A defiant Bernie Ecclestone insisted he will continue to run F1 the way he always has while appearing before the High Court in London, England.
Ecclestone was giving evidence at one of several investigations he currently faces. The case brought by German media company Constantin Medien alleges Ecclestone arranged for F1 to be sold at less than its true value to owners CVC in order to retain his control over the sport.
“I really don’t know what limit anybody could put on my authority,” said Ecclestone. “I shall run the business the way I always have run it, with all the different shareholders that we’ve had, and the different companies, or whatever. And I will continue as I do today.”
Among the revelations to emerge during his four days of cross-examination was a claim that he recently agreed a high-value deal, the details of which are yet to become public.
“I travel the world making business on a hand shake,” said Ecclestone when asked whether he asked the sports’ owners in 2004 to publicly affirm he would not be dismissed. “And all of a sudden I’m no longer in any position to do anything, so who would want to accept my signature on a contract?”
“I’ve just signed a contract now for 600 million-odd with people over the weekend. I can’t do that if people think I’m going to be fired in the morning.”
MRTI: Saturday Barber Notebook
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Both the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires completed their first races of the weekend on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.
Indy Lights saw a pair of teammates battle for the win, while a series veteran suffered first lap trouble for the second race in a row.
In Pro Mazda, things were much more straightforward, as a title contender ran away to a dominant win from the pole.
Reports on both series are below.
Indy Lights: O’Ward Withstands Herta Challenge for Race 1 Victory
Lap 1 told the tale for Indy Lights Race 1, as Colton Herta led from the pole, but Pato O’Ward was able to sneak by on the inside entering Turn 5.
O’Ward subsequently had to withstand a race-long challenge from Herta, who kept the gap at less than one second between the two Andretti Autosport affiliated drivers – Herta races under the Andretti Steinbrenner Racing banner – for most of the 30-lap race. But, O’Ward kept Herta at bay to take the win by one-and-a-half seconds at the checkered flag.
This is also O’Ward’s second win in three races in the 2018 season.
Belardi Auto Racing’s Santi Urrutia finished third, followed by Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni, and Ryan Norman finished fifth to put three Andretti Autosport affiliated drivers in the Top 5.
Meanwhile, Belardi’s Aaron Telitz endured a second consecutive race in which he failed to complete a lap, after he was collected in a Lap 1, Turn 2 spin with Dalton Kellett. Kellett, who spun on his own, was able to continue despite the contact, but Telitz suffered damage to the right-front suspension, forcing him to retire without completing a lap for the second race in a row.
Results are below. Race 2 rolls off at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Pro Mazda: Thompson Roles to Dominant Race 1 Victory
Race 1 for Pro Mazda was hardly ever in doubt. Polesitter Parker Thompson, who soared to pole with a track record in qualifying, led right from the drop of the green flag to lead all 25 laps on his way to winning Race 1.
Thompson had to withstand a brief challenge from RP Motorsport’s Harrison Scott on a Lap 4 restart – a caution was flown for debris on the front straightaway on Lap 2 – but Thompson immediately began gapping the field again, and the Exclusive Autosport driver won by over five seconds.
Scott came home in second, while BN Racing’s David Malukas, Team Pelfrey’s Andres Gutierrez, and Juncos Racing’s Rinus VeeKay battled for third, with Malukas holding off Gutierrez and VeeKay to take the final spot on the podium.
Results are below. Pro Mazda Race 2 rolls off at 10:50 a.m. ET on Sunday.