Lewis Hamilton has won his second World Drivers’ Championship after the 2008 victory in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, second in qualifying, took the lead at the start and controlled the race, as Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg suffered car trouble and finished 14th.
He joins a number of other drivers on two titles, including his great contemporary rival Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher is the all-time record holder with seven, while the most successful current driver is Sebastian Vettel on four.
Nico Rosberg, who started on pole, was left struggling by the failure of his hybrid system. With two laps to go, he was told to retire by his engineers at Mercedes but said: “I would like to go to the end.”
As Lewis Hamilton crossed the line, Prince Harry, attending the race, took to the team radio to say: “Lewis, well done for not making the British public sweat. You are an absolute legend.”
Lewis Hamilton, 29, stood on his car to celebrate after he returned to the pits and then went over to embrace girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and his family, who had flown in for the race day to support him.
His win was his 11th of the season, compared to Nico Rosberg’s five, and he finished 67 points clear at the top of the title standings.
It was the 33rd win of Lewis Hamilton’s career, moving him clear of his great rival Fernando Alonso into fifth in the all-time list.
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will make a $100 million payment to end the bribery trial.
Bernie Ecclestone’s offer was based on an existing provision in German law.
Earlier on Tuesday German prosecutors accepted the offer from the 83-year-old billionaire who dominates motor racing.
Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in April, accused of paying a German banker 33 million euros ($44 million) to ensure that a company he favored could buy a stake in F1.
He denies wrongdoing.
The ruling means he walks free from the district court in Munich and can continue running the sport. It also means Bernie Ecclestone is found neither guilty nor innocent.
His personal wealth is put at $4.2 billion by Forbes.
If found guilty, Bernie Ecclestone could have faced a 10-year jail term and the end of his decades-long dominance of motor racing.
Bernie Ecclestone will make a $100 million payment to end the bribery trial (photo Reuters)
A BayernLB banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, was allegedly paid by Bernie Ecclestone to ensure the F1 stake was bought by a company that he favored, so that he would remain in charge of the sport.
Gerhard Gribkowsky was sentenced to 8 and half years in prison in 2012 for accepting bribes.
Bernie Ecclestone says the payment was given to Gerhard Gribkowsky after the banker threatened to make false claims about the F1 boss’s tax status.
Prosecutors said Bernie Ecclestone’s advanced age and other mitigating circumstances gave grounds to accept the $100 million offer.
Bernie Ecclestone has attended most of the hearings in person and arrived at the courthouse on Tuesday in a limousine, looking relaxed and accompanied by his wife, Fabiana Flosi.
Asked by Judge Peter Noll if he could raise the $100 million, Bernie Ecclestone replied “yes”. When asked if the payment could be made within a week, his defense lawyer, Sven Thomas, said: “That’s do-able.”
Judge Peter Noll ruled that $99 million would go to the Bavarian state coffers while $1 million would be donated to a children’s hospital. The sum is believed to be a record for such a payment.
Court spokesperson Andrea Titz said Bernie Ecclestone: “The court did not consider a conviction overwhelmingly likely from the present point of view.
“With this type of ending… there is no ruling on guilt or innocence of the defendant.”
Under German law defendants can in certain circumstances “buy” termination of a trial.
The legal proviso exists in order to ease the burden on the courts and to deal with cases where reaching a judgment could prove difficult.
However, a lawyer quoted by the Spiegelonline website, Franz Bielefeld, said it was unusual for the clause to be invoked in mid-trial – more often it is done before a trial starts.
Bernie Ecclestone has appeared in court at the start of a trial on bribery charges in Munich, Germany.
The Formula 1 boss is accused of giving a $45 million (33 million euros) bribe to a German banker to secure the sale of a stake in the F1 business to a company he favored.
Bernie Ecclestone admits paying Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment, but has denied any wrongdoing.
He continues to run the F1 business on a day-to-day basis despite the charges.
To alleviate his workload, however, Bernie Ecclestone has stood down from a number of F1-related positions until the case concludes.
Bernie Ecclestone is accused of giving a $45 million bribe to a German banker to secure the sale of a stake in the F1 business to a company he favored
Correspondents say that he appeared relaxed as he consulted with his lawyers on Thursday ahead of the proceedings.
Asked by a journalist outside the court whether he was confident of victory, he replied: “I’m confident the sun is shining.”
German prosecutors allege that he bribed Gerhard Gribkowsky, who was on the board of Bayern Landesbank, to ensure that F1 was sold to a private equity group of Bernie Ecclestone’s choice.
The allegation is that by securing the sale of the stake to a company Bernie Ecclestone favored, he would remain in charge of Formula 1 and its commercial rights, broadcast payments and sponsorship deals.
The payments were made between July 2006 and December 2007.
