Ecclestone to learn fate in bribe case

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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.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski