Bernie Ecclestone has denied skipping last weekend’s German grand prix because he was afraid of being arrested.
The F1 chief executive’s familiar black motor home was in the Hockenheim paddock all weekend, but the 81-year-old Briton did not show, amid rumours he might have been swept into custody by German police amid the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption affair. Ecclestone denies he feared jail.
“I had a meeting in London with people from the Olympic Committee and also about television in America,” he told the German newspaper Bild on Thursday. “I couldn’t take them with me to Hockenheim,” he insisted. “Also, my daughter Tamara had some personal problems I had to help with, but I don’t want to go into that.”
He denies being tipped off about a German plot to arrest him.
“No. No one told me that I would be arrested.”
But with Gribkowsky now in jail for receiving Ecclestone’s bribes, surely the F1 supremo fears being arrested in Germany sooner or later.
“I would assume that the German authorities would tell me something beforehand,” Ecclestone said. “Probably they’d act differently if someone has committed a murder or if he is a terrorist.”
Ecclestone said he could fly in to Germany soon.
“I’m not sure when, but it could be very soon. I want to meet the people from the Nurburgring. We want to see if we can help them.”