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Ecclestone court action to begin on Tuesday

F1’s attention will turn from Sebastian Vettel’s fourth title to the inside of a courtroom early this week.

Bernie-Ecclestone-1Reports say that while German prosecutors have not decided whether the bribery affair will go to criminal trial, a separate civil action will get underway in London on Tuesday.

Bloomberg news agency said German prosecutors “may be watching for anything that will help their case”, as media company Constantin sues F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone for $171 million for the alleged bribing of jailed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

“It’s not ideal, it would be better if it wasn’t happening, but we can’t change the court system,” Ecclestone, who is scheduled to appear and give evidence in the trial, said.

Former Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart said he is backing the British magnate, who turns 83 on Monday.

“I’ve not seen an ounce of credible evidence that proves he is guilty,” he said.  “F1 will be much poorer the day Bernie is not there.”