Bernie Ecclestone has agreed to pay to €100m end his bribery trial Getty

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will pay a $100m (£60m) settlement to German authorities to end his bribery trial.

Ecclestone has been embroiled in a high profile dispute with former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. It was claimed the FI chief executive and owner paid £26m to reinforce his own position as the head of the motorsport.

But billionaire Ecclestone told prosecutors the payments were to buy Gribkowsky's silence, whom the 83-year-old claimed was prepared to fabricate details about his tax affairs to British authorities.

He faced up to 10 years in prison if he was found guilty of bribery and aiding and abetting a breach of trust in relation to payments.

But after taking into consideration Ecclestone's age, Reuters reports that state prosecutors will accept a his $100m settlement and dismiss the case.

Under German law, judges, prosecutors and the defence can agree to dismiss a case or settle it with a light punishment.


Gerhard Gribkowsky
Former BayernLB Chief Risk Officer Gerhard Gribkowsky Reuters

Gerhard Gribkowsky was jailed in 2012 for eight-and-a-half years for accepting $44m (£26m) in bribes in 2006 and 2007 from Ecclestone and his family trust Bambino.

German prosecutors claim the huge transfer was to "smooth over" a lucrative deal for almost half of F1.

Ecclestone, 83, is alleged to have wanted Gribkowsky's BayernLB bank to sell the 47% it owned of F1 to CVC Capital Partners, a private investment fund.

It has been claimed the supremo wanted the transaction to go through so he could consolidate his own position as chief executive of the sport. Ecclestone denies the payments were fraudulent.

CVC eventually paid $820m (£504m) for the stake in 2006, but Ecclestone claims the multi-million dollar payments he funnelled to Gribkowsky were to gag the banker, who he said threatened to make false claims about the billionaire's tax status, and were not bribes.