There is no change at all, insists Ecclestone
17 January 2014 – Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that his general role in Formula 1 has not been affected by his decision to step down from the sport's board of directors after criminal proceedings were launched against him.
The 83-year-old is facing allegations of bribery regarding a payment made to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who was involved in the sale of Formula 1 to current owners CVC Capital Partners in 2006.
But despite his day-to-day role coming under "increased monitoring", Ecclestone says nothing has changed.
"Everybody on the board is more than a million percent supportive," Ecclestone, whose trial is due to begin in April, is quoted as saying by The Telegraph. "They just want me to get on with doing what I always do.
"The minute the court case is over then I'll be back on the board again.
"All that's happened is a few months ago we decided that if I had to appear in court, during that period I would stand down from my role as a director of Delta Topco [Formula 1's parent company].
"For Formula One Management (FOM) it's the same as before. There is no change at all.
"It's just that if I wanted to buy something I can't do it without board approval, but when it comes to races, circuits, it will be as we've always done. It will be the same thing."
Protesting his innocence once more, Ecclestone added: "I know I'm not guilty. That's for sure.
"Now whether I get convicted is another story. But all the [English] lawyers say this [trial] should never, ever have happened, and the German lawyers are saying the same thing, that there is no case."