Reports: Ecclestone could pay to settle corruption case

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This Tuesday, Bernie Ecclestone’s in the news for more than just his call for the FIA to scrap standing restarts for 2015.

Media reports out Tuesday including the Deutsche Press-Agentur in Germany, The Times in the UK and Bloomberg, among others, have said the FOM supremo seeks to pay 25 million Euros ($33.6m U.S.) to Bayerische Landesbank in order to settle the corruption case outstanding against him.

Per the Bloomberg report, Ecclestone’s lawyers said the case had become “extremely burdensome” and sought to end the case against Ecclestone. A court spokesperson said via email to Bloomberg that the details would still need to get sorted.

Ecclestone’s in a bit of a no-win situation here as it regards to the corruption case, which has been in the news off-and-on for well over a year.

There’s nothing good from a PR standpoint about saying “we paid our way out” of this case – although Ecclestone probably doesn’t need the distraction anymore as he’d rather tend to the day-to-day job of continuing to run of F1.

Yet the longer the case lingers, the worse his chances are of retaining control of the sport because a decision could come down the pike and could leave Ecclestone set up for jail time as a result of the bribery offered to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Gribkowsky did take the bribe and is now in the middle of serving an eight and a half year sentence.

The most recent story in this case came a couple weeks ago, when Ecclestone offered details of the payment.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”