F1: Ecclestone Calm As Bribery Scandal Closes In, Wants To 'Shout' London GP

TMR Team | Jun 29, 2012
  • Ecclestone calm as bribery scandal closes in
  • Ecclestone offers to pay for London grand prix
  • Mayor flags 'air and noise' hurdles for London GP
  • Glock expects Silverstone return
  • Spa alternation plans 'no longer on agenda'

Ecclestone calm as bribery scandal closes in

The judge who sentenced corrupt F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky on Wednesday described Bernie Ecclestone as the "driving force" of the $44 million bribery scandal.

Condemning Gribkowsky to eight-and-a-half years in jail, presiding judge Peter Noll said in the Munich state court: "In this process we assume the driving force was Mr Ecclestone".

The F1 chief executive "brought the accused into breaking the law and not the other way around", Noll added, according to the Financial Times.

It is a strong indication that Ecclestone, 81, could himself be charged.

The diminutive Briton sounded open to returning to Germany in relation to the scandal.

"If I was asked, yes, of course," he said on Wednesday. "They asked me before and I went."

It is not known if this will happen.

Daniel Amelung, one of Gribkowsky's lawyers, told the court the prosecutors are "scared of Mr Ecclestone, his position and his wealth".

Ecclestone maintains he was effectively the victim of Gribkowsky's extortion, telling the Daily Mail: "I think (he) told them what he thought he had to tell them."

As for whether he will face charges, he answered: "I don't think I should but you don't know, do you?"

Ecclestone is already facing investigations in the UK, with the Times newspaper reporting that the tax and serious fraud offices have been in contact with German authorities.

"I suppose you'd expect that," said Ecclestone.

(GMM)

Ecclestone offers to pay for London GP

Bernie Ecclestone is gearing up on Thursday to launch a bid for a Grand Prix on the streets of London.

The plans are reportedly separate to a McLaren sponsor event that imagines a fictitious layout in the British capital, as well as suggestions a London race could be run in and around the Olympic stadium.

The Times reports that 81-year-old Ecclestone is prepared to put up almost $55 million to organise a street race around famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Nelson's Column.

Other British media reports say the plans will be unveiled later on Thursday.

"Think what it would do for tourism," Ecclestone said. "It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England -- a lot better than the Olympics."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson's office did not immediately comment.

Ecclestone continued: "With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it.

"If we got the okay and everything was fine, I think we could do that."

(GMM)

Mayor flags 'air and noise' hurdles for London GP

London mayor Boris Johnson on Thursday could not guarantee the British capital will be able to host Bernie Ecclestone's race.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone has said he is prepared to put up the money and promote a London street race.

Some immediately wrote off the plans as either a classic Ecclestone diversion or a publicity stunt.

But London mayor Johnson told the UK newspaper Express he is "broadly positive" about the plans.

"I am always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth," he said, insisting it will be important to find out if there is "a really good economic case" for the event.

Johnson added: "The question of air quality and noise impact will have to be looked at. I am broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues."

(GMM)

Glock expects Silverstone return

Timo Glock on Thursday said he expects to be "totally fit" for next weekend's British GP.

The German had to sit out last weekend's Valencia race with an intestinal infection.

But in a media statement issued on Thursday, his employer Marussia said Glock, 30, is "back on the road to recovery"

"Generally I am feeling much better," he said. "I still feel a little weak in the legs, but otherwise I am okay.

"I am now on my way to a full recovery, although it will be a few more days before I am allowed to train again."

Glock said that by Silverstone next weekend "I should be totally fit again".

* In a ceremony attended by his boss Eric Boullier on Wednesday, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean married French TF1 presenter Marion Jolles in Chamonix, France.

(GMM)

Spa alternation plans 'no longer on agenda'

Spa-Francorchamps is no longer part of the proposal to revive the French GP.

Prior to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy losing the general election, plans to alternate a single annual race between Paul Ricard and Belgium's fabled Spa were well advanced.

But with Francois Hollande in power and his sports minister Valerie Fourneyron in the driving seat of the grand prix project, the situation is now very different.

French reports this week say Fourneyron has told France's motor racing sanctioning body, the FFSA, that Paul Ricard and Magny Cours are competing to secure the rights to a Grand Prix that the state will not contribute to financially.

And according to the Belgian news agency Belga, the formerly proposed race alternation between France and Spa will remain merely an "unconfirmed possibility".

"Alternating with Belgium is no longer on the agenda," a report by the French language news agency Agence France-Presse added.

(GMM)

Filed under: f1, Racing, bernie ecclestone, Silverstone, News, motorsport, enthusiast, british f1 gp, london gp, britain f1 gp

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  • Smart us says,
    3 years ago
    in normal world both briber and the one receiving money are guilty... unless its a set up... Bernie is untouchable as it seems but hes 81 - how long does he have left... not to be mean but money cant buy you years of life, can they???
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