Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 8th November 2013

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Editor’s note

Ecclestone in court (UPDATED)

Canadian GP Promoter culpable for marshal’s death

Formula E

Vettel’s 2013 helmets

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Editor’s note

From : AHJ

Just to help TJ13 readers understand how the news works. I develop/write up/post verbatim the news for TJ mostly between 10am and 5-6pm GMT (Mon-Fri). At times there are stories out there – like for example, the injured marshal yesterday, which we have but don’t have time to write up.

There are a number of ad-hoc news writers who assist with the news, but if any of you out there can help – TJ13’s coverage will be more comprehensive.

Thank you

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Ecclestone in court

Day 2 of Ecclestone’s trial, he made it successfully through the front door. In court, Philip Marshall QC representing Constantin, intended to demonstrate that Ecclestone had a track record of paying bribes.

Marshall stated that Eddie Jordan, Alain Prost and the late Tom Walkinshaw, all team bosses accepted bankers’ drafts from Valper Holdings, a subsidiary of Bambino Holdings, Ecclestone’s family trust. Jordan was paid $10 million, while Prost and Walkinshaw were paid £7 million each.

Marshall quizzed, “They were paid to ensure that their teams did sign [the Concorde Agreement]. Isn’t that right?” Ecclestone replied, “Yes.”

Marshall suggested to Ecclestone that it was “very strange” the payments had been to the individuals and not the teams. Ecclestone responded that he had “not the slightest idea” what the recipients had done with the money. “I’ve no idea. They were paid to sign the Concorde Agreement and that’s what they did”.

Defiantly Ecclestone retorted, “What you’re inferring is these people haven’t been acting correctly, Alain Prost and whatever.”

Marshall was attempting to present to the court Ecclestone’s philosophy on bribes, so he asked, “Do you regard the payment of bribes to people who are not public officials as acceptable?”

“I will have to think about that,” Ecclestone said. “I wish I would have thought about it before actually.”

Mr E’s replies are often a muttered “Hmm”. And he has to be reminded that “the transcript doesn’t see you nodding your head. You have to say ‘Yes'”

Other one liners from Ecclestone of interest include, “I forgot what I signed and never signed..When I was 50 years old I might have been able to remember..” Bernie goes on to explain, “I do sign everything that is put in front of me..if I read everything that I signed I wouldn’t be able to do what I do on my day-to-day job”.

Whether Ecclestone is going to plead insanity or infimrity who knows, but this wasn’t the cleverest explanation he gave all day. “Today I don’t remember the things I…what happened three days ago, some things.”

Other than laughing off the suggestion that Gibrowsky, to whom Ecclestone allegedly paid $44m in bribes, felt threatened by Ecclestone – that was about it for the day. No wonder the case is set to run for several weeks.

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Source GPD

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Canadian GP Promoter culpable for marshal’s death

The Canadian Worker’s Health and Safety Board (CSST) has criticised the organisers of the Canadian GP for causing the death of Marshal, Mark Robinson, during this year’s GP.

As the race was coming to an end, the recovery crew hoisted the stricken Sauber of Gutierrez  on a crane, and began to move the car as fans began to stream onto the track.

The car was about 2 metres from the ground and Robinson was running beside the crane, helping to keep the race car balanced. He dropped his radio and bent down to pick it up. The crane operator didn’t see him and ran over him, inflicting injuries that led to his death.

Failures noted by the CSST included,

1)    The crane was moving at 11 km/h while carrying the car, which was much too fast.

2)    The race car was held nearly 2 m off the ground, when it should have been just 30 cm off the track

3)    The crew and volunteers were not trained to move cars.

The CSST have now implemented regulations which ban on using forklifts, cranes and other hoists from transporting vehicles on the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack. Further, when vehicles or any heavy load are moved they should be properly balanced by the hoist, and not rely on people to keep them in place.

The agency also says all heavy machinery operators should be properly trained in their use, and that cranes should have a speed limit sign attached as a reminder.

Octane who organise the race will be fined between $16-63,000 yet race promoter Francois Dumontier said that the operation wasn’t done differently in Montreal than normally would have been anywhere else.

