Ecclestone legal troubles rumble on, Mystic Mallya and the invisible cash, Pirelli report on tyre performance from Jerez, Kovlainen ‘excellent’ candidate for Pirelli

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Let’s begin the news round up with a couple of our favourite F1 rogues. What have they been up to whilst the gaze of thejudge13 has been averted.

Ecclestone legal troubles:

Back on the 21st Nov 2012, TJ13 reported that a second litigation had been filed in the USA over alleged fraudulent transactions connected with the sale of F1’s commercial rights to CVC back in 2005. This follows the case in Munich already with the prosecutors who are considering charges of bribery and fraud.

If that was the opening bell then Round 1 is under way today. In true legal fashion, Ecclestone and his lawyers have filed with the court an appeal contesting the jurisdiction of the court to rule on these matters. They argue, “The various events underlying the allegations in the complaint did not take place in New York or the United States, but in Europe and the Middle East,” Ecclestone said in an affidavit filed Jan. 31 in New York State Supreme Court.”


This petition has been filed under Bluewaters v. Ecclestone, No. 653965/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan). The legal team from Bluewaters have responded “We feel confident that New York is an appropriate forum, and we look forward to pressing ahead with the case,” Kent Yalowitz for Bluewaters at Arnold & Porter LLP, said in an e-mail.

Mr. E claims the payments from Swiss accounts to an Austrian account were done so without assistance from New York banks. Further, as far as they know these transactions were unrelated to the sale to CVC. Rather, they were made to buy Gribkowsky’s silence after “insinuations” that he might tell U.K. tax authorities about certain activities of a family trust controlled by Ecclestone’s wife at the time

Bernie said when they case was filed in November, “I was concerned that misinformation that he provided to the authorities might be taken seriously and might cause them to assess me to owe a tax bill of many hundreds of millions, if not billions of pounds that I believe I did not owe but which would have caused me to become bankrupt,”

For the original TJ13 article, click here to read Ecclestone faces another fraud charge over 2005 sale of F1 to CVC.

This case will be, as will the one in Munich, a long and drawn out affair and those hoping to see the back of F1’s supremo will be disappointed if they are waiting for a judicial verdict. The pressure on CVC is another matter. They have publically stated they are searching for Bernie’s successor and it is they who have a finger on the trigger, not the lawyers.

Mallya and the missing Cash:

Having finally confirmed personally last week (whilst I was away) that Paul Di Resta will drive his VJM06, Mallya has still failed to address the matter of funding the promised £50m to improve the equipment and set up at the Force India base in Silverstone. Whilst Force India have signed a number of sponsors recently, I’m not convinced any of them is a big money partner to deliver this ambitious spend.

For those who believe Vijay has pocketed gazillions from the partial sale to Diageo of his business, United Spirits – I’m afraid this is a rather long and drawn out affair. Last week the global liquor major Diageo Plc received market regulator SEBI’s clearance for an open offer to acquire 26 per cent stake from public shareholders of the UB group firm. So nothing doing there for a while then.

Further, the sale of this business to Diageo (ironically a McLaren sponsor) will reduce Vijay’s wriggle room to fund the F1 team through its brands. reported in October that the deal which includes brands such as ‘Whyte and McKay’ will leave Mallya with a seat on the board to retain face only. However neither he or any current employees will have financial or management control as this will sit with a newly appointed CFO and CEO proposed by Diageo.

Q&A with Vijay Mallya

So back to the big spend for Force India fans. Vijay nicely kicks this alleged spend into the long grass when he says on the team’s website, “The [£50m investment] programme is underway and we are currently looking for the land to build our new wind tunnel. The team has done a remarkable job with the resources that we already have, but if we want to realise our long-term ambitions we need to give our engineers the best tools available, starting with a state-of-the-art wind tunnel. The more immediate benefits of our investment are already in place for 2013 with greater CFD capacity.”

Force India investment in wind tunnel project:

Results thus far: No land identified as of yet.

