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Previously on TheJudge13:
Fernandez looking to sell Caterham
Bloomberg has reported that the Malaysian media has learnt that Caterham Group is being put up for sale. This includes the F1 team, Caterham cars and Caterham composites. Fernandez, with an estimated net worth of $650 million, is seeking around $600 million for the operation.
His plans with Caterham had originally been to develop the road car division with Renault sourced engines and to offer a premium airline service called Caterham Jet. Talks with Renault collapsed and his new jet service was scrapped after several failed attempts.
Just over ten days ago TJ13 reported that Tony Fernadez had tweeted – “Team spirit is what Airasia has. A can do attitude and what QPR didn’t have last season. This season amazing ream spirit. We have learnt”
It was also reported at the time that he was purchasing a new Airbus for his main business, invested millions in his football team but yet had issued ultimatums to the F1 team at the start of the year that 2014 could be their last.
Ferrari and Mclaren may be established giants of F1 but they have had a lean period over the last few years and it has galvanised each company’s leader into action – quite the opposite to the boss of the British team. With QPR – his football team – winning promotion to the Premier League yesterday, Fernandez’s focus will once again be on his football adventure.
With recent sightings of sombrero adorned individuals entering the Force India head quarters and Haas establishing a team in the US, it appears that another team is available for purchase. Haas has repeatedly stated he wants a European base to supplement his American arm of the operation. Surely Leafield would be redundant as his cars will be designed and developed by Dallara?
Fernandez hasn’t been seen at a F1 event this year and adding more fuel to the fire is his reluctance to speak to reporters who have attempted to contact him through calls, texts and email requests for confirmation of his plans.
Hamilton declares Senna-style war on Rosberg (GMM)
Lewis Hamilton has declared Senna-like war, as his relationship with teammate Nico Rosberg breaks down spectacularly in Monaco. The race stewards, including former F1 driver Derek Warwick, looked into whether German Rosberg’s mistake in the dying moments of qualifying was in fact deliberate. They declared there was “no evidence” Rosberg committed “any offence”. But while the stewards deliberated for hours, the controversy filled the air in the otherwise festive Principality, on the eve of the 2014 Monaco grand prix.
Hamilton stopped short of stating clearly that he believes Rosberg made the move on purpose to keep pole. But he came close. “I was on target,” said the Briton. “I should have known that was going to happen.” As for Rosberg saying sorry, Hamilton added: “Why would be apologise? He is on pole.”
Beyond their fracturing relationship, the incident on Saturday split the F1 paddock. And as ever at the pinnacle of motor sport, conspiracy theories are rarely in short supply. “I have to disappoint,” said Rosberg. “The data is clear, as the stewards have also confirmed.” He argues it was a simple brake lock-up that caused him to go into the run-off zone and then reverse out.
But many believe the incident was, at best, odd. Gerhard Berger is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “If it was intentional, then he did a very good job.”Another ex F1 driver in Monaco, Jean Alesi, added: “Nico is a correct driver. He would do no such thing.”
Predictably, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff agrees with that assessment. “I can guarantee you 120,000 per cent that this was not done on purpose,” he is quoted by BFMTV.
But even some of Rosberg’s track rivals are suspicious. “It was weird,” said Felipe Massa, who in 2006 was Michael Schumacher’s teammate when the seven time world champion was caught out pretending to make a mistake in Monaco qualifying. “My sense is that it was strange,” Massa, now at Williams, admitted to Brazil’s Totalrace. “I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.”
But Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, said Hamilton should have more faith in his childhood rival, friend and teammate. “If Lewis says that it was intentional, that would be very unfair — but I don’t think he will (say that),” the F1 legend told Sport Bild.
However, in the duel for motor racing’s biggest prize, others believe foul play cannot be ruled out, even though a major German newspaper last week questioned if Rosberg has the ‘killer instinct’. “Lewis started the mind games,” said former driver Alex Wurz. “This was Nico’s answer.” How the next chapter plays out is now eagerly anticipated. Many are drawing parallels with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost’s bitter battles more than two decades ago.
Hamilton, an unashamed fan of the late Brazilian, is one of them. “I quite like the way Senna dealt with it,” he said on Saturday. Twice, in 1989 and again in 1990, the Senna-Prost rivalry resulted in on-track collisions, and Senna eventually admitted that at least one of them deliberate. “I think I’ll take a page out of Senna’s book,” Hamilton added. “Yes, it’s a bit like Senna and Prost,” he explained, referring to the inter-team battle at McLaren that ultimately broke down completely. “No, I won’t talk to him (Rosberg).”
Fernando Alonso lived through a similarly ill-fated, inter-team freeze with Hamilton in 2007. When asked about Saturday’s events, the Spaniard said: “I didn’t see it, but I was told about it. Probably they will have an eventful evening,” he smiled, according to Italy’s La Repubblica. In a few hours, Rosberg and Hamilton will take the battle down to the first corner at Ste Devote, but Wolff insists “There will be no crash”.
But pole aside, it may be concluded that Rosberg won an even more important battle on Saturday — shattering the often-emotional Hamilton’s recent run of calm.
“I spent my whole life as a professional racing driver trying to take emotion out of it,” Sir Jackie Stewart told the Daily Mail in Monaco. “You cannot afford to be happy or angry. The moment you do, you lose control. You have to be clear headed, cold and focused. I am surprised Lewis reacted the way he did,” added Stewart.
TJ13 comment: How tragic that someone who reportedly has Senna as his hero would highlight maybe the man’s darkest character trait as worthy of repetition. For years the actions of Schumacher and Senna have been lambasted as not ‘sporting’ and yet Hamilton declares openly he will adopt them.
He is a complex character which makes his public persona fascinating to watch but as the old saying goes, money can’t buy you class…