File photo of F1 chief Ecclestone testifying at district court in Munich

Bribe charges “a complete load of rubbish” – Ecclestone

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Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished the charges of bribery being levelled at him in Germany.

Ecclestone told his biographer Tom Bower in an interview for the Sunday Times: “I still don’t know what the German prosecutors think.”

“I wish I was guilty – it would be much easier,” he added. “The charges are a complete load of rubbish.”

A German court is investigating allegations Ecclestone bribed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006. Gribkowsky was convicted for taking the bribe last year and the court is set to announce its findings on Ecclestone, which could have major ramifications for Formula One.

Ecclestone told the newspaper: “I’m innocent.”

“I’m British, I pay my taxes and, in the end, the truth will come out.”

Ecclestone says he made payment to Gribkowsky to prevent him making false claims about his business affairs which could attract the attention of the British tax authorities.

“I offered him £11m ($16.71),” Ecclestone admitted. “I would save over £2bn ($3.04bn) in taxes, so it was cheap. Gerhard said he’d settle for £50m ($75.97): the final deal with £44m ($66.85).”

Ecclestone testified at Gribkowsky’s trial (pictured) during which Andre Favre, an aide of Ecclestone’s, said he was told to pay $5m to Gribkowsky “using a special company so his name wouldn’t appear”.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.