TJ is away and was not expecting any news other than the race this weekend however …
Dark clouds gathering in Germany and elsewhere…
tj13 has written several articles on the alleged bribery of German banker and ex Formula 1 chairman, Gerhard Gribkowsky. It has been well documented that Gribkowsky received $44m from Ecclestone to “steer” the sale of Formula 1 towards CVC. The latter stated he was being blackmailed however German courts found Gribkowsky guilty of accepting a bribe during the sale of the Formula 1 and sent him to jail for 8 years.
Yesterday the German publication Süddeutschen Zeitung reported that Mr E will be charged for bribing our banker friend by the end of this month. The court order will be sent to Ecclestone and his lawyers (Sven Thomas and Norbert Scharf) to give them an opportunity to prepare for the court case which is due to start as early as July.
What will the repercussions for the planned float of Formula 1 in October be? In February CVC seemed very confident that “Germany will be clear” and the float will go ahead as planned with the earnings under contract. Well neither of the requirements for the float has materialised yet.
Is this be why the Concord Agreement has not been signed yet? Are teams holding out to see what the outcome of the court case is and seize what is perhaps the last chance they will ever have to take control of Formula 1?
A lot of questions will have to be answered however bribery is a high profile crime and the chances are that Mr E will be made into an example.
Ecclestone to pay for New Jersey
It seems Christmas has come early… for the organisers of the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey. This week it became known that Chris Pook has joined the management team for New Jersey and it seem to have done the trick.
In an unprecedented move, Ecclestone has has come out in support of the race (again) and stated that F1 has paid debts off so the project can go ahead, hopefully next year.
“There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen. We’ve put money behind it to pay a lot of the things off, a lot of their debts, so I’m hoping now we are going to get it together. We’re going to try and make it happen next year.”
So Ecclestone has put money into the race? One has to wonder if this means there will be no hosting fee to pay either. And then what about the potential IPO in October with the secured revenue?
Pirelli making more changes
During Friday’s free practice Paul Di Resta’s rear tyre threw off it’s thread. Subsequently several drivers raised concerns regarding the safety of the tyres.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said there is no need for concern as the change they made from last year’s tyres made the tyres more safe.
“What we have changed this year…is that when there is debris or an issue, it doesn’t cut through the belt pack and deflate the tyre which is what would have happened last year,”
Pirelli introduced a high-tensile steel belt under the thread to make it hard for objects to penetrate the tyre and cause sudden deflation.
‘But they are losing thread Paul!’ I hear you say. The reason for this according to Hembery is that “instead, it’s arriving at the belt pack and then you get the tread being the weak point. It overheats and comes away, which visually is very dramatic although the structure is still intact.”
Dramatic may be the word but it also ruins races. Also, have they heard of knee-jerk reaction? Has deflating tyres been such a massive problem in the past? Anyway, dont expect to see a chance soon as Hembery said changes need to be run past the teams and will probably only get made after Canada.