Once again regulation and enforcement by the FIA raises its ugly head. We have all seen the swinging cars 2 metres plus above the ground and thought – ‘hope the stay holds’. Basic safety rules such as speed limits for vehicles operating in conjunction with operators on foot.

The problem is these people are all volunteers and on the whole do a great job but they may be recruited for this kind of activity once a year. TJ13 has argued for a core group of marshals to be employed by FOM, who form the backbone of all the track marshalling at all the circuits around the world.

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Formula E

One year today and the Formula E cars will be roaring whirring around the Hong Kong landscape. This will be the third event of the inaugural season which will begin in Shanghai on 20th September and wend it’s way across 10 global destinations finishing in June in London.

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Formula E has the kind of fascination that English society had with freak shows. For those of you from more civilised society, freak shows were exhibitions of live human curiosities had appeared in travelling fairs, circuses and taverns in England since the 1600s. These included so-called giants, dwarves, fat people, the very thin, conjoined twins and even people from exotic climes. Freak shows were a particularly popular form of entertainment during the Victorian period, when people from all classes flocked to gawp at these unusual examples of human life.

Formula E is kind of wrong – but fascinating. There will be 10 teams in year 1, each with two drivers from a variety of top, global championships. It will be down to the individual teams to select their drivers but they’re expected to bring with them a high-profile international background gained from the likes of IndyCar, GP2 and Formula One.

For the inaugural season, each team will run four Spark-Renault SRT_01E single-seaters, two per driver, with the cars being transported to and from each race venue by Formula E. This, in addition to the cars being housed at a central workshop, is designed to reduce running costs along with measures such as restricting the number of team personnel, fixing the car’s gear ratios, and not having in-race tyre changes in order to reduce the need for expensive pit stop equipment.

Formula E is also an ‘open championship’ allowing teams to design and develop their own cars – in accordance to the technical specifications set out by the FIA – and showcasing their electrical energy innovations in a competitive, racing environment.

6 teams have announced so far and the latest was this week – Super Aguri – many will be pleased to hear is alive and well.

Drayson Racing – founder, Lord Drayson, Team Principal Gian Avignone. Since 2007 the team have pioneered low carbon motor racing initiatives in GT and Le Mans prototype endurance racing. The team have also designed, built and tested its own hyper EV race car – the 850hp Lola-Drayson B12/69EV – as well as set a new world record for the fastest speed recorded by a lightweigth electric vehicle

China Racing – Steven Lu, CEO, Yu Liu, Chairman. This team have evolved from the original China A1 GP organisation. China Racing has also competed in Superleague Formula and FIA GT1, and has supported many Chinese drivers such as Qinghua Ma, CongFu Cheng and HopIn Tung. Team China Racing also has rich experience in motorsport

Andretti Autosport – founder, Michael Andretti. Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series and also campaigns multiple cars in Firestone Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts four IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012)

Dragon Racing –  founder Jay Penske.  Dragon Racing first began in 2006 founded by both Penske and Steve Luczo. In May 2007, they made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 finishing an impressive fifth with Ryan Briscoe. Two years later they completed their first full IndyCar season claiming Rookie of the Year with Raphael Matos. Currently Dragon Racing fields two cars in the IndyCar Series with drivers Sebastian Saavedra and four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sébastien Bourdais.

E.DAMS – Co-founders, Jean-Paul Driot and Alain Prost, This brand new team based just outside Le Mans sees two of Europe’s biggest racing names partner. Jean-Paul Driot, founder of top single-seater team Dams has almost 25 years’ experience, Jean-Paul has led his squad to numerous team and driver titles including International F3000, A1GP, Auto GP, GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5. Alain Prost is of course four F1 titles (1985, 86, 89 & 93), 51 Grand Prix victories and 108 podiums to his name and ex Prost team owner.

Super Aguri – Aguri Suzuki, Executive Chairman, Mark Preston, Team Principal, Peter McCool, Technical Director. Super Aguri Formula E is a brand new racing team headquartered in Tokyo and the team’s name is best known for its association in Formula 1 where Super Aguri F1 competed from 2006 until 2008. Aguri claims, the expertise and knowledge gained in F1 “will now be applied to creating eco-conscious technological solutions which can be used in major urban cities such as Tokyo”.

