Mallya charges dropped, but problems just beginning, Sir Jack Stewart talks sexy (Ugh), F1 opportunity for Porsche, F1 News and Links…

Mallya: Boss of stricken Kingfisher Airlines – has bounced cheque charges dropped (business today), and has paid off his arrears on the airport fees – presumably because he has raised some cash from selling a chunk of United Spirits to Diageo  (Mallya forced to sell). Before the champagne (Crystal we think) is cracked this may just be the beginning of Vijay’s problems, because everyone else who is owed money should have realised the way to get paid is to issue legal proceedings. Indian tax authorities who have not received the deducted tax deducted Kingfisher Airlines from their employees are beginning action – it may be some employees are technically liable themselves even thought the Mallya company has taken the money from them. (Economic Times). The Indian courts may find themselves very busy soon particularly if the author of “Is Vijay Mallya India’s worst businessman” is correct. (

Mercedes: After being heavily criticised by Helmut Marco for recruiting 3 former team technical directors to head up sub-divisions of Mercedes F1 (link), it appears Ross Brawn has decided that he has enough his search for “art directors” and is looking for some “Indians” – less expensive candidates. Here is a link if you are an undergraduate and interested in taking a 1 year placement with the team. (Merc Grad Recruit). To be fair, an amazing opportunity.

LAUDA WATCH: (link) is on hold as he appears to be lying low this week, and its time for STEWART STALK. The BBC appear to have some sort of arrangement with Sir Jack as he has featured as their lead article 3 times in 13 days (link). As mentioned previously these are often a touch condescending and prejudicial but at least free on, who will relieve you of £45 (1440 nickels in American speak) a year for 12 issues of their opinion, have an inside track to Stewart. Divulging the secrets of F1 to us lesser mortals who have never been lucky enough to drive an F1 car , Stewart confides “A car is like a woman, cornering is like bringing her to climax”???. I was stood about 3 feet from Sir Jack on the track at Monza after the race, and I can assure you at his time of life and in his state of repair that is one image my mind cannot take – particularly over breakfast it ruined my Lapsang Souchong. 

F1 Cinema film Rush: The much-anticipated film about Hunt and Lauda from director Happy Days star Ron Howard is now in quality checking (link) – whatever that means. You learn something everyday, but apparently James Hunt was a pretty committed swordsman. He was more famous though for his unconventional behaviour on and off the track, having drugs and sex often minutes before a race – 33 BA air hostesses one night before competing (Daily Mail). Apparently Jackie Stewart abstained from sex a week before a GP weekend – maybe that’s why he’s talking the way he is today. Anyway, James Hunt’s old house is up for sale in Wimbledon, London for a cool £6.45m. (Kinght Frank).

Koren grid girls and a Thai race: Auto Motor and Sport continue their gallery of grid girls with the inclusion of those from Korea. They complain about the lack of girl’s in Japan but applaud the Korean girls for their pretty smiles and unusual gesticulations in front of the lens? Apparently, “Individually, the girls were hard to find…[but] the Korean ladies like to put on to group photos”. With this kind of sentiment, maybe that’s why the girls were gesticulating at the photographer. There may be Thai grid girls on offer soon if Kanokphand Chulakasem, the man in charge of the Thailand Sports Authority has his way. The problem is that the bill for a typical 7 year contract will be around $700m including the Fees to Bernie together with the street circuit set up and dismantle costs each year. Further, Mr. Chulakasem suggests 40% will be met by private investors, though Ecclestone will want the government to indemnify the whole amount. The Thai sports minister claims the costs will be less than $40m a year but it is heard to see FOM accepting that kind of fee when 10 years ago it was $50m (Saward)

Cosworth up for Sale: The have been producing F1 engines since 1963 – winning 155 GP. This is not a doom and gloom story as was the Lola failure to sell. It is most likely they will have more than 1 suitor following diversification in recent years into a number of engineering activities. They do need funds to develop 2014 engine designs from the drawing board to completion and have considered a float in recent times. Rolls Royce maybe interested – or possibly Porsche? (ESPN) There have been a number of Porsche stories around recently – but nothing well sourced or even with a quote from Gerhard the night watchman at the Stuttgart factory. Anyway Porsche have previous in F1, and it was either brilliant or poor. Brilliant: They produced the water-cooled V6 turbo engines badged as TAG units for the McLaren Team and these TAG-Porsche-powered cars took two constructor championships in 1984 and 1985 along with three driver crowns between 1984 and 1986. In all the engines powered McLaren to 25 victories between 1984 and 1987. Poor: The Porsche 3512 V12 3.5 litre non-turbo engine was their last forray into F1 in 1991. The engine didn’t initially fit into the Arrows car for which it was designed and it weighed a whopping 418lbs compared to Ferrari’s V12 at 308lbs. It was highly unreliable and the Arrows team ditched it following the French GP returning to a Cosworth engine for the rest of the season. But then there’s an argument for McLaren to buy Cosworth and have them build engines for their roadcars?

