FIA boss backs Ecclestone amid corruption charge

Bernie Ecclestone with Jean Todt

Bernie Ecclestone with Jean Todt

FIA president Jean Todt has backed Bernie Ecclestone, as German prosecutors prepare to charge the Formula 1 chief executive for corruption.

It has been suggested Ecclestone will be stepped down by the sport’s owners CVC if he is charged or convicted.

But FIA president Todt is quoted by DPA news agency: “He has every right to his job and he does it very well.

“He is also employed by CVC, so it is their decision,” the Frenchman added.

Todt might be standing firm with Ecclestone due to the turmoil the 82-year-old’s departure would create.

Paul Stoddart, the former Minardi owner, told Bloomberg it could take years for Ecclestone’s successor to “get up to speed”.

“CVC is between a rock and a hard place,” he said. “If Bernie Ecclestone was forced to stand down, the Concorde Agreement would be throw into complete turmoil.”

For the moment, Ecclestone’s legal troubles in Germany are believed to be holding up CVC’s plans to float Formula 1 on the stock market.

“Although the IPO market is better than it was a year ago, the company still has a few issues to sort out,” CVC’s Donald Mackenzie admitted to PA Sport news agency.

“So it may happen this year, it may be next year, but we’re not in a big rush.” (GMM)