New Jersey out, Turkey in?, Schumacher to receive ‘Legend of Sport’ award, and other F1 News and comment

Great to see contributors coming up with news I’ve not yet found. Thanks to madmax for this one (23:36 18/10/12).  By the way madmax, you gave us this about 7 hours before the mainstream media reported it. Probably something to do with my permanent state of insomnia too.

New Jersey: Unlike most new circuits who run the approval gauntlet with Mr. E, it appears New Jersey have declined to participate in the 2013 calendar. “The race, scheduled for June 16, 2013, will be pushed back a year in order for track organizers to finish the permitting process needed to complete the 3.2-mile road course along the Hudson River in Weehawken and West New York, N.J. Among other things, track officials are waiting approval from Corps of Engineers to take control of property along the Hudson River where grandstands will be erected” (Speed).

11:40 (19/12) Interesting that Mr. E isn’t saying the usual stuff about no money, in fighting or contractual matters being the problem. They just ran out of time to get everything organised” (Reuters). Interesting how in the developing world the legalities of Health and Safety and a whole host of other bureaucratic red tape don’t affect a new venue as much as in Western Society.

The judge13 did suggest in “A shrinking calendar for 2013” (link – published Sept 15) that, “unless some real sweetheart deals are done, and that 2013 will could well have fewer races than 2012”. Ecclestone’s problem is he can’t be seen to letting his grasp slip on the calendar; particularly as he has negotiated with the teams that they will participate in up to 23 races each season. On this basis to keep the momentum it must be highly likely Turkey, a track owned by Ecclestone and co., will make a return to the calendar. This is one of the better Tilke venues and has always provided a race that’s no procession.

Schumacher: Michael is being honoured by Frankfurt, with a ball and guests totaling 2700. He will receive the prized award, ‘Legend of Sport’ and the top of the bill celebrity booked is Mel C from the Spice Girls. He follows in the footsteps of previous famous recipients of the award, such as Franz Beckenbaur, Boris Becker and Katarina Witt. Mel C a well known scouser (from Liverpool) will be making an effort to speak some German, but as most English people don’t understand her speaking English, there is little chance she will be able to communicate with the gathered German glitterati. (Bilde)

Mike Hawthorn, origin of Ferrari Team orders?: On this day in 1958, he became the first British F1 champion. After winning the title, Hawthorn immediately announced his retirement from Formula One, having been badly affected by the death of his close friend and Ferrari team mate Peter Collins in that year’s German Grand Prix. The Ferrari line up for 1958 was potent, Luigi Musso, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. The 2 Englishmen had an agreement, “Whichever of them won, they would share the winnings equally. It was the two of them against Luigi, who was not part of the agreement. Strength comes in numbers, and they were united against him. This antagonism was actually favourable rather than damaging to Ferrari. The faster the drivers went, the more likely it was that a Ferrari would win” (Wiki).

Allowing the drivers to compete produced Ferrari’s at the front, but there was a price to be paid. At the French GP in Reims, Musso was desperately chasing a lost cause to beat Hawthorn and prove who was top dog. He flipped his Dino 246 and was killed. A month later Collins was killed at the German GP and Hawthorn went on to win the WDC title. However, Ferrari lost the Manufacturer’s championship to Vanwall whose drivers had been more co-operative – taking less risks and scoring more points. Watching 2 of the 3 drivers who started the season die racing was traumatic for the Ferrari team, particularly as one of those deaths could have been avoided had common sense prevailed and Musso accepted his second place to Hawthorn.

On 22 January 1959, only months into his retirement, Hawthorn died in a car accident while driving his highly tuned Jaguar 3.4 litre sedan (now known as the 3.4 Mk 1). The cause of the accident is unknown, suggestions including driver error, mechanical failure, or a blackout. There is evidence that Hawthorn had recently suffered blackouts, perhaps because of kidney failure. ( By 1955, Hawthorn had already lost one kidney to infection, and had begun suffering problems with the other; he was expected at the time to live only three more years.

Korea receive bad advice from Fernandes: In thejudge13 article (S. Korea, Ecclestone and the Emperor’s new clothes) we examined the reasons Mokpo was selected as a venue for the Korean GP, and further how FOM make incredible claims to potential new venues about the vast wealth hosting an F1 weekend will bring into the region in terms of international investment. Ecclestone himself predicted Korean drivers on the grid as part of this ‘love in’ with the South korean organisers. We now have Tony Fernandes trying to encourage the organisers with a similar nonsense. “Korea needs a star – like football player Park Ji-sung – in F1. You have to invest in Korean talent. Spain is a great example. When (Fernando) Alonso became world champion, Spain became F1 crazy. You need a local talent. That will change Yeongam forever,” the 48-year-old said in an interview with The Korea Times. “Every sport needs a stage. The best way to spark popularity is to own a team that has developments all the way from go-karting and start getting young Korean kids into driving. Korea definitely can have a champion and that will change sponsors and the TV audience.”

