Bernie Ecclestone Bribery Trial To Be Scheduled Around His F1 Commitments
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that prosecutors have agreed to schedule hearings in his forthcoming bribery trial in Munich just on Tuesdays and Wednesdays "so he can continue to run Formula One and travel to races at the same time," according to Christian Sylt for the London INDEPENDENT. Ecclestone "has been in F1's driving seat" for nearly 40 years, but his position "is now under threat." When the trial against him was announced in January, he "resigned as a director of F1's parent company Delta Topco," and if he loses in court he "could face a prison sentence." Yet that prospect "has made him all the more defiant." Ecclestone: "Of course I can run the company at the same time as doing the trial in Germany. I am in court for two days a week on Tuesday and Wednesday. The judge did it so I am able to go to races at the weekend. I will probably go on Monday nights, because I have to be there at 9:30am, stay Tuesday night and come back Wednesday. He said we will get the hearings on Wednesday out of the way before 5pm so I can leave." However, Ecclestone admitted that "he would need help to run F1 while the case is ongoing." He "will not hire a second-in-command," but instead, "one or two people here that have been a bit shy on working will have to get their act into gear" (INDEPENDENT, 3/4).
INDIA OFF THE CALENDAR: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported India's return to F1 "will have to wait until at least 2016," by which time a new race in Azerbaijan "could also be on the calendar." Ecclestone: "At the moment, India won't be on for next year for sure. Probably 2016... they're gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance" (REUTERS, 3/5).