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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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