Formula One Championship leader Nico Rosberg’s name is among hundreds implicated in an enormous global leak of documents known as the ‘Panama Papers’.
The 11.5 million confidential documents come from a law firm in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, exposing a web of secret offshore companies allegedly used to hide wealth, evade tax and launder money, according to the Financial Times.
NDR, a German public broadcaster, said Rosberg’s name is among those like football star Lionel Messi mentioned in the massive data leak, relating to his latest F1 contract with Mercedes.
The report said Rosberg’s F1 deal is actually between Mercedes and a company called Ambitious Group Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands.
And Ambitious Group apparently belongs to two other alleged “front” companies headquartered in the Channel Islands.
But ARD, another German broadcaster, made clear that the documents do not indicate that Mercedes or Rosberg did anything illegal.
Mercedes would not comment, while a lawyer for Rosberg told the French sports daily L’Equipe that it is a private matter.
Another F1-connected name linked with the Panama Papers leak is Jarno Trulli, but the Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I have several companies in the world and all are run in a transparent manner.”
And when asked why his name is also connected with Mossack Fonseca, former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told Italy’s L’Espresso: “I do not know this law firm.”