Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone revealed in court on Thursday that his daughter's wedding cost an "absurd" £12million.

The tycoon, estimated to be worth about £2.5billion, admitted that he did not know about the cost until after his daughter Petra's wedding because his ex-wife spent the money on the wedding without telling him.

As father of the bride, Mr Ecclestone had offered to pay for the wedding but said how he and ex-wife Slavica argued over the cost shortly before the ceremony, which included fireworks, an exclusive concert by Black Eyed Peas and £4,000 bottles of Chateau Petrus claret.

"When it was suggested how much they would be spending on drinks, I thought it was absurd," he told the Munich court.

Slavica secretly paid for the lavish affair, which took place in Italy. "Only later did I learn that it cost in excess of £12million - paid by my wife - and I did not find out from her," Mr Ecclestone revealed.

According to a report in the Guardian, Mr Ecclestone was in court giving evidence at the trial of Germany's biggest post-war fraud trial against German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, who allegedly received £27.5million from the tycoon in return for smoothing over the 2005 sale of the bank's $839m stake in F1 to the private equity group CVC.

Mr Gribkowsky maintains that the £27.5million was a perfectly legitimate consultancy fee for his role in the sale.

The 81-year-old brought up his daughter's extravagant wedding in an attempt to prove his claim that he and his ex-wife never discussed business or financial affairs.