Formula 1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone Expects Bribery Case to Be Thrown Out

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2014

The President of Formula One Management, Bernie Eccleston, left, and the president of the Catalonian Automobile Club RACC, Sebastian Salvadore, 2nd left unviel a plaque in honour of late F1 driver, Brazilian Ayrton Senna in commemoration of the10th anniversary of his death, at the Montmelo circuit on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain, Saturday May 8, 2004. The Spanish Grand Prix takes place Sunday. Others unideintified. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
BERNAT ARMANGUE/Associated Press

Formula One head man Bernie Ecclestone still has his hopes up regarding the chances that his bribery case in Germany gets thrown out before going to trial.

An Associated Press report from Rob Harris broke down the charges:

The 83-year-old Ecclestone is facing charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust connected with a $45 million payment to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky. And the Munich regional court on Friday announced that the trial will begin on April 24 and is set to run until Sept. 16.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, Ecclestone was adamant in thinking that the actual trial will not happen.

It would be best for the Formula One boss if the bribery case does get thrown out, since bribery convictions in Germany can lead to prison sentences of up to 10 years.

Ecclestone’s anointed successor Christian Horner, who is the Red Bull team principal, supported Ecclestone in Harris’ report: "Formula One needs him more than ever at the moment. ... So he's absolutely the right man."

Paul White/AP/Associated Press

While Ecclestone still believes the case will be thrown out and is still operating the sport on a daily basis, he stepped down from Formula One’s board while the criminal case is still in place.

This isn’t the only trouble that Ecclestone has been forced to deal with recently.

He is still caught up in a separate legal issue regarding the sale of Formula One in 2005. Former shareholder Constantin Medien (a German media company) is suing Ecclestone for up to $144 million because it says Formula One was undervalued when it was sold.

Ecclestone probably can’t wait for attention to shift back to the actual racing as these cases hang over his head.