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Ecclestone Says Shakedown by Banker Nothing to Do With F1

Bernie Ecclestone told a U.K. court that payments he made to a banker before the sale of a controlling stake in Formula One were the result his being “shaken down” and had nothing to do with his role as chief executive officer of the racing series.

Ecclestone was asked whether he denied making the payments to newspapers and the Formula One board in 2011 after Gerhard Gribkowsky was arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes. “This issue was nothing to do with anyone but Mr. Gribkowsky and myself,” he said today. “I was being shaken down.”