Nov 19, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT
Donald Mackenzie, co-founder of Formula One’s owners CVC, told a court on Monday he was prepared to fire Bernie Ecclestone from his position in charge of the sport if it was proven Ecclestone had broken the law.
Mackenzie told a hearing at the High Court in London that Ecclestone had not told him about a $40 million payment to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is now serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for accepting a bribe from Ecclestone.
“He told me he had never lied to me and I must say that I had trouble believing you could forget payment of $40 million,” Mackenzie told the court.
Mackenzie also told the court: “If it is proven that Mr Ecclestone has done anything that is criminally wrong, we would fire him.”
German media firm Constantin Medien are suing Ecclestone and associates for over $100m in lost revenue, claiming Ecclestone agreed to sell F1 for less than its true value in order to preserve his position in control of the sport. CVC eventually paid BayernLB $830 million for their stake in the sport.
Mackenzie admitted the trial was “adverse publicity” for them, aside from which the sport had been a successful investment for them.
After giving evidence last week Ecclestone visited the Circuit of the Americas with wife Fabiana Flosi (pictured).