Eccelstone says his trial 'good' for F1

12 Nov 2013 09:43

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisted Monday that, far from being a bad thing, a trial where he has been accused of making a 'corrupt bargain' was good for the sport.

A German media group, Constantin Medien, which claims it lost out in a deal to sell the Formula One group, has launched legal action against the 83-year-old British tycoon and three other defendants.

Constantin is seeking over $100 million (74 million euros) in damages.

Ecclestone, chief executive of the F1 group, says the claim "lacks any merit" and has denied being party to any form of "conspiracy".

After he finished giving his evidence on Monday, Eccelstone -- who testified for three days in all -- was asked as he left London's High Court whether the case had damaged Formula One.

"I don't think so," he told Sky television. "It's good because a lot of facts come out of it."

The key charge levelled against Ecclestone is that in 2005 he paid $44 million in bribes to a German banker to engineer the sale of F1 to current owners CVC Capital Partners.

Swiss prosecutors have also opened an investigation into the issue, which is the latest challenge to Ecclestone's authority in a sport he has helped to turn into a billion-dollar business.

The London trial, which is expected to last several weeks, remains ongoing.