6 Aug 2014

Ecclestone walks free from court

11:30 am on 6 August 2014

A German court has accepted an offer from Formula One's mercurial tycoon Bernie Ecclestone to pay $US100 million to end his trial on bribery charges.

Formula One Bernie Ecclestone

Formula One Bernie Ecclestone Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In a move that will likely see him stay at the helm of the lucrative sport, the 83-year-old Briton struck an accord with prosecutors on the record payment which then got the Munich tribunal's blessing.

The judge has temporarily suspended he proceedings pending payment within one week, and the court has decided that $US99 million of Ecclestone's payment will go the Bavarian state coffers, and a million to a children's hospice foundation.

Ecclestone, whose estimated fortune is $US4.2 billion, went on trial in Munich in April on charges of paying a $US44 million bribe to a Bavarian state bank executive for help in maintaining his four-decade grip on Formula One.

If found guilty, he could have faced a 10-year jail term and the end of his decades-long dominance of motor racing.