Formula One: Bernie Ecclestone to face trial in Germany
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 2203 GMT (0603 HKT)
- Bernie Ecclestone will stand trial on bribery charges, a German court announced
- The 83-year-old is accused of making corrupt payments during the sale of Formula One
- He will step down as a director of the company that owns the rights to the motorsport
- However, Ecclestone will continue to be involved in the running of F1
(CNN) -- How do you run a business effectively when your supremo is facing bribery charges over a multibillion-dollar deal?
In the case of Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone you step down as director of the sport's holding company -- Delta Topco -- but continue to run one of the world's most lucrative sport franchises on a day-to-day basis.
The 83-year-old Ecclestone is accused of making a corrupt payment during his sale of the sport in 2006 and was indicted on bribery charges in German. He is set to go on trial in April.
He denies the charges and he was not immediately available for comment when his office was contacted by CNN.
Sebastian Vettel is proving to be a worthy successor to fellow German driver Michael Schumacher (right) as the biggest star in Formula One.
Vettel and Schumacher's route to success
Sebastian Vettel has got used to having the open road between his Red Bull and his rivals in the 2013 season. He has won 13 of the 19 races up for grabs.
Sebastian Vettel: The loneliness of the F1 champion
Following the court's decision, Delta Topco Limited held a board meeting to plan how best to run the F1 business.
"Mr. Ecclestone has reassured the board that he is innocent of the charges and intends to vigorously defend the case which will commence in late April 2014," said a Delta Topco statement.
"After discussion with the board, Mr. Ecclestone has proposed and the board has agreed that until the case has been concluded, he will step down as a director with immediate effect, thereby relinquishing his board duties and responsibilities until the case has been resolved.
"The board believes that it is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr. Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control by the board.
"Mr. Ecclestone has agreed to these arrangements. The approval and signing of significant contracts and other material business arrangements shall now be the responsibility of the chairman, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, and deputy chairman, Mr. Donald Mackenzie."
Ecclestone is accused of making a corrupt payment to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a banker who worked on the sale of F1 to private equity firm CVC in 2006.
Gribkowsky was jailed for eight and a half years in 2012 after he admitted to taking bribes, an accusation which Ecclestone denies.
Read: F1 unveils driver numbers for 2014 season
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
Today's five most popular stories