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Bernie Ecclestone tells court: 'I did it my way'

Court drawing of Bernie Ecclestone
Image caption The F1 boss has been giving evidence at the High Court for two days

Bernie Ecclestone has told a High Court judge he would have quit if he could not run his Formula 1 Group his way.

The motorsports boss is accused of making corrupt payments to a German banker to facilitate the sale of Formula 1 to his preferred buyer.

He denies the claims and says he paid Gerhard Gribkowsky £10m because he was being threatened over his tax affairs.

Media group Constantin Medien says it lost out on buying F1 because of the alleged deal during the sale in 2006.

But Mr Ecclestone denies any "conspiracy" and insists the company's accusation "lacks any merit".

'The way I wanted'

At the start of the trial, Constantin's legal team argued banker Gribkowsky "assisted" the F1 boss in return for £10m.

Mr Ecclestone says the he made the payment because Gribkowsky had insinuated he would create difficulties over his tax affairs and that he was "being shaken down".

Robert Miles QC, representing Mr Ecclestone, has said it had been arranged in 2006 that Gribkowsky would be given a "consultancy package".

But ,giving evidence for the second day, Mr Ecclestone told the court: "I didn't work alongside anybody. I did my job exactly the way I wanted to do it.

"I didn't care who the board was or who the shareholders were or anything. The minute I couldn't run the company the way I wanted to I would have left."

Constantin says payments totalling about £27m were made to Gribkowsky, a senior executive at the bank, at Mr Ecclestone's instigation.

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Media captionBernie Ecclestone's bizarre High Court entrance on Wednesday

Mr Ecclestone said on Wednesday the actual amount "was £10m as it happens".

He has denied saying different things to journalists or changing his story.

Philip Marshall QC, representing Constantin, said at a previous hearing that the deal allowed Mr Ecclestone to retain a position with Formula 1.

There had been a "real risk" of Mr Ecclestone's removal from his position in the Formula 1 Group, he added.

Gribkowsky was given a jail term of more than eight years after being convicted of corruption at a trial in Munich last year, Mr Marshall told the court.

Constantin is seeking about £90m in damages.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

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