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F1 boss Ecclestone pays £60m to end German bribery trial

By Christian Sylt

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has said he is going straight back to work after agreeing to pay nearly £60m to a court in Germany to put an end to the bribery trial against him.

"I'm not really celebrating. It's just not me," Ecclestone said.

"I've just got to get on with work. I've got things I need to catch up with so I'm cracking on."

The trial began in April and could have led to Ecclestone being imprisoned for up to 10 years if he had been found guilty.

German prosecutors claimed that Ecclestone and his Bambino family trust paid a £27m bribe to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former senior executive at German bank BayernLB, to steer the sale of BayernLB's controlling stake in Formula One to the investment fund CVC as it had agreed to retain him as the boss of the sport.

Ecclestone denies bribery and says he paid Gribkowsky to stop him making unfounded allegations about Ecclestone's tax affairs.

"It's a weight off my mind," Ecclestone added, whose wealth is estimated at $4bn.

The state of Bavaria will receive $99m of the settlement, with the remaining $1m going to a local children's hospital.

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