Bye Bye Bernie? German Court Indictment could be the End of Ecclestone in F1?
Ok, here it is, quick and dirty. German newspaper Süddeutschen Zeitung (Original source: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/formel-chef-bernie-ecclestone-kurz-vor-schmiergeld-anklage-1.1670101), reported last week, that the investigations into the alleged bribery scandal between Ecclestone and Gribkowsky (by the offices of public prosecutor) have concluded.
It is understood that there is an intention to indict F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone under the allegations of bribery. By now, most of the world knows about the $44-$50 Million dollar bribery allegation involving German banker Gribkowsky who was sentenced to eight and a half years for tax evasion, bribery and breach of trust.
I’m not sure Bernie has much to worry about. It’s one thing for the prosecutors to say they have enough to indict him, it is completely another thing to find the Brit guilty in a court of Law. That said however, Bernie has decided not show up in Germany for some time now, missing the 2012 German GP as well. I suspect that if Mr. Ecclestone appears in Germany in July, it will be out of legal requirement rather than out of pleasure.
But what are the ramifications? Regardless of the outcome, the mere indictment could be enough to cause some waves in the world of Formula One.
If indicted, the board members at FOM could be forced to put Bernie to pasture. The whole scenario could be shining the spot light of disrepute on the sport. Formula One can’t really afford any public negativity now, especially when there is an intent to float F1 Stock on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Something like this could seriously impact the floatation which has already been put on the shelf once before.
Could this be the end of Ecclestone in F1? Some may be indifferent to it, some may like the idea of F1 without Ecclestone, but some of us know there is no way anyone could possibly replace the wily old Brit.