To Do: Identify possible sites, analysis the pros and cons of each site, decide upon a final location, negotiate the price and terms of sale, obtain outline planning permission, obtain detailed planning permission, design said wind tunnel, construction said wind tunnel….then…forget it – I might not be here by then.

Pirelli 2013 rubber and test driver(s):

I alluded to my concern over whether Jerez would be dropped from the F1 pre-season testing schedule in Judges chambers recently. The debacle with the holes in the track on Friday combined with comments made from Paul Hembery suggest the circuit owners have some expensive work to undertake. Today, Hembery has released his thoughts on the new 2013 tyres and what we can gauge from them thus far.

“The four days spent at Jerez, with most teams running their new cars, gave us all a good general impression of the characteristics of our 2013 tyres on track, with completely new compounds and construction,” Hembery said. “It seems that we are very much on the right road and the changes we wanted to see are all there: the tyres are faster than their equivalents last year, and they have a wider window of peak performance.

“Conditions at Jerez were not ideal this year however, as it was an extremely abrasive track – the most abrasive of all the circuits we visit all year – and consequently it was hard to draw any proper conclusions, given that the surface had actually become even more abrasive than last season. We came away with plenty of data for the hard and medium tyres, very little for the soft tyre and none for the supersoft.


“Now we look forward to the next two test sessions at Barcelona, which will provide another very valuable opportunity for the teams to extend their knowledge of this year’s tyres.”

Pirelli took 385 sets of tyres to Jerez. Used 251 sets, details as follows.

Sets used:
Supersoft: 3 sets
Soft: 33 sets
Medium: 137 sets
Hard: 74 sets
Intermediate: 3 sets
Wet: 1 set

Longest run:
Supersoft: 8 laps
Soft: 12 laps
Medium: 24 laps
Hard: 20 laps
Intermediate: 3 laps
Wet: 1 lap

One thing worthy of note to me on day 1 was not the fact that Jenson set the fastest time, but that he set his own fastest time on his first flying lap of a run. This is in stark contrast to Jenson’s difficulties in 2012 when he would take several laps to warm up the tyres.

It appears that Heikki’s hopes of staying in F1 have received a boost. Paul Hembery tells Finnish ‘Turan Sanomat,  “Heikki would be an excellent candidate. He is a very experienced driver. I think he is one of the best candidates available to”. However, Kovelainen’s countryman would rather see Heikki in a rally car. “I think that would be a perfect alternative for Heikki, but so would DTM and Le Mans. I could easily see Heikki in on a frozen lake in Kuusamo in a rally car. He is an excellent driver with a lot of talent. ”

The problem I see for Heikki is that if he wishes to stay in F1 he’s going to have to get some serious sponsorship – because clearly being the Pirelli test driver with a little black book of information on the following years tyre performance didn’t impress any team enough this year to hire Jaime Alguersuari.ecclestone.

32 responses to “Ecclestone legal troubles rumble on, Mystic Mallya and the invisible cash, Pirelli report on tyre performance from Jerez, Kovlainen ‘excellent’ candidate for Pirelli

  1. So very clear only one word echoes around Prince’s Gate: Extradition.

    Bernie to do a Polanski?

    TBH, even if I thought I had a rock solid defence to charges, my first barrage would be against the possibility of US jurisdiction being extended. You just can’t ignore over zealous elected prosecutors. This is not new either, just a lot less subtle in scope. As a example of how one man saw his political break, Rudolf Guiliiani being unable to pin a case on Mike Milken, he indicted using RICO also the guy’s brother, who was barely a secretary in the scheme of things at Drexel Burnham Lambert. RICO caused Drexel to shut down its market making, and this single event meant no Thrift could price their portfolios, precipitating the Savings and Loan crisis in a single blow. Guiliani, to get one man, who was later acquitted on all but minor previously civil counts, caused the 1 Trillion buck bailout called Resolution Trust. To do so, he cut deals with some genuinely unpleasant people. The book best arguing this is called “Payback” by Fischel, but don’t be swayed by that alone, I’ve never been super close to what went on, but close enough second removed, and I spent years reading the cases and much besides. Nothing is ever so clear cut, but it stinks.

