CVC prepared to fire Ecclestone if guilty

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Donald Mackenzie, co-founder of Formula One’s owners CVC, told a court on Monday he was prepared to fire Bernie Ecclestone from his position in charge of the sport if it was proven Ecclestone had broken the law.

Mackenzie told a hearing at the High Court in London that Ecclestone had not told him about a $40 million payment to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is now serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for accepting a bribe from Ecclestone.

“He told me he had never lied to me and I must say that I had trouble believing you could forget payment of $40 million,” Mackenzie told the court.

Mackenzie also told the court: “If it is proven that Mr Ecclestone has done anything that is criminally wrong, we would fire him.”

German media firm Constantin Medien are suing Ecclestone and associates for over $100m in lost revenue, claiming Ecclestone agreed to sell F1 for less than its true value in order to preserve his position in control of the sport. CVC eventually paid BayernLB $830 million for their stake in the sport.

Mackenzie admitted the trial was “adverse publicity” for them, aside from which the sport had been a successful investment for them.

After giving evidence last week Ecclestone visited the Circuit of the Americas with wife Fabiana Flosi (pictured).

Bob Fernley announced as president of McLaren IndyCar

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
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Bob Fernley will bring his experience as former deputy team principal at Force India F1 to McLaren Racing’s IndyCar effort in 2019.

Fernley will report directly to McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown.

“Heading back to the Brickyard will be a very special experience for me,” Fernley said at IndyCar.com. “I am proud to be leading this McLaren project and team. The 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we’re to be successful. We will need to prepare well for the month of May and that work starts now.”

Fernley’s appointing come of the heels of last week’s announcement that McLaren will create a brand new team to compete in the 2019 Indy 500.

MORE: Fernando Alonso to return to Indy 500 in 2019

For now, Fernley’s responsibility is to create an entry that is capable of allowing two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to win the Indy 500 in just his second start. But speculation has been widespread that the entry will be a jumping off point for a much broader involvement in IndyCar.

In 2017, Alonso qualified on the middle of row two (fifth), led 27 laps and succumbed to mechanical failure. His effort was impressive enough to be name Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500.

“Bob is a fantastic operator and someone I respect greatly,” Brown said. “His experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project. He is particularly talented at putting effective teams together and extracting maximum performance with finite resources. The Indy 500 is no easy race and Bob’s is a key role, so I’m delighted he’s on board.”