Bernie Ecclestone says he offered to pay more than $40 million to stop the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery affair.
Writing in the Independent newspaper, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said the money Ecclestone used to pay the jailed banker was funded by his commission for the sale of BayernLB’s commercial rights.
Prosecutors allege Ecclestone was bribing Gribkowsky, but the 83-year-old F1 ‘supremo’ says the jailed German was in fact extorting him.
Either way, Ecclestone admits he offered to pay the money back.
“I don’t know why I offered to pay back the commission,” he said.
“Early on we said (we will do it) if that is what is necessary to get this rubbish out of the way.”
The Munich authority’s indictment against Ecclestone confirms that Ecclestone did in fact offer to pay back the money “including interest”.