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Mercedes happy to have 'strong' Ecclestone back in F1

ESPN Staff
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Mercedes and Red Bull have welcomed the full-time return of Bernie Ecclestone now that the F1 boss' legal issues in Germany are resolved.

Ecclestone had been attending a court case in Munich since April, which his lawyers said had become "extremely burdensome" as he tried to balance attendance with his responsibilities in the world of F1. Earlier this month he made a payment of $100 million (£59 million) to end the case and has now turned his full attention back to the sport.

As a result of the settlement, Ecclestone was found neither guilty or innocent in the Munich court, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said it was good to have him back at the helm of the sport.

"I think stability is important in Formula One," he said. "I have seen a very strong Bernie coming back from the shutdown and coming back after the court case has been settled, and this is good news.

"Whatever the governance, or management of Formula One is going to be going forwards, I think the shareholders and Bernie are looking what is best for Formula One. For us I think it's important to have a strong guy, a strong leader, and good discussions.

"We had one in Belgium and I am sure there is lots of talking going on behind the scenes for the future, but for us it is very good that Bernie is fully concentrated, back in shape and strong leading the organisation at this stage."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, a long-time ally of Ecclestone, also welcomed the news.

"It's great that Bernie is full time again! Formula One needs Bernie at the moment. There are a few issues to get on top of and there is no one better to do it than the little man himself."

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