Ecclestone will still run F1 during bribery trial

3 Comments

During his upcoming bribery trial, Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone will still run F1, but has revealed he will step down from the board of directors of F1’s holding company.

The trial begins in April, as was determined by a Munich, Germany state court earlier on Thursday. Ecclestone was indicted in July for an alleged $44m bribe to jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky eight years ago.

A statement from the board said Ecclestone reassured it that he is “innocent of the charges and intends to vigorously defend the case,” but stepping down was necessary because the board “believes that it is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr. Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control.”

CVC Capital Partners, the owners of F1, said in November it was prepared to fire Ecclestone if he was found guilty of any charges, and said in July it could look outside F1 for a replacement. Other Ecclestone-related stories from the last few months or so are linked below:

  • Nov. 13: Ecclestone denies latest trial is bad for F1’s image
  • Nov. 12: Ecclestone will run F1 “the way I’ve always run it”
  • Oct. 30: Ecclestone faces new investigation as High Court trial begins

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

Follow@KyleMLavigne