Indian GP: If you want to understand F1’s place in the sporting heart of India, check out – there are the usual tabs for News, Business, Lifestyle…. and then there is one for “Cricket”, followed by another for “Sport”. The Times of India has its on F1 section on the tabs called “Racing” – Mmm. They have a feature on Monisha Kaltenborn, the first woman team principle, born in Dehradun – India (The Times of India) Also is a driver profile on the ‘Kart’ as we like to call him – “The fastest Indian in the world’ and the first in F1, Karthikeyan made his debut with Jordan in 2005. Returned to F1 with HRT. Racing at the 2011 Indian Grand Prix. The Economic Times runs with the story that “Boost ties up with McLaren for Indian Grand Prix“. As part of the GlaxoSK-McLaren association, the Boost brand logo will run on both cars during the race and the chocolate flavoured health drink will be available for the team throughout the race weekend. Jayant Singh, Marketing Head says, “Boost is excited to partner with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes for the Indian leg of the Grand Prix, providing the team with sports nutrition to ensure they are in peak physical condition for the race”. Jayant we love your optimism, but the Boost McLaren need is more like ROCKET FUEL.

McLaren: The title of McLaren ‘top dog’ is seriously up for grabs. F1fanatic have a great article about this and since Jenson joined McLaren in 2010, he and Lewis have raced together in 54 GP. They have both had 4 DNF’s due to technical failure and the gap between them is a mere 5 pts. Jenson 615 pts – Lewis 620 pts. Not bad for Jenson’s kudos considering everyone thought he was going to struggle joining a team moulded around Lewis but maybe it says more about Lewis not delivering (

Indycar: Have a delegation at the moment in Italy looking to bring a race to Europe. Having said goodbye to racing in Japan 2011, the only race outside of North America now is in Brazil. The Italian tracks under consideration are Mugello, Imola and Vallalunga. (Autosprint). Both Imola and Mugello host MotoGP events.  I went to F1 testing in Mugello this year and it is a fabulous track in a truly amazing setting. The corner at the end of the back straight is like Eua Rouge in reverse and is similar in altitude change (about 40m drop). The only issues are run off areas and width of circuit; whilst Webber said he enjoyed his 12 laps (one morning) in Mugello more than “1000 laps in Abu Dhabi” the track is old style and ending up in the gravel run off areas means the end of your race. Dates of either late July or mid September are being considered but it may make sense to back to back any Indy Car race with F1 in Monza. The passion for 4 wheel racing will still be high and Italy also has a huge 2 wheel fan base.

LAUDA WATCH: Sorry folks its back and this story may explain a lot. Nikki Lauda told a court today how Michael Seidl and his Money Service Group (MSG) swindled him out of 500,000 euros. Seidl is accused of persuading 44 of the rich and famous in the German-speaking world Austria to invest 70m Euros in his pyramid scheme. Those paraded as sponsors of this charade and used to entice investors like Lauda were the Sauber F1 team, the Swiss Football Association amongst others. Behind the scheme which attracted 70m Euros of investment, auditors of MSG found assets worth only 200,000 Euros including cigars, fine wine and jewellery.  Lauda said in court “In my entire life I have never been so ripped off as I was with this con. The bottom line is that he [Seidl] was a complete con man – I should have punched him when I had the chance to bring the point home”. Lauda wore a blue cap with MSG on the front for 6 months in 2011, before realising his mistake and persuading Aabar Ivestments pay for his hats instead. (Austrian Times).

(I need a new line) What to say? I’m almost lost for words. First, no wonder Lauda needs a job. Second, with all that pent-up anger who will be punched at Mercedes F1 if they cross Niki. Third, the shrewd board of Daimler Benz has appointed this man to uncover profligate waste and use all his business acumen to guide Mercedes AMG F1 to success. Shades of Jaguar methinks.

Ferrari: 19:15 GMT: Just released this explanation for retaining Felipe. “The decision to extend the agreement with Felipe Massa for another season was carefully weighed up and not just the obvious one. Nor was it inevitable because of the lack of alternatives, nor was it in any way guided by the wishes of his current team-mate, because Ferrari alone chooses its drivers” ( The Godfather stamps his authority over Alonso, once again. Remember a couple of weeks ago at the Paris Motor Show when questioned about Alonso’s public backing for Massa 2013, the Padrino stated, “But first Fernando should win the world title and then we will certainly not put anyone alongside him who would bother him”. Why do Ferrari need to issue an explanation over retaining Massa? We all understand why.

