Ecclestone to learn fate in bribe case

1 Comment

Bernie Ecclestone is set to find out whether he will face charges over allegedly paying a bribe to a German banker.

Prosecutors in Germany say they have completed their investigations into Ecclestone’s dealings with former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky and will reveal their findings soon.

Ecclestone is alleged to have paid $44m to Gribkowsky in connection with the sale of F1 to current owners CVC Capital Partners in 2006.

Ecclestone claims the money was paid to keep Gribkowsky from making false allegations about Ecclestone’s family trust which could lead to an investigation by the British tax authorities.

Five days ago Gribkowsky abandoned his plans to appeal the eight-and-a-half year jail term he was sentenced to last June for his part in the deal.

Gribkowsky was originally arrested in January 2011 and was put on trial the following October. When he was found guilty the judge ruled Ecclestone had been the “driving force” behind the payments.

Ecclestone said in December it is possible he would have to resign his position as F1 boss if he were to face charges.

The Formula One boss is fighting a related case with Bluewater Communication Holdings who claim Ecclestone cost them $650 million due to the Gribkowsky deal.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
Leave a comment

MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.