F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will be thrust back in the media spotlight on Thursday as a verdict is expected in his London court battle.
German group Constantin Medien are suing Ecclestone for $140m in loss revenue as part of the bribery scandal which saw the 83-year-old pay now jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky $40m during the sale of F1 to CVC back in 2005.
Though Ecclestone will go on trial on bribery charges in Germany in April, a guilty verdict in this London case could ramp up speculation that his near four-decade tenure at the top of F1 could be coming to a close.
Further fuel was added to the fire as it emerged Justin King, who has long been linked with Ecclestone’s position has stepped down as CEO at British supermarket Sainsbury’s.
The embattled chief however, rubbished the King rumours telling F1 business journalist Christian Sylt there was ”no truth” to the story adding: ”All he knows about (motor sport) is looking for support for his kids,” referring to his son Jordan who is controversially backed by a number of Sainsbury’s linked brands.
Some also linked the 52-year-old to McLaren’s vacant CEO role at the head of it’s racing division, however the Woking team also denied the claims.
Away from his court troubles, Ecclestone has also had a say on the new Formula E series which some believe could become a viable challenger to the high cost world of Formula 1.
However the Briton has predicted a quick demise to the series despite featuring a number of high profile teams and drivers and racing on the streets of some of the world’s biggest cities.
“For them (the organisers) it’s a commercial thing,” Ecclestone told Zone One Radio.
“One or two of them are going to make a few quid and that will be the end of it,” the 83-year-old Briton told interviewer Matthew Layton at the recent Zoom photographic charity auction.
“I can’t see it ever working. I know how much it costs to put a street race together,” Ecclestone said.
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