Mallya forced to relinquish Control, Ecclestone U-turn, Tooned Cancelled, Sky F1 reporting gets even worse

London GP: Ecclestone says the race is off that was never on. London – city or Olympic Park I love how he then goes to great lengths to explain why it would be cost efficient and a great idea though. Maybe this undying enthusiasm for pointless ideas and lost causes is how Mokpo not Seoul ended up with the Korean GP (South Korea, Ecclestone and The Emporer’s New Clothes)

Tooned: is cancelled due to Lewis leaving the team – so for the rest of this year at least. Would love to see it return with Jenson and Perez next year. Perez character could be based on being a relative of my childhood favourite cartoon, Speedy Gonzales, a very very fast mexican mouse. For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure…(YouTube). If you enjoyed that and want a free box set worth of them…(YouTube). More importantly Tooned is a way of attracting kids interest in F1 and was a good idea. I think they should just do a best mates breakup story about Lewis and Jenson anyway. My best mate aged 22 didn’t speak to me for a year – its life.

thejudge13 ditches SKY: As I confessed on Sunday, my love affair with SKY is suspended, if not over (My Johnny Herbert rant). Rant about Herbert over, I was intrigued to see today’s offering from SKY Sports F1 who headline the race review, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle reviews an absorbing Korean GP. Really Martin – not sure we watched the same race. Anyway comments from Martin as examples of the ABSORBING viewing we all had, “[Massa] genuinely faster than team-mate Alonso in the race but had to hold station…It was rather static up front… Red Bull are very much back in dominant form”, I’ll give him this one though as I tweeted this sentiment live, “Hulkenberg’s double pass on Grosjean and Hamilton… one of the moves of the season”. The reporting of Grosjean and his alleged 7 first lap ‘at fault’ incidents and rant by Herbert smacked of lazy and ill-considered reporting. It’s as though there is an attitude amongst some of the Sky team that they can just ‘wing it’ because they’re invincible. Why the SKY race review is only published on a Tuesday lunchtime and doesn’t mention THE single most influential factor on the race – defeats me. Maybe the long first class trip home was too tiring; but failing to mention the enormous effect the terrible marshalling had on the race (marshalling ruins another race) is both negligent and sluggish reporting. (SKY race review)

Mallya: Thejudge13 did a piece on the crumbling finances and massive debts (c $5bn) of the Vijay Mallya empire (Force India: How the card tower will collapse) and today breaking news appears to provide some sort of solution to his problem. Diageo (ironically a McLaren sponsor) are to buy the one profitable part of the Indian entrepreneur’s empire, United Spirits. United Spirits own the brand, “Whyte and Mackay” one of the Force India team’s main sponsors along with Kingfisher. Mallya has fought Diegeo’s advances for nearly a year however the debts have been escalating and he has been forced into this action to raise some cash. The terms of the deal appear to be quite a shock, as it was previously thought Mallya would be able to retain management control of the business but this is not the case. The roles with the real power, CEO and CFO, will go to Diago appointees whilst Mallya remains as a figurehead chairman (

Ferrari confirm Massa: Short sharp and to the point, “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its contract with the driver Felipe Massa to the end of the 2013 race season. The Scuderia’s driver line-up for next year is therefore made up of Fernando Alonso and the aforementioned Felipe Massa. ( Is that it Ferrari???????  We have speculated for days, for months even about your driver line up. Was it to be Webber then maybe Hamilton, Perez, Di Resta, or Hulkenberg. We even dared to dream it could be once last romantic reunion with Schumacher and then just about anyone else that can hold a steering wheel. Fan against fan, publication against publication in heated debate, coded words from the Godfather about ‘too many roosters spoiling the hens – Hundreds of millions, maybe billions of words written and read – and we get this?

Jackie Stewart and the BBC: It seems like I’m down today on the established media, and trust me I can’t be doing with closed-minded band waggon mentalities – like Grosjean bashing, but Andrew Benson has just posted his 3rd missive from Jackie Stewart in just 13 days. We first had “Schumacher retirement long overdue – Stewart” (4 Oct), then “Stewart offers to help Grosjean (read Grosjean needs me)” (9 Oct) and now “Vettel is not yet a great – Stewart” (16 Oct). I suppose after yesterday’s tip-off/unspecified source/Vettel will join Ferrari fiasco, allowing Jackie Stewart the platform today is a safe bet for the BBC. Whilst that may be the case, I’m finding the Stewart grandstanding lectures a little wearing. (BBC). Stewart is arguing – until Vettel wins in an inferior car he cannot be called truely great. But to be honest this debate, ‘best car/best driver’ is like the old Byzantine theological argument, “how many angels can dance on a pin head”. We never see the same driver in a rival car – and even if we did he would need the same amount of track time in both cars to provide a proper comparison of each vehicle. All we have is the best driver from one team car measured against the best driver from another team car. The relative difference between the two is a comparison of the combination of both driver and car. Who can say more? And this is part of the mystery of F1 we all love.

(This page will be updated with further stories throughout the day – check back later)


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18 responses to “Mallya forced to relinquish Control, Ecclestone U-turn, Tooned Cancelled, Sky F1 reporting gets even worse

  1. Interesting stuff about Force India – the chances of Mallya holding on to them seem very slim, so what are your thoughts about their future? Team to be snapped up by a manufacturer?

