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Well we truly are living in historic times. 600 years or so since the resignation of the last Holy Father and it may be 600 more before Bernie decides to relinquish his throne too. I was amused by the fact that His Holiness chose to announce his resignation in Latin and there was only 1 reporter there who knew what he was saying and had the hugest exclusive scoop. So kids – lessons learned. Get your head down with Latin homework.
I have noticed further similarities between the Pope and his F1 peer – Mr. E; maybe the reason we seem to hear gobbledygook when our F1’s supremo makes his pronouncements is because he too is speaking in a nigh on extinct ancient language.
Pressing on to more important matters. First up, a big thanks to those of you recently contributing to thejudge13. Take a couple of minutes to read ‘the project’ page, I’ve updated it today.
We need writers to do factual pieces and can help you with that, video people to develop the YouTube channel, people who can simply post the odd link on other sites to send us new readers. If you have just 1 hour a week and will commit to that, I’m sure there’s some way you can be part of the growing TJ13 team. To get closer to F1, you have to move from where you are 😉
Judge’s chambers are where I muse without recourse necessarily to direct quotations, citations and all the proper and correct writing accreditation methodology’s. Most of what we’ll discuss will have been well documented in the blog somewhere – and our subsequent discussions will also allow freedom of expression (within reason) without detailed sourcing credits for our points of view.
Well, here’s a thing. There was a big announcement a couple of months ago and much of the serious F1 media reported it due to the credibility of the source. I have to say I was most bemused over the wekks that followed that ‘the deal’ that was leaked had not been confirmed.
I heard some stories in Jerez regarding this ‘big announcement’ that made me smile. I can’t confirm whether what I am about to say is absolutely true, but I can assure you there people within the team concerned who find the whole matter quite amusing.
I want to take you back to the Belgium Grand Prix last year, an event I was most fortunate to be taken to as a guest by a major F1 sponsor. It was of course the unfortunate occasion of the largest first corner pile up we have seen for some time in F1. As an aside, I’m sure we used to see many more of these in the 80’s and 90’s but maybe my memory is tainted.
No matter, Romain Grosjean was the first driver sanctioned with a one race ban in many years for his adjudged reckless driving that caused both Lewis and Fernando to enjoy the majority of the race from the comfort of the pit garage.
If you read my post race analysis, in my humble opinion, Grosjean was unjustly treated – and to this day I feel that Lewis kept his foot i unnecessarily and was in at least part culpable. This then led to a media witch hunt the majority of whom began a smear campaign over the 7 first lap incidents Romain had encountered during the season to date.
All this while the real crashmeister, Pastor Maldonado had been escaping all season proper sanction for multiple driving improprieties far more regularly. Romain was just unfortunate that this incident took out 2 of the ‘big name’ drivers and this apparently affected the title race and the eventual winner of the WDC at the close of the season.
This takes us to one of my favourite ex-F1 triple world champions. Jack. During the following 3 weeks, the BBC decided that they would publish 3 articles from our favourite Scottish driver. Each of these publications relentlessly gave air to Stewart’s opinion that Romain would benefit greatly from his mentoring.
There are those who know far better than I and who have given me their considered opinion that the young Frenchman is a real and exceptional F1 talent and a genuine F1 drivers’ champion of the future. No wonder Stewart wanted to be credited as the one who creates the next F1 star. (see ‘…eager to…prevent…jeopardising his career’ BBC)
I was greatly impressed with the way Romain handled this difficult time and resisted the overtures of one so esteemed in the F1 community. Of course as TJ13 reported a few weeks back, Grosjean did seek the help of a sports psychologist and if those ‘who know’ are to believed, he will push Kimi hard this year.
This winter appears to have been the close season of utter uncertainty surrounding driver line up. Maybe the Force India, Marussia and Caterham dithering is explained fairly easily. However, the Lotus failure to confirm Romain was a little strange for a while, particularly when you consider Eric Boulier’s personal endorsements.
Unconfirmed rumours emerged over the festive period that Total were unhappy with Lotus F1 proposal to race with Grosjean in 2013. They have been running some safety campaign and felt bizarrely that his crash in Spa and other dubious incidents compromised the integrity of their message. To you and I this obviously appears an absurd comparison for Total to have concern toward. So I suspected at the time there may have been other agenda’s in play.
With Coca-Cola on board, Genii appeared to have pulled another master stroke by engaging a title sponsor – American technology giant Honeywell – for reported $30m per anum. This news was leaked and reported widely in the F1 media. The Partnership Practice played out their role well, denying that such a deal was imminent, whilst not denying negotiations were ongoing.
The story meandered off into the distance and as yet, nothing came of the matter. However, I heard last week that the Honeywell rumour was a stroke pulled by Genii to keep Total in line. The bait for Honeywell was a technology company in which Genii retains a shareholding in exchange for capital.
TJ13 was one of the first to break the Lotus/Honeywell rumour on Nov 30th (Google ‘Honeywell Lotus’ and TJ13 appears on page 1 of the search with earliest date of all articles), and by the 9th of December – Romain was confirmed as Kimi’s partner for 2013.
However, I have hit a brick wall with the company used as lure for Honeywell. Genii and partners invested in a technology company by the name of ‘Zinc Imaging’ to the tune of $35m about 12 months ago however this is not of great significance because one of their main sectors for investment is ‘technology’. Hence the attraction for Honeywell could have been a stake/ownership of any number of organisations where Genii presently hold shares.
I’m beginning to admire Genii somewhat. They play the same sport as CVC, but appear to have genuine abilities to invest in proper organisations and assist them in growing. Further, for the time being they appear to be genuinely interested in developing the Lotus F1 team and increasing sponsorship support for the historic marque.
They are the essential Yin in juxtaposition to CVC’s Yang.