Facing the loss of his job in charge of formula one, hundreds of millions of dollars in potential penalties and even jail, the sport’s diminutive chief executive found a reason to smile as he arrived in court.
“I’m confident, the sun is shining,” the 83-year-old, flanked by his legal team, told reporters in Munich.
He was just as jovial in court. Asked by the judge if he is married or divorced, Ecclestone answered: “Both! But I like to remember the divorce part.”
The judge smiled: “Those were the easier questions.”
The main feature of day one in the high-profile bribery trial was a written statement by Ecclestone, in which he argued he was blackmailed by Gerhard Gribkowsky.
“It was clear he wanted money,” the Briton said.
“I often asked my lawyers, is there a German word for blackmail?” (GMM)