No drivers have yet been announced, however, this will not become a ‘seniors’ series for the likes of Mansell et al, as each driver has 2 cars and has to change car twice during the race- like the old days at Le Mans sort of…

The event format is interesting. All rounds will be one-day events with practice, qualifying and the race taking place in a single day in order to reduce costs and minimise disruption to the host city.

Practice

All events will open with a one-hour practice session giving drivers their first experience of the circuit. They will have up to two cars available to them giving them the option to change cars should they wish. Full power (200kw / 270bhp) will be available throughout.

Qualifying

The qualifying session is a straight fight for the fastest laptime and determines the order for the day’s race. Drivers will only be able to use one car and have a maximum of four laps – two timed laps plus and out and an in lap – in order to set their fastest time. Cars will take to the track in stages in order to avoid congestion with the running order being chosen by the driver who sets the quickest time in practice. Full power (200kw / 270bhp) will be available throughout.

Race

Races will begin by standing start and last for approximately one hour with drivers making two mandatory pit stops in order to change cars. Engines will be restricted to power saving mode (133kw / 180bhp) but can be temporarily increased to maximum power (200kw / 270bhp) by using the ‘Push-to-Pass’ boost system.

Championship

The FIA Formula E Championship will consist of both a drivers and a teams’ championship. A driver’s end of season total is made up of his/her best results less two. A team’s total is made up of all its results from the season.

Pit stops/Car changes

During races, drivers must make two mandatory pit stops in order to change cars. This must take place in their box and be observed by an FIA steward to ensure all safety equipment is correctly applied. Tyre changes, unless a puncture, are not permitted during this pit stop.

Push-to-Pass

During races only, drivers will be able to use a pre-determined number of power boosts to aid overtaking. This will increase the car’s power output from 133kw (180bhp) to 200Kw (270bhp) for a limited period of time.

Conclusion

Part of me cannot wait, and I intend to try and be at the inaugural event in Shanghai – yet that gives just one day to dash over to Singapore for the F1 race. You would have thought the FIA would schedule this series not to clash with F1 weekends. Hey ho.

Yet there is a morbid fascination Formula E will all be a disaster – or just a frothy promo event with little substance at all. Can’t wait!!!

For now here’s the 850hp Electric Drayson B12/69EV. Chris Harris driving it says, “The batteries only last 10-15 minutes, but when it’s running this thing scrambles your brain. Welcome to the future”. (Skip to 5:50 if you want the driver experience only)

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Vettel’s 2013 helmets

So Vettel fans, which is your favourite….

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58 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 8th November 2013

  1. There’s going to be a lot of reputations dragged through the mud before this is over. Probably a few tax reviews also…..

  2. WOW!! Seems pretty cut & dry… He made payments to individuals to ‘ensure/encourage/coerce’ them into signing the Corcorde Agreement… :O £10m to Eddie Jordan!!!! No wonder his wardrobe is so extensive… 😉 That’s before you even get to the charges of devaluing his shares…. :O
    All power to Bernie for getting away with it so long…. He has a stranglehold on F1 that has lasted for years & I feel will continue…. With Todt handing so much control of the FIA back to him for revenue to make his changes.. Who knows what decisions Bernie can make to F1!! As he says himself “F1’s worth nothing without me in charge”……

    • You’re right Hannah, following the establishment of the F1 strategy group – Bernie needs just 4 teams to do whatever he pleases….

      Red Bull are his lap dogs – so just 3 more to pass anything he wants….

      A few bankers drafts to personal accounts.. Nothing wrong with that eh Bernie?

      • It’s been well known for year EJ recieved funding from BE. Athough it was assumed to keep the team afloat whcih survived some very choppy waters over the years.. Not that EJ went without..