The Spain/Alonso example is pretty silly. Barcelona is the sixth most populated urban area in the European Union with some 4.5m in its catchment zone. They have struggled to make ends meet and have entered into a bi-annual arrangement with Valencia to share the Spanish GP. Further, Spain and there is a huge heritage of motorised racing already imbedded in the national culture.

SO, Korea needs to buy an F1 team, set up a host of junior racing series to promote young talent (they have no racing series at all) and that will ” change Yeongam forever”. Really? Even if this were so, it would make the $600m cost (losses) expected over the 7 year F1 contract to host the Korean GP look very cheap by comparison. Let’s hope Air Asia understands its constituent market better than Fernandes grasp on the problems of the Korean GP.

The Kart: As we affectionately call Narain here at the judge13, believes he is ready for a better car. He tells the Times of India that he has the speed and has proven himself against his team-mate to be worthy of a ‘place further up the grid’. Narain then rambles through the possible opportunities open to him and dismisses Force India because, ‘I think they have their own plans as always’. Survival may be one. The Kart then re-asserts his commitment to HRT and indicates he is uncertain as to whether they will or not retain his services for 2013. He concludes, “Right now I would like to stay with HRT for 2013 as we can expect more progress with proper infrastructure which has been in place now”. Good answer Narain – it might save your seat. (The Times of India)

Formula 1™ on Sky Sports Sky Sports F1™ HD. Brand new channel dedicated to F1™.

Bye bye Free to air: For those UK Fans hoping SKY’s poor viewing figures for F1 in the UK will force a return to full live coverage on the BBC or any other free to air media, you may be disappointed. SKY has far bigger fish to fry than a UK TV audience. These adverts above (which I can’t re-produce well here) I have seen scattered all over each Asian nations’ media when I’ve been searching for news stories. Clearly, a big Asian audience will matter far more than 2, 3, 5 or even 8m UK viewers. More importantly, FOM and Mr. E are also trying to do deals for F1 to be shown on subscription TV in all of Europe. Rupert Murdoch’s SKY Italia have like the UK won the contract to broadcast F1 from RAI who now have to negotiate with SKY for what coverage they can get. The TV rights in France are up in 2013 and TF1 the present French broadcaster is pessimistic that they will be able to retain the coverage they now enjoy as subscription channels are already at the negotiating table. It appears free to air F1 viewing will be a thing of the past in the fairly near future.

Bankok GP: Some times you just have to laugh. “Thailand’s government sports authority says it has struck an in-principle deal to host a Formula One race in Bangkok in 2014, with negotiations ongoing about the hosting fee”, according to a report in The Nation newspaper. What to say, maybe “The People’s Republic of Congo…has struck an in-principle deal to host a Formula One race in Brazzaville in 2014…SUBJECT TO MONEY”. It’s a simple principle for FOM – pay the hosting fee and you can have a race. There’s a long way to go for Thailand and Bernie doesn’t like promoters who make a lot of noise pre-agreement. Most likely this is in-house political positioning to present a fait accompli to those in Thailand who oppose the idea.

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

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4 responses to “New Jersey out, Turkey in?, Schumacher to receive ‘Legend of Sport’ award, and other F1 News and comment

  1. “Mel C a well known scouser (from Liverpool) will be making an effort to speak some German, but as most English people don’t understand her speaking English, there is little chance she will be able to communicate with the gathered German gliteratti.”

    I had to add this, completely off topic, but I just had to. There is a show on Channel 5 at the moment called Being Liverpool, about the football club. In it, Carragher, one of their players from Liverpool, is subtitled, but Pepe Reina (from Spain) and Lucas Leiva (from Brazil) aren’t. Your line reminded me of it, and I did have to laugh.

  2. It is a sad state of affairs that formula 1 seemingly is slowly becoming a subscription only sport.
    It is showing that Bernie is only after money. Neglecting the fans that have built the sport with him. Yes Bernie has done a fantastic job in building up the tv rights and made it as global and world renound as it is today.
    But Bernie reminds me of the neo in eve wrestling. They made themselves so powerful. But then they ended up genuinely killing wcw.
    I see Bernie either self imploding and losing thr plot completely. Or dieing. And his.successor unable to pull the fans back and the sport suffering for many many years.

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