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.