      • I’ve been conflicted about Bernie’s day(s) in court. On one hand, I was previously not feeling so good about it, almost like what His Honour expressed about Kimi (that dirty laundry aired in public can’t be good, no matter what), and also buying into that very cynical pro-Bernie propaganda that claims no one could’ve done what he did and benefited F1 the way he did. But I realize now that overlooks the fact that Bernie also, profoundly, benefited himself and his family to the degree of billions of dollars and it’s difficult to reconcile his lust for power and money with the claim that he’s made decisions “for the good of the sport” (which obviously isn’t true!). Plus, how do we know that transparent governance (vs. corrupt Bernie-rule) wouldn’t’ve been better for the sport overall, creating a more stable and secure financial footing and making it a better sporting show along the way? My point is, “frak Bernie and his family!” (and frak the scummy rapacious private equity whores he arranged the sale of F1 to…) Bernie may have done good for F1, but it’s not clear that legitimate administration couldn’t have done more (w/ less corruption, less scandal) – so let Bernie disprove in court the claims against him. Because what he’s claiming doesn’t pass the stink test!

  3. Your Honour,

    I would love to help with writing during my spare time but I am bias and hate certain over rated drivers. But I know I am always right. 😉 This will not go down well with some ‘experts’ who post comments here regularly. Therefore I will stick to my regular job of criticising the drivers I hate and glorifying the ones I love. 🙂

    • ” I will stick to my regular job of criticising the drivers I hate and glorifying the ones I love.” — is this hyperbole? b/c why would any fan think they feel genuine “love” for a driver, let alone “hate” for his rival? Which drivers do they “hate”? Why? Is that normal human behavior to “hate” sportsmen one has never met, just b/c they are rivals to other sportsmen they’ve also never met (or at least not known in any capacity that would justify such adulation)?

      It boggles the mind.

      • That’s the world of F1 for ya, Joe. This site has a lot less of the really crazy fanatics, who wish other drivers a crash just so they cannot beat whoever they support.
        As a former racer I thought you were familiar with that phenomenon?

  4. They need to change the car recovery system completely. It’s ridiculous to see cars worth millions, and then ratty old JCB’s being used to pick them up. I believe the nose and rear of the car need to have mounts, then with chained ‘dangling’ weights put on the axles to keep it level and remove the need for on foot assistance. In an idle world the connections between heavy vehicle and car would be more stable than hooks in hoops.
    FIA need to get on it.
    If I was Charlie, this type of low quality behaviour on tracks would be a source of shame.

    • …agreed – it is shameful compared to the buggering around they do with artificial grass and run off areas….

      …yet if FOM had a core marshaling team, they could transport specialised car lifting equipment around the world as required – hiring in units rarely used – like the tall cranes in Monaco….

      We’d then not see fire marshal trucks bumbling along the track during the race either…..

      I tell you what does make me laugh though – the IndyCar recovery pickup trucks… that said they are quick and effective most of the time….

    • You are obvious fan of over-regulated world where people don’t need to think themselves anymore. These regulations free people from need to think. THAT’s the cause of most death’s today.
      Use your head. Thats all.

      • Welcome your worship 😉

        … I’m not a fan… but when the regulators continually modify F1 to be ‘safer’ and ‘safer’ they should be called to account by their own standards… and this was woeful…

        Plus there’s no need for cars to be swinging through the air 2m+ above the ground… except maybe at certain points on street circuits….

        • Your Honour – my reply was more directed towards Aiden.
          But if you feel that it was applicable to your comment too – I cannot judge you 😀
          Depending on lift type – taking load into air reduces amplitude of swing and therefore forces to lift/fork/ground and enable faster removal due to possibiltty to drive faster. Also – lift is much more stable if swing aplitude is small.
          And at this point – unfortunate death of marshal actually had nothing todo with height of cargo…
          Also – notion that 11kmph is exessive speed is… demagoguery.

          • “Also – notion that 11kmph is exessive speed is… demagoguery.” — says the guy who has no connection to the case yet presumes to be able to reject and effectively counter the findings released by the Canadian Worker’s Health and Safety Board (CSST).

            So please, tell us why the CSST is wrong and tell us how the dead marshal really killed himself through his own stupidity, and please explain how the height of the car actually had nothing whatsoever to do with the death of the victim, despite that being a key finding of the report, that it was 170cm approx. higher than it should’ve been. In fact, please counter (not just reject) each point of the report, rather than just spout ridiculous neo-liberal proto-libertarian tosh complaining about an “over-regulated world where people don’t need to think themselves anymore.”

