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Ecclestone admits he could be forced to quit F1
Sunday 30th December 2012, 10:48 by Ryan Wood
Bernie Ecclestone, CEO Formula One Management and Formula One Administration
Bernie Ecclestone admits he may be forced to leave his role as CEO of FOM/FOA should he face further action in the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery trial.
Whilst Ecclestone hasn't been charged over his involvement in the sale of Formula 1 to CVC - unlike former banker Gribkowsky who was jailed for eight and a half years - the investigation is ongoing and may still find the 82-year-old guilty of bribery.
Ecclestone though is adamant the $60 million payment made to Gribkowsky wasn't a bribe. However he has admitted he would be forced to leave F1 should the German prosecutors think differently.
"[CVC] will probably be forced to get rid of me if the Germans come after me. It's pretty obvious, if I'm locked up," he told the Sunday Telegraph.
He also confirmed that CVC had begun hunting for a successor, but not in the expectation that Ecclestone will be found guilty, but because of his age.
"They said they had hired a head-hunter to find somebody in the event that I was not going to be there - if I was going to die or something. It is the normal thing they do to keep people happy."
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo also believes a change would be needed should more come of the bribery trial.
"First of all, I hope for Bernie and F1 that nothing will happen," he said prior to Christmas. "If Bernie is accused under process I think he will be the first to give a step back in the interests of Formula 1. This could be bad for F1."