    If you’re a man, look into what Milken’s foundations have done to help prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Some studies put the likelihood of proper diagnosis of cancer in general, and subsequently appropriate treatment, at much below 50%. Lately, IBM’s Watson computer, infamous for whooping everyone at Jeopardy, is thought to improve diagnosis and treatment choice to closer to 80 or 90%. Also look to Andy Grove, the man who made Intel what it is now, or was at its height, saving it from near certain death in the memory market (ironic since they returned with flash memory products), and his book “Only The Paranoid Survive”. Grove beat prostate cancer, and kept his member up. This was all happening at similar times. But the very idea you have worse than 50:50 (in broad numbers) of being accurately diagnosed and / or then treated, for cancer, ought to be reason to look at who threw their money, ahem, swung from the hip at it.

    I mention some books so often, if it wasn’t a chore, I’d start a TJ13 lending library. If so much wan’t out of print, I’d try using Kindle, even though that’s cumbersome, you can read things on about any machine.

    Can we please have a book review feature, maybe once a a month, or fortnight? Maybe even with excerpt reviews of related not directly F1 work, such as anti trust, or EU law, or general economics, if the author or authors alight upon relevant discourse?

    TJ, John, look up how The Verge built their CMS. From what I can tell it is not what I was thinking, but the multi layouts are good. That such a basic idea is considered newsworthy rather shocks me, though i know it’s not simple to make newsrooms work well with software – nobody ever does anything not bespoke, really. The best (sheer scope, typographic quality, vastness of options, reliability) I used was Advent 3B2, origin England, choice of one time of so many majors in the print era, governments and even the Vatican. But 50 grand a seat, plus – then high end SparcStations – plus integration, it’s now lost in a bigger company called PTC. 50 grand a seat is nothing, in the days you were the only advertiser conduit and classifieds and the rest gave you almost perfectly predictable revenues. But, boys and girls, please note how even in the world where it take at most a hour to set up WordPress, there is still a struggle for anything but their base offering to reach scale. There are some very interesting ways Google are engineering (“architecting”, puke, help me) Chrome that are distinct and I see being leveraged. They did enough just lately to make a huge difference for a late entrant. (remind me, okay, offline!?)

    I plan to keep as much of this tech talk off the website as possible, general readers please note. I am acutely aware few will get any of my references, but there ought to be a way to attract like minded folk to the project, and some means may need to be found.

    I’m lacking anyone right now with access to the big US legal databases, but if anyone’s out there, please make yourself heard. When Lotus v Lotus was foregone conclusion, still months passed with the same things asked over and again, because there was no way to publish the bulk of the relevant analysis and discussion. That was elsewhere, but I only let things drop in general on that side of life because of the lack of indexing, and the risk to my host there because there was no clear way to differentiate extended commentary and a formally endorsed voice. Nothing whatsoever to do with editorial bias or of a publisher chickening out – the contrary – absolutely workaday concerns that had no solution without concentrated and potentially expensive efforts, a very normal course of decision making in a litigious world. Don’t forget, my host for discussion elsewhere was the only person actually covering the real game.

    I am working on my argument for how to balance the sheer flow of output from TJ13 contributors. I think it’s overwhelming in both good and not so good ways. I previously argued for a “tech thread”, but am concerned that will detract, and that it’s better to think carefully and slowly, not distract from commenting to do with F1. I think it needs a gentle push along some careful angles.

    My last tech / geek comment I plan for a while, but if anyone hears the calling, Please Email TJ13!

  2. great site thejudge13, enjoying your insightful coverage of the Jerez testing and finding finding your insider viewpoint very entertaining – nice videos from Jerez too 🙂

    why is it that the teams use 60% models in the windtunnel, is it Pirelli or the FIA that dictate the size of the models…, surely if the teams get much better results from 60% scale tunnels than at 50%, then a full 100% size tunnel would be even better, or is this unfeasible due to the cost of making full size models… ?