Bernie Ecclestone, 83, admits paying Gerhard Gribkowsky, but says he was effectively the victim of blackmail. He has said the banker had been threatening to reveal false details of his tax affairs.
If convicted, Bernie Ecclestone – one of Britain’s richest men who transformed Formula 1 into a lucrative sport watched by 450 million TV viewers globally – could face up to 10 years in jail.
Gerhard Gribkowsky has been found guilty of corruption, tax evasion and breach of trust and is serving an eight and a half year prison sentence.
Bernie Ecclestone testified during Gerhard Gribkowsky’s trial in 2011, and the former German banker is expected to be the main witness during the F1 chief’s trial, which is scheduled to last until September.
In February, Bernie Ecclestone won a civil case in London’s High Court brought by a German media company, which claimed it lost out financially when the share of F1 belonging to German bank Bayern Landesbank was sold in 2006 to private equity group CVC.
While the judge rejected a damages claim from Constantin Medien against the F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone was ordered to pay $4 million in legal fees.
Doctors at Grenoble hospital where Michael Schumacher is receiving treatment for his grievous head injury following a ski accident has reportedly denied rumors that the Formula 1 champion has died.
Michael Schumacher, who has been in a coma since December 29 last year after the accident in the French Alps, was rumored to have died in the Grenoble hospital where doctors have been trying to bring him out of the coma.
Michael Schumacher was rumored to have died in the Grenoble hospital where doctors have been trying to bring him out of the coma
According to the Daily Star, a spokesperson for the hospital has stated that Michael Schumacher is still alive and doctors are trying to bring him out of the induced coma.
However, experts said that any attempt to wake Michael Schumacher could end up in him being in a permanent vegetative state, adding that the sleeping drugs in his body alone may take weeks to exit his system.
Bernie Ecclestone has decided to step down from the board of the company which runs Formula 1 following his indictment on bribery charges in Germany.
However, Bernie Ecclestone, 83, will continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, Delta Topco said in a statement.
Bernie Ecclestone will go on trial to face allegations he bribed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky who is serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment.
He admits paying Gerhard Gribkowsky, but denies bribery.
Bernie Ecclestone has decided to step down from the board of the company which runs Formula 1 following his indictment on bribery charges in Germany
The board of Delta Topco met on Thursday and were told by Bernie Ecclestone that he intended to vigorously defend the case, which will commence in late April.
A statement read: “After discussion with the board, Mr. Ecclestone has proposed and the board has agreed that until the case has been concluded, he will step down as a director with immediate effect, thereby relinquishing his board duties and responsibilities until the case has been resolved.
“The board believes that it is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr. Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day to day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control by the board.
“Mr. Ecclestone has agreed to these arrangements.”
German prosecutors have accused Bernie Ecclestone of giving a $45 million bribe to Gerhard Gribkowsky to ensure F1 was sold to a private equity group of his choosing.
Bernie Ecclestone will be tried on bribery charges, a court in the German city of Munich has ruled.
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is accused of giving a $45 million (33 million euros) bribe to a German banker who is serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment.
Prosecutors allege that the payment was to ensure that F1 was sold to a private equity group of Bernie Ecclestone’s choice.
He admits paying Gerhard Gribkowsky, but denies bribery, saying he was effectively the victim of blackmail.
Bernie Ecclestone has been defending himself in a separate $147 million civil claim in London’s High Court.
That case was brought by a German media company, Constantin Medien, who claim they lost out financially when the share of F1 belonging to German bank Bayern Landesbank was sold in 2006 to private equity group CVC.
Bernie Ecclestone and Gerhard Gribkowsky, who was on the board of Bayern Landesbank, were accused in court of conspiring to deliberately undervalue F1 when it was sold, in order that Ecclestone would retain control of the sport.
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is accused of giving a $45 million bribe to a German banker
The F1 boss told the High Court that he made the payment because the banker had been threatening to reveal false details of his tax affairs.
A statement from Bavaria’s district court said that a trial date for the criminal trial had not yet been set, but that proceedings were likely to begin in late April.
Bernie Ecclestone is charged with bribery and incitement to breach of trust and will be obliged to appear at his trial.
The court statement says that the payments made to Gerhard Gribkowsky were dressed up as consultancy contracts, and that both their source and their destination were obscured using corporate structures.
The payments were made between July 2006 and December 2007, it says.
Bernie Ecclestone’s German lawyer said on Thursday that the alleged bribery never took place.
Footage from Michael Schumacher’s helmet camera shows him going at the speed of “a very good skier” when he hit a rock and fell, investigators say.
Investigators probing Michael Schumacher’s accident said he was 8 metres off-piste when he crashed.