            That sounds like exactly the argument that could’ve been made in opposition to driver safety regulations including both car construction and circuit design. So are you upset about that, too? The “nanny state” is interfering in the rights of racing drivers to kill themselves in retarded crashes in unsafe cars on deadly circuits?

          • Based on your argumentation I would assume you live somewhere in States… I luckily live in Europe and we still have assumption of personal responsibility. We dont need warninglabels ” Achtung Hot contents” on our coffee-cups.

            Rules and regulations will never help – people will find a way to die.

            Marshal was killed in attempt to rescue the radio he had dropped.
            He basically throwed himself under wheels. CSST needed to “act” because accident/news went high profile. You do understand that 2m elevated f1-car is effectively not obstructing any view (look at accident photos)
            Need I say anything else?
            Hmm – let me think. Darwin award nomination, maybe?
            Sarcasm away – Such accidents will prevented by not introducing more rules but enforcing people to start think again. Or then again – nothing will prevent people from throwing themselves under vehicles either by accident or by intention… Honestly – I believe the actual reason for this death is that guy was affraid that may be he destroys radio and wanted to avoid trouble for destroying it… thats all – thats why he ended under wheels… Sad. Very sad.

            What comes to safe cars and circuits – this is whole different and very long discussion I dont want to get into – at least tonight. But it is very obviuos that safe cars have changed racing already and already too many drivers use banzai moves. And thats exactly because they feel themselves untouchable.
            Also other big discussion is about too safe runoff areas which also takes away any responsibiltiy to go too fast into corner. Dont get me wrong – I dont want drivers to get killed. Stuck car into sand is good enough for “too optimistic” approach.

        • Not totally true about the 2 meter car storage, Judge. At some tracks if the car was near the ground after being removed it would be stripped by the spectators. It’s happened.

          • Sure has. Grand Prix of PNG on the Port Moresby street circuit; right outside the Crown Plaza Hotel at the top of the hill, 2012.

      • I’ve often said this. I have full sympathy with the poor guy and his family but ‘The West’ (North America, Western Europe) has for far too long been over concerned with apportioning blame for ‘accidents’…! Everybody else gets blamed and nobody needs to take responsibility for themselves. By all means we should have enquiries but ‘accidents’ do not always have someone to blame. But trials always have to blame someone – and apportion damages…!

        • …A guy recovering a car shouldn’t get killed by the recovery vehicle… at best poor training… looking for reasons why is fair enough….

          • … which is pretty much what I said… 😉
            Training is always good – and better than just making more regulations… which have to be policed… and wrong-doers punished… and on… and on… Ariston… 😉

        • This guy was employed to do a job (paid or not) and the employer had a duty of care to make sure there were adequate systems / procedures / training in place to keep him safe. They evidently didn’t have their ducks in a row and were found responsible for the fatality to some degree by the court and rightfully so.
          It must be said that a similar incident may well still have occurred if all the right things were in place, BUT crucially it might not have been fatal. A balanced car, hanging lower, moving slower, with a spotter in place may have resulted in a near miss or minor injury because the worker just did the wrong thing at the wrong time by trying to stop his dropped radio being run over. In such a case he would and should wear the discipline, not the race organisers / track operators.
          I’m no fan of nanny states and I’m cool with people being held responsible when they do stupid things (the cosmic capital crime) but I’m big on employers doing what’s necessary to mitigate risks for their workers to a reasonable level. Everyone home safely every day.

    • As to the experience of the race marshals, working an F1 race is the ultimate reward. These guys work lots of races and are quite experienced, in most cases; working an F1 race is reward for all the time they put in at lower levels. Where we really see the bumbling is at the one off races in countries without a motor sport history, like Korea, China, India, etc.

      These volunteers pay for their own travel and lodging and work these races for the love of the sport. It’s ironic that more marshals have been killed at races in the last decade or so than drivers.

      • Some of them are experienced… but as you say this can vary wildly from country to country… clearly driving a fire truck at 40 mph in front of a snake of racing F1 cars is not too clever…

        • Given the overwhelming numbers of motorsports events that take place in some of the venues where F1 shows, especially in the ‘newer’ countries still skirting TW status, the scope for more of the same must be huge.