    • Hi schumerak – and welcome. I don’t think we’ve spoken before. The crew around here are pretty friendly so please feel free to join in. In fact by commenting you help build the TJ13 community and as we grow we can do even more.

      In answer to your question, the FIA dictate these regulations and the scale models used may be no larger than 60 per cent and wind speeds are limited to 50 metres per second. Its a cost reduction thing. This I believe has been Ferrari’s problem, they have not invested in a 60% tunnel quickly enough and teams using the 50% scales have been disadvantaged.

      Pop back soon.

    • Hi schumerak!

      I think the problem much with scale models, is that you have a squared or cubed (or other non linear order) relationship between model scale, wind velocity, and inaccuracies in the pig, or model you put in the tunnel. Basically, it’s very expensive to get a full scale model made perfectly, and producing so much wind is a very different thing from doing so for smaller models. I am thinking how light falls off at the square root, but I am merely grasping for ideas now. My thought is that as you increase the model scale to full size, every 2D dimension increases proportionately, and every 3D dimension also so (think vortices) and you have to make a choice what you are measuring, versus what you changed, versus, accuracy, versus wind tunnel size, scale and maybe this is more important than I think: the bigger the wind tunnel, the harder it is to deliver planar flow air across the cross section of the model.

      Apologies I am talking far far out of my even casual knowledge, but a analogy I know of is the optical collimeter. That’s a device to create as parallel as possible light rays to measure accuracy of lenses. A wind tunnel, at its simplest, is trying to do what the collimeter does: act like the sun at near infinite distance, so all rays are parallel, and you can make assumption from there.

      So, in a wind tunnel, the smaller object you have to deliver neat “parallel” airflow to, the simpler it is to design that.

      But, of course, cars turn corners. So working out how individual components deliver forward and back air fronts in a turn is where it gets very interesting. Just as a MTF graph of a lens, the transform function of its contrast accuracy, is a much valued measurement, it means nothing if the plane of focus is not flat, or – like in optics different heat will flow at different rates over a aero element, just as APO designs try to keep all wavelengths focussed on the same plane, in photography. I think, without having properly studied, there are similarities in optical design, such as chromatic aberration, airey discs, coma and aspheriticism, and even Macaulay ellipses of (in visual science, equivalences perception of color *under equivalent observation”) equivalent airflows.

      Ignore what I just said, I have been reaching for a way to brush up my thinking for a while,

      good to have you here, please keep coming, and do not be discouraged by me! ~ joj

      • Aha, I was thinking of the Lorenz equations.

        Fluid dynamics is very very cool. Glass is a fluid, hence optics . . (that’s just a tiny bit rareified, but so much so the mind behind Coastal Optics’ top lenses never gave it a thought, from what I read, though he’s moved on)

        TJ, it’s way beyond me, but is there anyone out there who might see a way to doing a feature of say 800 words as a “explanation of relevant science!”?

        Not sure if tires / tyres count as a fluid, but when heated they cure, and there is a flow between the surfaces, and within the compounds, and a well explained and visualized piece on that would be super.

        • I meant “NOT so much so”. name slipped my mind, but read some in SPIE and the guy is awesome, and I crave to own one of his lens designs. Another link, these are lenses that allow even transmission of large spectra ranges. You need that when saying measuring tire / tyre temp optically.

      • Thanks John (other John) – that has cleared it up for me a lot, basically a bigger model is better, but becomes limited by the fact that its very difficult to get a very high quality airflow at the size of a 100% model, coupled with the prohibitive price of making a 100% model. It would be interesting to find out what kind of laptime gain the top teams are making in the jump up from 50 – 60 % wind tunnel testing – presumably at least a few tenths for something that expensive 🙂

        would love to see a f1 model that they use for testing, presumably the have a similar scale weight and moving parts (axle, steering etc) so that they can measure tyre wear too…

        No worries joj not too intimidated yet ^_^

        • You are aware of course that both the model scale and the air speed in the tunnel are restricted by the regs? But I think that was mentioned earlier.

