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SBD Global/October 16, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Mercedes Says Bernie Ecclestone Should Go If Charged With Bribery

Daimler AG Chair Dieter Zetsche, left, with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, right, at the Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in '11.
If F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is charged with bribery "as expected," automotive corporation Daimler AG and subsidiary Mercedes "want to instigate a discussion about the early elimination of the 81-year-old from F1," according to Klaus Ott of SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG. In these circumstances, Daimler wants to have a "discussion with other teams and sponsors about Ecclestone's future as F1 CEO." Daimler's management has already discussed in detail what to do with Ecclestone if he will be charged with bribery. Mercedes said that it "will not wait for a month-long process but rather do something." Ecclestone "would have to leave the racing series if he is convicted of bribery." Daimler and Mercedes took precaution measures in this regard and made sure to include such a clause in Mercedes' new contract with F1. The new agreement, which takes effect in '13, includes new compliance rules that were adopted from Daimler's in-house guidelines. Mercedes was also able to negotiate some rights in its new contract. Company sources said that those rights include "detailed information, searching of documents, and above all Mercedes can demand personnel changes, if an F1 manager is convicted of breaking a law." If a manager keeps his position, Mercedes has a special right of contract termination (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 10/13).
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