CVC prepared to fire Ecclestone if guilty

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Donald Mackenzie, co-founder of Formula One’s owners CVC, told a court on Monday he was prepared to fire Bernie Ecclestone from his position in charge of the sport if it was proven Ecclestone had broken the law.

Mackenzie told a hearing at the High Court in London that Ecclestone had not told him about a $40 million payment to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is now serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for accepting a bribe from Ecclestone.

“He told me he had never lied to me and I must say that I had trouble believing you could forget payment of $40 million,” Mackenzie told the court.

Mackenzie also told the court: “If it is proven that Mr Ecclestone has done anything that is criminally wrong, we would fire him.”

German media firm Constantin Medien are suing Ecclestone and associates for over $100m in lost revenue, claiming Ecclestone agreed to sell F1 for less than its true value in order to preserve his position in control of the sport. CVC eventually paid BayernLB $830 million for their stake in the sport.

Mackenzie admitted the trial was “adverse publicity” for them, aside from which the sport had been a successful investment for them.

After giving evidence last week Ecclestone visited the Circuit of the Americas with wife Fabiana Flosi (pictured).

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018