Niki Lauda says F1 should "welcome" the news that Bernie Ecclestone looks to have settled the high-profile corruption case that threatened his role at the top of the sport. Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that the 83-year-old Briton has agreed with prosecutors and the Munich court that a $100 million compensation payment will see serious criminal charges - which could have left him in jail - dropped.
"On behalf of formula one, Mercedes and all the other teams, I would only welcome it if Bernie can concentrate on formula one and together with the teams solve the existing problems," the newspaper quoted Lauda as saying. "If Bernie stops, it would have been a disaster for formula one. He has built everything up over three decades and is the only one who knows everything -- the business, the details of the teams. Everything is in his head," said Lauda.
A guilty verdict would have seen Ecclestone, F1's chief executive and long-time 'supremo', almost certainly ousted from his position by CVC chief Donald Mackenzie. "If all the allegations are gone from the table, then Bernie has done everything right," Lauda insisted. "Then all the speculation ends. Continuity is very important at the top of formula one for the future," he added. (GMM)