      • “As to the experience of the race marshals, working an F1 race is the ultimate reward” —– yes, UNTIL YOU DIE as a result of someone else’s unprofessionalism or disregard for your safety!

        • I didn’t say or imply that there need to be improvements in worker safety at races. As I commented, there have been a number or marshal deaths at races. I recall a wheel coming off at car in Australia (was it Villeneuve?), going through the access opening in the fencing, and killing a marshal. My comment above was referencing the fact that these people are not paid. All the more reason to make the races safer by training and supplying proper equipment.

        • If someone else is responsible for death of marshal then let him go to jail. Simple as that. But this is not the case, yes?
          Even if all race marshals from now on till forever will get 20 minute lecture “don’t hurl under the wheel of crane to save the radio” before each race, we will get people hurling not for radio but for glove… or for radio but not under crane but under a truck. and then we get new rules and … endlessley – how far you want to go? Do you really think that “caution – floor is slippery when wet” style get’s your society somewhere desired?

  5. I’ve never understood BE initial explanation that Gribowsky was threatening to expose his company’s tax situation which would have been “very expensive” to Bernie. Does that not imply that his company’s financial dealings are questionable anyway and involve some creative accounting?

    I have to say the short video of Bernie getting stuck in a revolving door look more like a dodering 83 year old than the intellectual and manipulative powerhouse on which he built his career.

    • Great point, and if anything, it would suggest Bernie thought up an excuse/justification off the top of his head (idk / idr what the context was for when he came up w/ that “explanation”) and he’s had to stick w/ it, even though it’s not very convincing (and, like you said, suggests criminality on his part! lol…) One can only hope that Bernie’s daughters lose access to the ill-gotten family trust money, btw…

  6. Was surprised of bring accused of being a Health and Safety type, I watch F1 not bumper cars.
    I judge that when people who are not trained are let onto those tracks, it makes the Host country looks incompetent and cheap.
    My interest in the quality of the sport is to appease my appreciation of efficiency and aesthetics, the main attraction for me in F1 in general.
    Proper training could be given to marshals each weekend for so little.

    Quick mention for the Monaco tall cranes… I love the camera views it allows for!

  7. Re Kimi… After last week’s exposure of Genii’s fiscal and business weaknesses, they said a new variation of their same story, which was we expect our business to be made whole by our new investors by early next week.

    Now we’re flowing in to the weekend, and finally there is a news story on the fiscal health of Lotus / Genii. (I do wish I was surprised about this news.)

    Jonathan Noble reported for Autosport a few hours ago that, “…the Raikkonen pay issue revolve on a deal with new investor Quantum Motorsports being completed.” (Note the verb tense remains future in that sentence.)

    Noble continues, “It had been hoped that the transfer of money to Lotus would be completed earlier this week, but last-minute delays mean the matter has not yet been sorted. However, sources are adamant it should be resolved imminently…”

    So a full week passes after that silly crisis, and the phantom millions of dollars have not appeared… again.

    If this money continues to not show up, what will happen?

    Will the doors be closed on the Enstone facility?

    Or will Enstone lay off more people, and carry on as a skeleton of their former selves?

    • Leo Turrini reports that yesterday Kimi was in Maranello for seat measurements…

    • Interestingly Nobles comments appear contradictory to those of Mansoor Ijaz, who said last weekend, “We did everything we could. We moved this way, they blocked; we moved that way, they blocked; we moved that way, and finally we got it through”, Joe Saward was also convinced the deal was done, now it appears there are last minute delays on something which Ijaz stated was already completed, so someone isn’t being honest, then again, i find it difficult to imagine that someone as astute as Steve Robertson would allow the responsibility for Raikkonens salary to be passed on to someone who, in the cold light of day can only be seen as a potential investor, and with a little foresight and due diligence might have been viewed with some suspicion weeks and weeks ago.

      • I noticed that Mansoor Ijaz, and Gerard Lopez, and Eric Boullier all speak of the Quantum / Genii deal as if it is done, but actually they’ve all said variations of it’s almost done.

