Formula One Chief, Bernie Ecclestone, and his daughter Petra, pose for photographers at the launch of One Hyde Park, in London
Formula One Chief Bernie Ecclestone and his daughter Petra. Reuters

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.