Bernie Ecclestone Reports in the German press continue to suggest that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone allegedly paid a $50 million bribe to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky when the sport’s commercial rights were being sold to CVC some five years ago.

Ecclestone had claimed earlier this month that he would rigorously contest any published allegations through the courts if sections of the press continued to claim he was privy to this alleged payment.

His protestations came from the German magazine Stern claiming that the payment to Gribkowsky had come via a company called Petara – the name which happens to be made up from the names of Ecclestone’s two daughters: Petra and Tamara.

But now Suddeutsche Zeitung claims it has found “concrete evidence” linking Ecclestone to the alleged kickback, which is apparently a letter (dated 14 December 2007) sent to the 80-year-old from an Austrian company called GREP GmbH.

It is believed that this company received the bulk of the payment, and the contents of the supposedly confidential letter include a demand for a missing instalment of $2.3 million on top of late payment fees.

The letter – penned by a lawyer working for Gribkowsky – apparently “outraged” Ecclestone when he received it.

Ecclestone and his company Formula One Management (FOM) continue to deny all allegations relating to the payments to Gribkowsky.

[Original image via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.