F1’s capacity for intrigue and mystery was working at full blast this week.
CVC Capital Partners, the majority owner of Delta Topco, the company which ultimately owns the multi-million dollar F1 commercial rights, has initiated its own investigation into payments allegedly received by jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.
The investigation centres around allegations that Gribkowsky was paid $50m for his part in undervaluing shares in Delta Topco subsidiary SLEC, which was sold by German bank Bayern LB in 2006.
The inquiry into the matter is being handled by top accountants Ernst & Young and leading London solicitors Freshfields. They are expected to reveal their findings sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has said he is concerned by the apparently worrying political situation in Bahrain, where the first round of the 2011 world championship is due to take place on March 13.
However, Bahrain GP chiefs issued a statement indicating that they were monitoring the events closely ahead of planned testing at the track, prior to the event itself.
Bahrain International Circuit CEO, Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, said: "The safety of all Bahraini nationals, expats and overseas visitors is a priority at all times in the Kingdom and, at the Bahrain International Circuit, our focus at the present time is on delivering another successful event in the form of the 2011 Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.”