        • I cleared up something for you, shumerak??

          Am I fainting, or is that carpet accelerating towards my head too fast??!!!!

          — swoon —


          p.s do please stick about, rare occasions on which my two brain cells get together are extremely welcome!

  3. As much as I dislike some aspects of Bernie’s persona his defence is right. Was Bluewaters the company that offered to match the highest bid plus a percentaje?

    • Hi Juan, not spoken for a while – good to see you.

      Yes – that is them. I suspect their are a group of ‘injured’ souls who are issuing litigation around the globe to ‘tie up’ Mr. E’s attention.

      There is a case filed in London for October too

      • I’m wondering if it’s legal. I know at work I have to reject those kind of offers because if accept them and the other bidders find out they would sue us because it means we disclosed their offer to a competitor. In public/goverment bidding processes I have participated in it’s illegal.
        I’m sure they have other arguments but that one caught my attention.

  4. Bernie – I think that he’ll have gone to hell [:)] a long time before all this legal stuff gets sorted out.

    Alguesuari – I have absolutely no proof, but I just have this feeling that he had a verbal agreement with a team [Sauber or FI I would say] that he would drive there, but then something changed, maybe the Lewis move to Mercedes. Moving on to a slightly related tangent – if Hulkenberg had moved to Mclaren instead of Perez (as many f1 people are saying should have happened, then Perez would stil be at Sauber (no Gutierrez), Kobayashi I think will more likely be still at Sauber.

    Judge – a few tidbits you might have missed whilst out in Sunny Spain (whilst we are in comparatively miserable England).

    Senna – don’t know if you saw an interview with Bruno (I didn’t see it, but saw highlights on post on PF1, so I have no link) but basically Senna was saying he was very unhappy with the positions he was in in F1 [thinking about it, HRT – not good. LR – got in the car at its worst. Williams – didn’t have the car for many of FP1’s. So he has a point].

    Ted – As usual, Mr Kravitz did some excellent Notebooks for testing. Liked the cameraman’s spot of ‘My other car is a(n) RB9’ – surely the ultimate bumper sticker? and ‘spot Felix’.

    Glad you are back for these news roundups – the best bit for me.

    • TK, the sung – unsung hero. Always love his delivery. Always sounds to me like “yup, I’m here, and here’s how it is . .”, nothing more, nothing less.

    • I didn’t see that from Senna – and I have to agree with him. I think his manager should have been tougher on negotiating the contract with Williams re: Friday Practice – but I appreciate it is not easy without giving ultimatums.

      I intend to catch up on Ted’s notebook if poss – was too busy and downloading/streaming video was not that easy.

      I also appreciate your regular comments and support in building the site with the links you place occasionally elsewhere that brings us new readers.

      In fact TJ13 readers, we are looking for someone to help us with this. We don’t expect anyone to batter other sites with links to TJ13, however the occasional relevant link to other sites and forums has probably the biggest impact on building our community more than any other marketing.

      Contact if you would like to help.

  5. Are you saying the new wind tunnel should have been built , up and running since the 50m announcement and now or it’s all lies?

    • Hi there RB.

      No to your first Q and of course you are correct as the investment announcement was made (If I remember correctly) October it would have been pretty difficult to get this even to spade in the ground stage.

      Yet the £50m is not just for a wind tunnel, and despite what Bob F says in public – I believe the investment spend to date has been negligible.

      However, I did remark at the time, this is the time of year when Bernie does his round of the teams attempting to discover ‘who’s healthy’ and who is about to disappear.

      It was the very weekend BE met FI that Vijay made the big £50m announcement.

      Plus, there is still something fairly important going on with FI – for them not to announce a driver by now. Each driver’s performance will be known, how much cash they bring will also be known – there are bigger matters still up for finalisation that we have not yet seen.

