Date: 3rd January 2013 at 9:27am
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F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that further action by the German courts could end his reign as Formula One’s supremo.

Ecclestone has previously been questioned as part of a police investigation into a multi-million pound bribery scandal.

The case which is in direct relation to Formula One’s sale to private equity firm CVC back in 2006 has already seen Gerhard Gribkowsky jailed for more than eight years for tax evasion, breach of trust and taking £28 million in bribes during the sale of F1.

German state prosecutors are trying to establish who paid around $50million to Gerhard Gribkowsky, who at the time was overseeing the sale of BayernLB’s stake in F1.

Gribkowsky had been accused of selling a 48% stake in Formula One without legal valuations while receiving an apparent $50million bribe disguised via consultancy agreements.

Ecclestone has not been officially accused of having any connection with those payments and has always denied any involvement, however the court did describe Ecclestone in the closing remarks as ‘the accomplice’.

Following Gribkowsky’s imprisonment in June, Bernie said to the Reuters news agency: ‘They based their decisions on what he told them. I told them the truth, I think Mr Gribkowsky told them what he thought he had to tell them. I don’t think I should [face further action] but you don’t know, do you?’

Six months down the line and the investigation is still ongoing, prompting CVC to begin the process of looking for Ecclestone’s successor.

‘[It] will probably be forced to get rid of me if the Germans come after me. It’s pretty obvious, if I’m locked up.’ he told the Sunday Telegraph as quoted by Autosport Magazine.

‘They said they had hired a head-hunter to find somebody in the event that I was not going to be there – if I was going to die or something. It is the normal thing they do to keep people happy,’