(This page will be updated throughout the day with more News and links – check back later)

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21 responses to “Mallya charges dropped, but problems just beginning, Sir Jack Stewart talks sexy (Ugh), F1 opportunity for Porsche, F1 News and Links…

    • Hamilton has had more than 4 DNF’s this year alone. I think wins alone Hamilton is 7 – 4 or something. Hamilton has had a diabolical year this year for reliability and the pit crew, plus being Grosjeaned at Spa.

      We all know who’s the top dog on the track here, regardless of the points position, and anyone who can state confidently, even slightly, that JB has been near Ham this year cant be taken seriously.

      Top article otherwise! I did say the warrant would disappear behind the scenes. Remember, too, if Kingfisher is the controlling company of Kingfisher Airlines, it can go bust, and the losses can be offset on the balance sheets elsewhere. Bust or not, he’ll make a lot of money out of the Airline somewhere in his business. Who will take a seriously large haircut are Airbus and Boeing, who arranged all of the leases to the Airline.

      Two manufacturers are circling Cosworth.

      • Technical Failures

        Lewis Hamilton

        2010 Hungarian Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 4th)
        2011 Brazilian Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 6th)
        2012 German Grand Prix – Damage (was 16th)
        2012 Singapore Grand Prix – Gearbox (was 1st)


        2010 Japanese Grand Prix – Gearbox (five places)
        2012 Chinese Grand Prix – Gearbox (five places)

        NB. Hamilton had wheel failure during the 2010 Spanish Grand Prix while running second with two laps to go, but was classified 14th

        Jenson Button

        2010 Monaco Grand Prix – Overheating (was 11th)
        2011 British Grand Prix – Wheel (was 2nd)
        2011 German Grand Prix – Hydraulics (was 8th)
        2012 Italian Grand Prix – Fuel pump (was 2nd)

      • Sorry Hairy, failed to answer your other points. The article I wrote the other day suggested that Kingfisher Group had enough guarantees to sink the whole ship if they were called in. The comment made by the Economic Times reporter was that the board, “didn’t think these guarantees would be called in”. Mmm. They’ll be a swift line of creditors fighting for position I believe. As I wrote, the whole Mallya tower of cards is very wobbly.

        Airline manufacturers will just reposess the craft and sell on. Waiting list for new/nearly new aircraft is at an all time high.

      • If you skew stats, you can make anything possible, and you have demonstrated stat skewing of an almighty nature then. Hamilton has had more failures than button, and more this year especially. He was punted off the track in Valencia, under fuelled in Barcelona, drop kicked by the team in various races, and has out performed jb for 2 out of 3 seasons. If you were in the know, you’d know. There’s a reason they offered Hamilton over 2.5 times more them button at renewal time. I feel sometimes, there’s something you’re not telling us about your anti Hamilton stance, for that’s how it comes across. Aside from Buttons fans, F1 fans around the world would have considered button to have been beaten like a ginger step child this year. You conveniently haven’t discussed pole positions, head to heads, and the wins either. A true measure of a car and drivers, especially in today’s age of F1, true speed, is in qualifying, and we can all see, we’ll some of us, that Hamilton has been on average .4 seconds quicker than button.

        I really do find your analysis of Hamilton strange.

        Kingfisher airlines, from what I understand, have not put forward any guarantees by their parent company. Airbus, especially have been whoring after Mallya for many years, and they stand to lose a packet, unless you think there’s a premium for us aircraft over new ones, that he hasn’t started paying for yet. Seriously, Mallya will come out of all
        of this smiling.

        I’ll try and skew some stats for you later if you like – we can all do that. 😉

        • I’m not anti Hamilton – I actually feel a bit sorry for him. I suggested the team made it difficult for him to stay (‘pushed him’) I think he’s a great driver and McLaren will suffer without him. Being punted off the track unless its an Alonso scenario SPA – always has an element of complicity – Maldonado should have been left to pass and Hamilton would have 15 more points instead of trying to unrealistically keep second – that’s how Alonso thinks. I think Jenson has made rod for his own back with all his subtle anti Lewis briefing over the past 2 weeks and he may struggle to be “the man” he thinks he will be. But 54 races and the points accrued are statistically significant, unless we have some conspiracy theory. I await your stats with baited breath 😀

          As to Kingfisher, for a change hairy you’re just wrong. In my article, (Force India: how the card tower will collapse – link) The Economist, India’s leading business news outlet observes the nuclear threat of collateral damage from the probable failure of the airline. “Mallya’s main listed holding vehicle has $1.8 billion of guarantees to the airline’s banks and to aircraft leasing firms. Its latest annual report says it is ‘reasonably confident’ that these [guarantees] will not be invoked. The paper concludes “If they [the guarantees] were [all called in], it [the holding company] might be bust too.”