      My little parody on FI – is a little stereotypical I know – but that’s stereotypes for you – FI the team to dither and wait forever….. I suggest is their present persona.

  6. Hello TJ13, excellent news from Jerez last week – thanks for that.
    The technical writeups from ScarbF1 are also excellent.

    With regards to Bernie, IMHO he wont leave his job easily… the guy has been the king of F1 since long and he just wont leave like that. It will be very tough for CVC to replace him.

    On the Force India story, i seen today that the lenders of Kingfisher Airlines and the Indian Govt are keen to help Vijay fly again. This is awesome as his fleet has been depleted by lessors taking back their planes and he has unpaid staffs since months now. He might be waiting for some cash to come in either through the UBL / Diageo or through Kingfisher Airlines.
    As regards to the drivers, it is in my opinion who pays the most and brings probably free ferrari engines to the team that will get the 2nd drive.

    I am sad for Heiki also as i previously said, he is a very capable golfer and driver. As Jarno Trulli said, relayed with Cyril A comments today, Catheram promised a little bit too much to its drivers and finally let them down. This is why both Jarno and Heiki are out now. I think the teams are forced to rely on drivers sponsors too much and in some years if this goes on like that, all the good drivers will be sidelined with only young pay drivers that no one know about driving around…

      • LOL, can we not kidnap Scarbs also and his drawing skills?

        (meanwhile, can you send some water and gruel, please, TJ, it’s *cold* in here, and I’m tapping Morse on the pipe and nobody hears me .. when do I get my phone call? )

          • But I was warming up my best Banker binary strike out swaption straddle velocities for you to consider . . . can I not trade this greek with you?

            *N.B. you hedge your beta, theta, gamma, whatever, but never seen a good eq for heding Bumnma.

  7. Its was Somers sorry for this… it does not affect my judgement on his ( Somers ) tech writeups which are excellent

  8. I also agree on what DWilD and The other John’s opinions on Ted Kravitz
    Very capable guy who says exactly what he saw, no more, no less

  9. “Bernie to do a Polanski?”

    Unless Bernie gets 13 year old girls drugged up and drunk then rapes them, then I dont think Bernie should be compared to Polanski.

    Polanski was arrested for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor. To avoid sentencing, Polanski fled to his home in London, eventually settling in France. Despite admitting to the crime, he wont do the time.

    Bernie does not rate in the same category as Polanski. Worringly, he is applauded as a legend in France.

    • Hi Scuderia,

      I do not condone Polanski, and frankly the outcry to save him from extradition was repulsive. AS a film biff, I have issues with watching his films, and so many of them speak of obsession and illicit love that he’s worthy of study but not, I think, compassion.

      What I meant by inference, was to ponder if he will find business reasons to hop back to a country more suspicious of extradition requests, in the event things get any hotter for him.

      On the Polanski train of thought, technically the age of consent is in France, 14, though that is the minimum age, and is not a “get out of jail free card” for a more mature person. I don’t know how every 14yr old gets along, but my lot were certainly frisky at that time. That’s why some countries have lower consent ages, to avoid criminalizing the young, not to exonerate a predatory adult. Further, he should have been made a example of, but maybe with a plea bargain. 5 years say, Federal Pen. Something. But when prosecutors elected into power in the US brandish incredible multi generational penalties no person will superannuate, I think in this case they failed to get their man, when a more modest example would have better served the purpose of justice, and shut up his all too liberal supporters.

      I can only say that “Ghost Writer” was a better movie than I expected. Knife In The Water I remember shocking me as a youth, as did many of Polanski’s movies. His conviction in absentia rather underlines the creepiness of his art.

      • Oops, by “he” para 2, I mean Bernie. But sometimes Bernie has been in the position of a more responsible adult, taking advantage of the kiddies. I mean teams . . .

  10. Fair enough JOJ, I understand where you are coming from. I just saw the name Polanski and it makes me want to vomit. The offence was committed in the US where the min age is much higher by the way. Love reading your stuff, rarely understand it, but love reading it. 🙂

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