        Kimi may not race the last races.

        Last Friday on November 1st, during the famous “… (I’ve) been paid zero Euro the whole year” interviews, Reuters recorded Kimi’s words as follows:

        “I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on certain issues we have been having,” Raikkonen said after taking part in practice.
        “Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.”
        Asked whether he could skip the final races in Austin, Texas, and Brazil, the Finn replied: “For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business and sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should, we end up in an unfortunate situation.
        “You have to put the line somewhere and if it goes over that … it is not really my fault any more.”

        – – –
        So we know today that no money has changed hands between Quantum and Genii.

        It’s unknown if any money has been paid to Kimi. It’s unknown if Kimi doesn’t get paid whether or not he would race.

        Lotus did publish Kimi’s Austin preview PR piece after lunch today.

  8. Judge, thanks for posting the fascinating video to the e-racing car… I also regard Formula-e w/ a morbid curiosity and wonder if it won’t evolve like a trainwreck, something you can’t help but gawk at, yet that video was pretty cool and it was neat to hear the genuine enthusiasm of the driver correspondent when he was raving about the car being like a spaceship! Good stuff…

    • Morbid curiousity…..’bout sums it up for me too. Pointed out many times how absolutely brain dead the execution of this series is viz a viz, what they are trying to promote and yet I see a little more brain fart injected in Your Worships piece. Mildly interesting is 10 teams – obv. some spaces yet to complete; now I understand all the bells and whistles sounding when a new entry is forthcoming. Exciting isn’t it?………….

    • Sorry – is that Dyson or Drayson?! Seriously, the motorbike racers have progressed each year at the Manx TT with electric power, the only thing missing is the noise.

  9. Harking back to the matter of the Canadian marshalls death, couple of things
    With the bone pointed towards the promotor, is this going to be another impediment for ongoing staging of the event?
    How does one instill situational awareness where it should be second nature?

    • You bet – if the Canadian authorities are not going to allow recovery equipment on the track and I presume this to mean within the boundaries defined by the barriers, not just the racing track (which despite being between the white lines seems to be ignored by drivers and officials alike, but I digress!), then the alternative will be to red flag any incident stopping a car within these boundaries! A safety car may not satisfy the requirement.

  10. I’m really looking forward to formula E, I love track racing at speed, and I’m not suite so wedded to what sorta stuff they put in them to make them go fast like a lot of motorsport fans. I’d go so far as to say that the noise and smell of an internal combustion engine are far from essential. Fingers crossed it works, I am actually quite surprised at the size a cilibre of some of the teams, looks like they are seeing this series as relatively cheap, a good place for innovation that could be applicable for industry, and foremost, a good place to promote your self in a premier event, in some major cities aound the world, which can wave a slightly more eco-yoghurt-weaving friendly flag to salve the conscience of the middle classes. So long as it is done right by the organisers then… oh right yeah… sorry forget all that.

  11. Bernie is one smart dude. Setting himself up for insanity is better than being convicted. He’s got his money. He knows this is his curtain call and he’s doing smart maneuvers to avoid ending in jail.

    • If Bernie is pretending to be presently senile or actually is, that may have implications for a possible criminal sanction, but not on possible civil claims and monetary liability for a crime committed many years ago, if any crime was committed.

      Well, he might have the means to pay a few hundred millions in damages, in any currency 😉

    • I think he’s senile. Have you seen pre-race pit walk interviews with him lately? He’s out of it.

      • …and those charges have been pending for several months now… Nothing like laying a little groundwork, is there?

      • Are you nowadays allowed to call somebody senile? Is the PC expression mnemonically challenged?

  12. What if someone like Ross Brawn takes his gardening leave at FE? Pomodru?

  13. I like Vettel’s shiny purple helmet the best…

    Note: Even if you think it is funny. Assuming other’s identities is neither funny nor legal.
    Danilo Schöneberg (the real one)

  14. One last thought on Marshal quality.

    Anyone remember the Marshal running on track to pick up Max Chilton’s rear brake duct?

    The guy didn’t even have a belt.

    Total Farce.

  15. He was holding up his trousers with one hand, very expensive piece of carbon fibre in the other.

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