Corruption: Todt backs Bernie
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES: FIA president Jean Todt has backed Bernie Ecclestone (above) as the latter is preparing to be prosecuted for corruption. Image: AFP
PARIS, France - International Automobile Federaton president Jean Todt has backed F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, as German prosecutors prepare to charge the F1 chief executive for corruption.
It has been suggested Ecclestone will step down if he is charged or convicted but Todt has been quoted by DPA as saying: "He has every right to his job and he does it very well. He is also employed by CVC (sport's owners), so it is their decision."
'UP TO SPEED'
Todt might be standing firm with Ecclestone due to the turmoil the 82-year-old's departure would create. Paul Stoddart, former Minardi racing team owner, told Bloomberg News it could take years for Ecclestone's successor to "get up to speed".
"CVC is between a rock and a hard place," he said. "If Bernie Ecclestone were forced to stand down,the Concorde Agreement (the legal backbone of F1) would be thrown into complete turmoil."
Ecclestone's legal troubles in Germany are believed also to be holding up CVC's plans to float F1 on the stock market.
CVC's Donald Mackenzie said: "Although the IPO market is better than it was a year ago,the company still has a few issues to sort out. It might happen this year (2013) or next but we're not in a big rush."