment

Ecclestone claims he has full support from F1. (©GettyImages)
Ecclestone claims he has full support from F1. (©GettyImages).

F1 figures have given their reaction to the news that CEO Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted on bribery charges by a German prosecutors.

The now 82-year-old is alleged to have blackmailed now jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to undersell the rights of F1 to CVC.

Since the announcement Ecclestone has insisted he has the backing of CVC, though CVC themselves released a statement saying that they are "monitoring" the situation.

"An oath of loyalty sounds different," the major German newspaper Die Welt surmised.
Michael Schmidt, of Auto Motor und Sport, agreed: "It (CVC's statement) does not sound like unconditional support."
Additionally, FIA president Jean Todt is quoted as saying: "He (Ecclestone) is employed by CVC, so it's their decision.
"The responsibility for the future of formula one is more about CVC than about Bernie," he is also quoted as saying by Neue Zurcher Zeitung.

Also watching events is the BayernLB bank that Gribkowsky worked for during the sale of F1 to CVC.

A spokesman for the bank said: "We are following events closely."

The case is now a big talking point among the major players in F1 behind closed doors.

Bild newspaper correspondent Helmut Uhl wrote: "Team bosses, sponsors, big companies such as Ferrari, Red Bull and their partners are wondering: is Ecclestone still viable as Formula 1 boss?" 
The Daily Telegraph's Tom Cary said: "In most sports it would be difficult to imagine a chief executive remaining in power with these sorts of charges swirling about.
"But Formula 1 is not most sports -- and Ecclestone is not most men."

Indeed Ecclestone continues to insist he has the full backing of CVC during this rising scandal.

"I have heard from them and they are very happy as I am for me to continue to run the business," he is quoted by the Daily Express correspondent Bob McKenzie.
 "Nothing has changed. Nothing affects how I look after the best interests of F1. No one has said anything to the contrary," added Ecclestone.

Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn was the first team boss to publicly speak about the charges admitting:

"In general," she said, "such headlines are not good for Formula One."

 

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