Ecclestone wins damages court case

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A High Court case involving the sale of Formula One has seen the judge, Justice Guy Newey, dismiss charges of an £85 million damages claim against Bernie Ecclestone. However, the court did still say the deal was corrupt.

Ecclestone was involved in the sale of F1 to CVC Capital Partners in 2005, and the issue at hand was whether the sale was “undervalued.” It was a claim made by lawyers for the German media group Constantin Medien, who argued the sale was agreed “without the normal and proper process” and for an undervalued price. They also sought the damages amount (£85m; 103m euros) in compensation, per the BBC.

Newey said the deal was corrupt and hadn’t found Ecclestone, 83, “reliable or truthful,” but did say Constantin Medien had not suffered a financial loss as a result.

The other major pending legal issue facing Ecclestone is the bribery charge, for an alleged bribe to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. That trial begins in April.

On an unrelated note but one also related to Ecclestone, he has denied that Sainsbury’s departing CEO, Justin King, will replace him in running F1, in a story written by The Guardian’s Christian Sylt.

King is a known motor racing fan, but per the story, his primary focus is on furthering son Justin King’s career. The younger King reigned as champion of British Formula 3 in 2013.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”