F1 board admits Ecclestone reign 'over'

3,887 views

Could this be the end of Bernie Ecclestone?

Apr.24 (GMM) The criminal trial is only just beginning, but F1's board has already conceded that the Bernie Ecclestone reign is at an end.

The banker he allegedly bribed, Gerhard Gribkowsky, is already in jail for receiving the $44 million, and a UK judge has also declared that the sport's 83-year-old chief executive paid a bribe.

Still, Ecclestone's defence appeared to get a boost this week when it emerged that German prosecutors concede that the diminutive Briton was in fact blackmailed by Gribkowsky.

Writing in Forbes, and quoting from the indictment, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt explained that Gribkoswky was putting "pressure" on Ecclestone by "repeatedly insinuating" that Ecclestone had control of his family trust.

Ecclestone claims he paid the $44 million only because Gribkowsky was 'shaking me down' over his personal tax affairs.

Bernie Ecclestone, with the media
Bernie Ecclestone, with the media

Photo by: XPB Images

"It seems to be a textbook example of blackmail," Sylt said.

Nonetheless, as the Munich proceedings begin on Thursday, the signs for Ecclestone are worrying.

Writing in the Times, Kevin Eason said Ecclestone could avoid jail by accepting he is guilty and paying more than a staggering $400 million.

Even so, the Ecclestone era is "over", Eason quoted a source close to F1's owners CVC and the board as saying.

The report said the board has been advised by a London law firm not to keep Ecclestone in charge after a judge called him "untruthful and unreliable".

The source explained: "In truth, it (Ecclestone's reign) has been over for a while, but Bernie has been allowed to continue as the face of the sport until this legal advice, which was devastating."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series F1
Article type Breaking news
Tags 44 million, bernie ecclestone, bribkowsky, criminal trial, f1 board, forbes, kevin eason, munich, reign, supreme

User photos

Motorheart
F1

Motorheart

1 photos
momomoy52
F1

momomoy52

18 photos
sleboz
F1

sleboz

4 photos
EuroRacer
F1

EuroRacer

45 photos
Josefine Lißner
F1

Josefine Lißner

1 photos
hanmerdesign
F1

hanmerdesign

9 photos
Evan_DeCiren
F1

Evan_DeCiren

30 photos
colfox72
F1

colfox72

1 photos
Upload photo