That is the claim of CVC co-founder Donald Mackenzie, who gave evidence on Monday as the $140 million civil case against Ecclestone continued to play out in the London high court. F1 chief executive is also being pursued in a criminal case by German authorities, who have charged the 83-year-old with allegedly bribing former banker Gribkowsky to the tune of $40 million. “If it is proven that Mr Ecclestone has done anything that is criminally wrong,” Mackenzie said on Monday, “we would fire him.”
He also told the court that Ecclestone claims he “forgot” to tell him about the $40 million payment to Gribkowsky, and had subsequently apologised. “He (Ecclestone) told me he had never lied to me and I must say that I had trouble believing you could forget payment of $40 million,” added Mackenzie. It is not the first time Ecclestone and Mackenzie have clashed. In 2009, Mackenzie said Ecclestone should have stepped down after admitting in an interview that he admired Adolf Hitler.
Mackenzie said on Monday: “It (F1) is a successful investment (for CVC) apart from the adverse publicity, and this (Gribkowsky scandal) is a good example.” Ecclestone, however, told British television Sky that the case is not damaging the sport’s reputation. “I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s good because a lot of facts come out of it.”