    • Unless Renault fancy it, I’m not sure. The problem is F1 hasn’t resolved some key finance matters – entrance fees, 2014 engine costs other matters and so for the entrpreneur who needs to go and raise finance its a bit of a punt in the dark. The 2014 engines are supposed to attract the interest of manufacturers as more relvant to what they do, but so far nothing. Let’s hope its not an arrows 2002 scenario.

  2. I hear Mercedes GP are planning their own version of “Tooned” next year, featuring Hamilton and Rosberg. But, given the expected performance of their car, Merc’s version will be called “De-Tooned”.

  3. @thejudge13. Yes, oh the memories. Sergio Gonzales, has a certain ring to it, don’t you think. Laaaa, la la la la la laaa, la la la la la la laaaaa, LOL.

  4. Again, great article.

    Not really surprised with Sky; they have dedicated a whole channel to F1, and no matter how much you love the sport, that’s a lot of fill. Would actually be good to see them re run classic GPs, or even have series on seasons of the past, like 87, etc.

    The Diageo purchase caught a few people out, and the Chairman role tantamount of a face saving position, which is incredibly important in that part of the world. However, as far as I see it, they don’t have a controlling shareholding, only around 25%. Mallya still owns ~15% and his value actually rose ~5% on the news. I also believe they have to make an offer to the minor shareholders to get over the line, and if they don’t, they don’t have majority control. But there again, neither did Mallya; he just controlled the board.

    I di think a manufacturer is coming, I actually believe we could have a couple coming. I said earlier, I think the off season will be a lot of fun. HRT is perenially up for sale, Marussia would always jump, Fernandez can’t just be promoting Caterham/Air Asia, and we always have Force India, although that would be a real face loss for Mallya. I do think we’ll have some news over the winter that may blow some webs away. I know one manufacturer who is defintely there or there abouts, and rumours persist of another 2, most defintely. Wth the future of the automotive trade being based around less capacity, fewer cylinders and forced induction, the new formula sits well with the more premium brands (you will start seeing 3 cylinder BMW/Mercedes/VAG cars shortly, Ford and renault already there and others will follow), and there is no better showcase than F1 for them. Watch this space…

    Now, the Beeb. Well, I disagree about Jake, his very presence reminds the kids to change channels, and Eddie, well, with the greatest respect, he’s a bit of a crein, obviously imo. Coulthard, no matter what you thought of him as a driver (and again, that isn’t a great deal), is Brundle light and wooden at best. Their online reporting is dire, really dire and it’s acutely changed over the past 5 years. It’s rare now, that I get my news from them. I haven’t caught Johnny Herbert on Sky as yet, normally watching the race and turning over, so I am unaware of him to be frank.

    You couldn’t be more on the money with Jackie Stewart mind. Really, spot on. However, with Vettel, I think even the most ardent of fans would like to see him in a slower car, and win in one. Alonso, Kimi, Schumacher, Hamilton have all done it, and I think their stock is higher as a result. If he stayed at a dominant RBR for 10 years and won another 8 titles, I am utterly sure the history books would contain a ‘but’.

    As I said, great work.

  5. Judge – this, so far, is an awesome blog. My only problem is the theme – it makes reading the content so hard for me… Otherwise, excellent!

    • Try magnifying the page in you browser or if you read on a mobile it defaults to a white background. Theme was part of the feel of thejudge13 f1 insider blog. Notice we don’t publish photos etc. hope that helps and really glad you like it. Follow on twitter or by email as it helps us understand how many people are regular visitors.

    • try magnifying in your browser if on a pc – it will help. On mobile devices the background is clear. The theme was all part of the concept of thejudge13 – no glossy pictures and all that stuff – just the power of the written word. Really pleased you like it though

  6. Gday… firstly great objective insightful commentary … I am finding lese and less fact based, non-speculative, interesting F1 articles at the BBC… usually due to a certain Mr. Benson… so thanks for providing a superior alternative.

    Re: the latest of Jackie Stewart’s self promotional offerings, I agree they are becoming wearing… Is it not the case that back to back WDC’s should allude to greatness of a sort within a sport. Is it not that a direct comparison of achievement can be made with a team mate with the same equipment. Is it not contrary to JS’s arguement that the ‘crazy kid’ achieved a GP win in a Torro Rosso… against the odds and an inferior car?

    • Agree on all points, and we often forget Webber was favourite to win 2010 WDC in closing stages of the season. He is a class driver – but really struggled with the driving style the RB 2011 car required with the huge effect of off throttle blowing. Its been close again between him and Vettel all year until Singapore.

      • With all the technical regulations and limitations on “loopholes” that can be exploited, the cars on the grid were tending to become a “standardised” design. That partly explains the first seven races won by seven different drivers. McLaren did have a superior car at that stage, but threw away their advantage due to strategic and technical errors.
        Now Red Bull have discovered a few aero-tweaks and have the best package. Their design ideas could be difficult for other teams to copy in the short time before the 2012 season ends.
        In 2013, most of the top teams will probably have extracted all that is possible from the current regulations and 2013 should provide a true test of driver ability, provided the teams have good pit-wall strategists.

  7. I don’t have much regard for BBC’s Benson. BBC are supposed to be impartial and report facts, not gossip. I have never been able to find out where Benson gets his oft repeated claim that Alonso vetoed Hamilton’s move to Ferrari:
    “The Spaniard, himself a double world champion, has a say in the identity of his team-mate and vetoed the idea of 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari earlier this year.”

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