German prosecutors have made the startling revelation that they believe Formula One’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was blackmailed by former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. The revelation is surprising because it reflects Mr Ecclestone’s defence to charges issued by the same prosecutors that he bribed Mr Gribkowsky. The bribery trial against Mr Ecclestone will get under way in the German city of Munich tomorrow and the billionaire auto racing boss could be imprisoned for up to 10 years if he is found guilty.

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