Ecclestone heads straight back to work following trial

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Bernie Ecclestone has wasted no time celebrating the end of his bribery trial in Germany, with his focus instead switching to getting back to work at the very top of Formula 1.

The 83-year-old saw his trial come to an end following a $100m payment to the court – as permitted by German law – earlier this week. He had been accused of paying a bribe to influence the sale of Formula 1 back in 2005, but the trial ended with no conviction and innocence assumed.

However, he was in no mood to celebrate, telling The Independent that he would be immediately switching his focus back to running F1.

“I’m not really celebrating. It’s just not me,” he said. “I’ve just got to get on with work. I’ve got things I need to catch up with so I’m cracking on.

“It’s a weight off my mind. I have been wasting two days a week. Now I can get back to doing what I should be doing.”

And he stayed true to his word. Press Association‘s Ian Parkes tweeted that Ecclestone was back at his desk in London just three hours after proceedings in Munich had come to an end.

‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.