          It is the Kingfisher holding company who has issued guarantees and the board are alone in thinking they will not be called in – if they are, it all goes bust.

      • You did say they pushed him out, and were correctly rebuked, for they didn’t; they simply underestimated the zeitgeist, the depth of animosity; you don’t offer to make someone the highest paid player on the grid if you don’t want to keep him. If you keep saying something, it doesn’t make it more correct. He wasn’t forced out at all, as events have told. He also didn’t go to Merc for money, as events have shown. Mclaren will suffer, unless a cracking car is produced. I rate Button, but his Achilles heel, made more obvious this year, is that he needs a sweet spot in a car (as it would appear does Perez interestingly), and without it, he struggles. The better drivers, Alonso and Hamilton (you do not see Vettel doing this yet), can win in a car that is clearly not in its sweet spot.

        I think it is skewed when you say Button didn’t finish in Monaco but we shouldn’t include the result, but as Hamilton was classified when his wheel collapsed (but didn’t finish), we should include this one as a result? That’s simply altering the rule to suit your argument. As for the Maldonado incident, well, Hamilton is a racer, and it’s one of the many reasons he has so many fans. He thought he could hold off Maldonado on a circuit in which it is notoriously difficult to overtake, and said he’s a reasonably seasoned enough driver to have been able to do it. F1 is about balls out racing, imo, not collation of points; it’s about Schumacher being told to do 20 qualifying laps, not being told to take it easy on his tyres. Maldonado had a red mist moment and I think it’s fair to say Hamilton didn’t think the person would do what he did, for trust is paramount in this sport. You have also got to say, the stewards agree with me too although I feel he got off lightly.

        I’d also say the last two races where his anti role bar has failed are significant, but I’ve not included them, nor have I counted when the team let him down, most significantly in Barcelona when under fuelling him, put him to the back of the grid, where he still managed to finish in front of his team mate. I have put some more objective stats together here:

        Hamilton DNF/Incomplete races: 2010 4. 2011 3. 2012 4. That’s 11 no finishes.

        Button DBF/Incomplete races: 2012 2. 2011 2. 2012 4. That’s 8 no finishes.

        Head to head when they have both finished: 2010 Ham 10 But 3. 2011 Hamilton 7 Button 7. 2012 Hamilton 5 Button 3 — So that’s 22 – 13 as team mates.

        Qualifying 2010 Ham 14 But 5. 2011 Ham 13 But 6.2012 Ham 13 But 3.

        So head to head in qualifying, arguably where you see the best picture of the speed of a car and driver, he heads Button 40-14. Significant no?

        Wins Ham 9 But 7

        Poles 2010 Ham 1 But 0. 2011 Ham 1 But 0. 2012 Ham 5 But 1(Button’s one pole due to having superior equipment in his 50th race for Mclaren).

        It all looks slightly different now, no? Can you see what I mean about skewing stats?

        The Indian press, is the Indian press. I remember reading an article about Airbus’s pursuit of Mallya’s new airline, and I recall Mallya successfully playing Boeing and Airbus off each other, and I really, genuinely do not recall that guarantees have been made on all the loans, in fact, if I recall, most of the debt they do have, was restructured in 2010, with the banks taking a 20-25% share in the airline as part of that restructure. I do think United Spirits will have inherited some, but not most of the debt and 1.8bn is fanciful at best. The Airline is in deep financial trouble, admittedly, but the debts will be felt mostly by Indian banks, to be honest. The lease companies and banks are the ones whom I would expect to take the largest haircut, as the aircraft were leased, and hardly any lease money has been received. If you recall, RBS sold their Airline leasing division not so long ago, and a write off for some of the airlines debts was part of that deal, if I remember rightly.

        I still maintain, that Kingfisher will not be troubled much by any crash in Kingfisher Airlines and that the Indian banks, and leasing firms will lose the most in the deal; it’s why they are still trying to save an airline that has lost over a billion sterling in the past 3 years. Were this money covered in guarantees, I am quite sure they’d have been called in by now. The Airline is bust and has been for a long time.

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  2. Remember when Niki was banned / reprimanded for trying to fly a Lauda Air Boeing because it was running late?

    • Yes I do.

      Anyway welcome John (the other John), I have read some of your highly enlightening missives on Sewards site. Hopefully the I and the judge13 readers will benefit from such insight – even rebuke – in the future.

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