Ecclestone facing German trial, bids for Nurburgring

Bernie Ecclestone looks set for a challenging 2014, as German prosecutors prepare to send him to court to face criminal bribery charges.

Sky News' authoritative city editor Mark Kleinman claims the announcement could be made as early as Thursday, as the F1 chief executive's long-running woes surrounding the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption affair reach their zenith.

When asked if Ecclestone's latest troubles would finally prevent the 83-year-old billionaire from performing his duties, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "It all depends on the outcome.

"Bernie is absolutely the best and only guy to do what he does, to take formula one to the global reach that the sport has achieved," he told reporters in London, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

"It's in all our interests that he's around as long as possible," the Associated Press quoted Horner as adding.

But even amid Ecclestone's troubles, it is also clear this week that the diminutive Briton is still pulling strings.

He told the Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche publications that he has made a bid to buy the fabled yet troubled German grand prix venue the Nurburgring.

"We want to make sure there is a formula one race in Germany every year in the future," said Ecclestone.

"There are one or two other interested parties, but we will only pay what we believe the Nurburgring is worth.

"We believe we can do more for the track than anyone else," he added.

(GMM)

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