Bernie Ecclestone bribery trial postponed as F1 supremo falls ill

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The German bribery trial for Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been postponed for today and tomorrow while the 83-year-old tries to recuperate from a bad cold.

According to AFP, Ecclestone’s defense team presented the Munich court with a doctor’s certificate that confirmed Ecclestone was indeed sick. Judge Peter Noll then agreed to postpone the trial for the next couple of days.

Upon delivering the adjournment, Noll himself reportedly told Ecclestone that he did not look well, to which Ecclestone replied, ‘I’m OK.’

A court spokesman told the German news agency SID that Ecclestone was examined by doctors before the certificate was issued.

Last week, jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky said that Ecclestone gave him a $44 million bribe to help move along the sale of BayernLB’s stake in F1 to CVC Capital Partners.

However, a public prosecutor appeared today as a witness and said that Gribkowsky had told “fluctuating stories” years ago to help explain his sudden windfall; another German news agency, DPA, reported that Ecclestone’s lawyers looked pleased upon hearing the prosecutor’s testimony.

Ecclestone has admitted to paying Gribkowsky but maintains that it was done because of a blackmail attempt by the banker.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.