Bernard Charles Ecclestone is a wiley negotiator, a man who will go down in history as changing F1 into the powerful, multi-billion-dollar sport it is today has this week negotiated a deal that will see the charges against him for bribery dropped.
His payment of $100 dollars to the local German government will see him as neither guilty nor innocent and ensure that he cannot be re-tried on the same charges and leaves him free to keep control of the sport that he has controlled for so long. They will also ensure that he doesn't go to prison as is the usual punishment for such a crime.
The German law states that the court can reach a settlement if:
a) It will be difficult to secure a conviction (very possible in a complex case like this as this really could have been decided either way)
b) the defendant is too old / ill to spend the time in prison if found guilty (Mr E is certainly not getting any younger)
This is perfect timing for Bernie as it looks like the business he sold F1 to (venture capitalists CVC) are now ready to sell on F1 and claim their investment back (after making a very pretty penny from F1) and one man who has been bashing the sport to bring the price down, and could do a deal to buy back the sport is Mr E himself.
It certainly is a very interesting time to watch the business world behind the scenes of F1, could Bernie be back in the pound seats to wrestle back control of the billion dollar business and re-sell it yet again for a huge profit. If anyone can its this man.