Bernie Ecclestone has returned to the executive board of F1's parent company. Although he remained F1 chief executive, the 83-year-old had stepped down from Delta Topco amid his corruption trial in Germany. Briton Ecclestone settled that case with a highly-controversial $100 million payment to the Bavarian state. "The system in law is pretty fair," he told the BBC at Spa-Francorchamps this week. "I just had to pay to get rid of the case, that's all."
And Ecclestone also said in Belgium that the fact he is now returning to the Delta Topco board will make "no difference" to how F1 has been run in the past days and months. "I stood down for obvious reasons, but I'll be back on again now," he told the Telegraph recently. "Everything is back to normal." Asked if F1's major shareholder CVC is happy about his return to the board, he insisted: "Yes of course."
That appears also true even of Mercedes, whose strict corporate rules had made parent Daimler particularly nervous about Ecclestone's alleged association with bribery. But team boss Toto Wolff said at Spa: "I have seen a very strong Bernie coming back from the shutdown, after the court case. The court case has been settled and this is good news. For us it's important to have a strong guy, a strong leader and good discussions. We had one of these today," he added on Saturday, after a meeting between team bosses and Ecclestone that was held in the Mercedes motor home. (GMM)