Ecclestone will still run F1 during bribery trial

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During his upcoming bribery trial, Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone will still run F1, but has revealed he will step down from the board of directors of F1’s holding company.

The trial begins in April, as was determined by a Munich, Germany state court earlier on Thursday. Ecclestone was indicted in July for an alleged $44m bribe to jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky eight years ago.

A statement from the board said Ecclestone reassured it that he is “innocent of the charges and intends to vigorously defend the case,” but stepping down was necessary because the board “believes that it is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr. Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control.”

CVC Capital Partners, the owners of F1, said in November it was prepared to fire Ecclestone if he was found guilty of any charges, and said in July it could look outside F1 for a replacement. Other Ecclestone-related stories from the last few months or so are linked below:

  • Nov. 13: Ecclestone denies latest trial is bad for F1’s image
  • Nov. 12: Ecclestone will run F1 “the way I’ve always run it”
  • Oct. 30: Ecclestone faces new investigation as High Court trial begins

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.