Bernie Ecclestone insists that his decision to stand down from the board of F1's holding company Delta Topco isn't the first step towards him leaving the sport, and that reports suggesting otherwise are premature.

With prosecutors in Germany stating that they were to push ahead with a bribery case against the 83-year-old, Delta Topco revealed that Ecclestone was stepping down from the board, although he will remain in control on a 'day-to-day basis'.

That has led to speculation that Ecclestone's grip on control of F1 could be loosening but he insisted that the decision to step down from the board would mean nothing.

"It's business as usual," he told the Press Association. "All that's happened is a few months' ago we decided that if I had to appear in court, during that period I would stand down from my role as a director of Delta Topco.

"For Formula One Management it's the same as before. There is no change at all.

"It's just that if I wanted to buy something I can't do it without board approval, but when it comes to races, circuits, it will be as we've always done. It will be the same thing.

"Everybody on the board is more than a million per cent supportive. They just want me to get on with doing what I always do. The minute the court case is over then I'll be back on the board again."

Ecclestone added that he didn't know what the outcome of the case would be, but insisted that he wasn't guilty of bribing banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

"I know I'm not guilty," he said. "That's for sure. Now whether I get convicted is another story.

"But all the (English) lawyers say this (going to trial) should never, ever have happened, and the German lawyers are saying the same thing, that there is no case."