Dec 18, 2:44 PM EST

Bernie Ecclestone back on F1 board, to stay as CEO

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LONDON (AP) -- Bernie Ecclestone's control of Formula One was fully restored on Thursday after overcoming court cases that threatened his grip on the motorsport series.

The 84-year-old Ecclestone stepped down as a board member of F1's holding company this year while standing trial for bribery in Germany. The case was closed in August when Ecclestone made a $100 million settlement payment.

Investment group CVC Capital Partner, F1's controlling shareholder, announced Ecclestone's return to the board in a statement on Thursday, and that he will continue as chief executive.

CVC also said former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Paul Walsh, the former chief executive of drinks giant Diageo, will become non-executive directors from January.

Ecclestone built his powerbase in F1 from the 1970s, and helped to create the Formula One Constructors' Association that controlled the business side of the series, including selling the TV rights.

The British-based company later became known as Formula One Management. It has fought regular tussles with the teams over finances, but has retained control of the global motor racing extravaganza.

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