Ever since the news surfaced in the media that German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was arrested on grounds of bribery, newspapers in Germany and the UK had linked Ecclestone to the whole affair. The case is related to what happened 5 years ago, when CVC took complete control over Formula 1 after buying the commercial rights of the series from Munich-based BayernLB.
According to the late developments of the story, Gribkowsky – who intermediated the deal – received a mysterious receipt of $50 million after the contract was signed, and some new information collected by the media show that the 80-year old Englishman may be behind the move.
Needless to say, Ecclestone denied all allegations last month, when he also told the media that he was advised not to comment any more on this matter in front of the media. In the meantime, he already got himself an army of German lawyers, although it's yet unclear whether the hearings will take place in Germany or the UK.
In case the F1 boss has to travel to Germany in order to answer the investigators' questions, British sources including Sky, the Telegraph and the Times reported that he will likely seek assurances that he will not also be detained. According to the Telegraph, Ecclestone is yet to be approached by the prosecutors, but has already stated his complete availability for the questioning.
In parallel with the ongoing investigation conducted by the German authorities, the CVC has also hired a private firm to look into the matter for internal reasons. According to sources cited by the British media, no wrongdoing has been found following that separate investigation.