Prosecutor Patrick Quincy said he could not as yet estimate Michael Schumacher’s speed but said it was “not an important element of the investigation”.
Michael Schumacher, 45, suffered a severe head injury in the December 29 accident.
He is currently in a medically induced coma at a clinic in Grenoble where doctors describe his condition as critical but stable.
Fans gathered outside the hospital on January 3rd to mark the racing legend’s 45th birthday.
Speaking at a news conference in the French city of Albertville, the investigating team said they had so far attended the scene of the accident in the resort of Meribel, spoken to witnesses and the medical team.
Footage from Michael Schumacher’s helmet camera shows him going at the speed of “a very good skier” when he hit a rock and fell
They have also reconstructed events leading up to the crash, examined the helmet and skis and viewed footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet, they said.
Patrick Quincy, who is heading the investigation team, refused to be drawn on Michael Schumacher’s speed at the time of the accident saying they needed to go through the two-minutes of footage “image by image”.
But another investigator, Lt Col Benoit Vinneman said the video appeared to show “completely normal behavior by a good skier on this terrain”.
Michael Schumacher had deliberately chosen to go off piste, an area between a red and blue piste that was clearly signposted, the investigators said.
He hit a rock that was 26ft from the piste, and landed 30ft away from the piste, they outlined.
“[Michael Schumacher] is evidently an extremely good skier, but one of his skis hit a rock that was sticking out… it caused him to fall and he hit his head on the rock,” Patrick Quincy said.
Stephane Bozon, one of the local policemen involved in the investigation, said the skis were in “perfect condition” and had not been the cause of the accident.
Patrick Quincy stressed their investigation into Michael Schumacher’s accident was no different to that given to other skiing similar skiing accidents. He said they had investigated 50 such cases.
Michael Schumacher’s family has been by his bedside since the accident, and has appealed for privacy in recent days, asking journalists to leave the clinic where he is being treated.
Michael Schumacher’s condition remains stable but critical, the hospital treating him for head injuries has announced.
Doctors in Grenoble say Michael Schumacher is being continually monitored but they will not be releasing more health details.
Michael Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma for the past eight days following a skiing accident in the French Alps.
Meanwhile prosecutors investigating the accident plan to give details of their probe on Wednesday.
The state prosecutor in Albertville, Patrick Quincy, told the AP news agency that French investigators were trying to obtain smartphone footage of the accident which the German magazine Der Spiegel reported had been shot by a bystander.
Michael Schumacher’s condition remains stable but critical
Der Spiegel says that a flight attendant from Essen who was filming his girlfriend on the slopes happened to catch what he believes was Michael Schumacher’s fall in the background.
The 35-year-old planned to hand the footage over to prosecutors, Der Spiegel reported.
Monday’s hospital statement said that the medical team will not be giving details of Michael Schumacher’s treatment for reasons of privacy, and no further press conferences were planned “for the time being”.
The statement also asked journalists to refrain from reporting claims about Michael Schumacher’s health not originating from the medical team or his management.
It follows Friday’s press claims of an improvement in Michael Schumacher’s condition, which were denied by his manager.
Michael Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm has warned about “invalid” health reports, after one was quoted as saying the F1 champion’s life was no longer at risk.
Michael Schumacher, 45, remains “critical but stable” in hospital in Grenoble after a skiing accident.
A statement from Sabine Kehm said reports not from managers or doctors “must be treated as pure speculation”.
The statement also rejected reports a camera fixed to Michael Schumacher’s ski helmet had not been handed over voluntarily.
Michael Schumacher, who retired in 2012, is in a medically induced coma after suffering head injuries during a fall in the resort of Meribel last Sunday.
His helmet cracked on impact when he hit a rock while skiing off-piste.
Sabine Kehm’s statement read: “Michael’s condition remains critical but stable. We would like to clearly stress that any information regarding Michael’s health not coming from the doctors treating him or from his management must be treated as invalid and pure speculation.”
Michael Schumacher remains critical but stable in Grenoble hospital after skiing accident
“The family cares only for Michael’s health.”
On Friday, some media quoted Michael Schumacher’s friend, former F1 driver Philippe Streiff, as saying that he had been told by the Schumacher family doctor, Gerard Saillant, that Michael’s life was no longer in danger.
Sabine Kehm’s statement continued: “Michael’s helmet camera was voluntarily given to the investigating authorities by the family. That this should have been done against the wishes of the family is untrue.”
Investigators in France are examining the camera.
The French authorities are hoping the device may reveal clues about the circumstances of the accident, although it remains unclear whether the camera was switched on at the time.
Police also interviewed Michael Schumacher’s teenage son, who witnessed the crash.
Michael Schumacher management’s statement concluded by saying: “In consultation with the doctors treating Michael, it is not expected that there will be any press conference before Monday.”
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