Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 2nd August 2014


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OTD lite:Alain Prost takes pole position for the first time

Politicians begin to question F1 in Sochi

Ecclestone Bribery trial likely to end

OTD lite:Alain Prost takes pole position for the first time

On this day in 1981, four time champion Alain Prost qualified on pole position for the first time in his Formula One career at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix.


He would go on to secure 33 of the little blighters in a career spanning twelve seasons and 199 race starts. Perhaps most telling is he shares his placing with Jim Clark – also on 33 poles. Yet Clark achieved this from a mere six season of competition and 72 race starts.

Prost would take a further pole position in 1981, 5 in ’82 and 3 in 83. In 1984 in the dominant Mclaren MP4/2 he took 3 and added another 3 over the course of the 85/86 seasons.

In 1988-89 with another dominant car at his disposal, he claimed 2 per season against Senna’s 13 annually… and that was it until his greased his way into Mansell’s seat at Williams for 1993 and took 13 pole positions in the most dominant car of the season.

His fans will say he drove this way because he used his intelligence to win races and qualifying was not important. Personally I counter this and suggest he drove this way because he didn’t have the innate speed built in him.

Carlo Carluccio


Politicians begin to question F1 in Sochi

If the wheels of politics generally move slowly, then those of European Union politics are best measured with a time lapse series of photograph’s.

In 2012, the political heavyweights were alerted too late about the impending F1 race in Bahrain, which would be set against the background of civil unrest and brutal oppression.

However, since the crash of flight MH-17, the daily pain and anguish of relatives to those killed is played out over and over again on the news bulletins across the world.

It is now !0 weeks before the F1 circus intends to play to the Sochi audience, and political comment is already forthcoming.

British deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, has voiced his personal opinion that Putin loves the oxygen of self publicity, and that his personal project of bringing F1 to Russia should be taken from him.

“We’ve got to take tougher sanctions, but also we’ve got to make it quite clear that he cannot expect to get the privileges of being at the top table of world affairs if he’s not prepared to play by the basic rules of world affairs.”

Opposition shadow minister for foreign affairs, Douglas Alexander, has said that Fifa should be making contingency plans for moving the 2018 World Cup due to be held in Russia, and that the Labour party should be making a stand against the grand prix in Sochi.

TJ13 has been informed; at least 2 well known figures within the sport are planning ‘sick notes’ for Sochi. The matter has been the subject of discussion at a number of team amongst the race personnel. This most emotive of human tragedies appears to have reached beyond the normal run of the mill issues within team life.

Ex-minister and Conservative MP David Davies says these are exceptional times calling for exceptional measures. “Whilst I’m not particularly in favour of cancelling sports events at the drop of a hat, here you’ve had the murder of 298 citizens. It can’t conceivably be defended as a reasonable act of war, and therefore I think that Formula One should reflect that.”

Former Liberal Democrat UK party leader Menzies Campbell observes, “Public opinion all over the world will find it difficult to accept Mr Putin taking all the plaudits for this grand prix in Russia.’

Ecclestone, a personal friend and guest of Vladimir Putin at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony, is adamant the race will remain on track. Cynics may suggest this could be something to do with the $200 million plus Russia plans to pay Ecclestone and F1, for a 5 year race contract.

Bernie is sticking to the party line. “I don’t see any problem with going. We are not involved in politics. We have a contract with them. We’ll respect it 100 per cent and so will Mr Putin, I’m sure. He’s been very supportive.”

This constant trumpeting of ‘contracts are contracts’ is disingenuous, because all race contract’s contain ‘force majeur’ clauses, which excuse Formula 1 from attending a race and being deemed in breach of contract should events defined as such arise.

It remains to see whether the French politicians can mount sufficient pressure on the Paris based Federation which governs world motorsport, to call of the race.

At present, the Jean Todt and the FIA are adopting their usual stance, which is without consensus from all other parties involved… do nothing.


Ecclestone Bribery trial likely to end

German magazine Der Spiegel has published details about the state of the Ecclestone trial that reveal the farcical nature of the undertaking. For those with a short attention span, we’ll summarize the article beforehand: Bernard E. will avoid being sentenced for bribery – by bribing the court.

Thankfully for the short stuff from Suffolk the trial is held in Munich, which is in Bavaria, which is as corrupt as a regional government in Uganda. Bavarian officials have been in the thick of corruption scandals since the early days of post-war Germany for bribery, abuse of office, nepotism, tax evasion, fraud and other white collar crimes.

Basically, Bavaria is a totalitarian state within Germany, ruled, with the exception of five years since 1949, by the Christian Social Union, an ultra-conservative right-wing party that exists only in Bavaria and is the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union – the party of chancellor Angela Merkel. By accord, Merkels more moderate CDU operates in all of Germany, except Bavaria. The Bavarian CSU has only once since 1957 failed to get more than 50% of all votes in elections for the Bavarian parliament, results that one usually only sees in China, Cuba, North Korea or the United States, where there are only two parties to begin with.

As a result, the hard-liners in Munich are pretty much free to do what they want and they do so. The Bavarian courts have long been accused of being a two-class judicial system, where the ultra-rich can buy their freedom for loads of currency.

The trial had derailed, when several witnesses of the prosecution, including Mr. Grabkowsky, made u-turns on their previous testimonies and testified a lot more favourably towards Ecclestone than before. Seeing that the trial was going nowhere, the state of Bavaria has offered to let Mr. E. go free for payment of 100 million Euro. Since he was unwilling to pay that, the state of Bavaria has changed its demand to 100 million dollars, insisting on a three-digit million sum for aesthetical reasons [sic]. Obviously judge Noll and his fellow Nigerian princes have failed to look at the current exchange rate of the Zimbabwean dollar. That could have sped up the talks with Ecclestone’s lawyers.

The sum will still be around 100 million euro as he will still have to pay damages of 25 million to Bayern LB in addition to the bribe of the court which through the dollar trick is about 75 million Euro.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung the Bavarian authorities have already signalled that a deal to end the trial is likely. Judge Noll and the corrupt court in Munich have failed to end corruption in F1.

The only chance, it seems, to remove Mr. E. form F1 is to wait for his natural demise, but nobody knows if he has bribed the grim reaper, too…


106 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Saturday 2nd August 2014

    • Matt and Fh

      here in BR we’re facing the same thing in São Paulo State, where a right wing conservative party, the same who broke our economy when they were at the Federal Government, also supported by the Opus and conservatives from the Catholic Church, they are going to hit the 5th term at São Paulo State government

      even being marked for robbery cases surpassing the barriers of USD 12 bn, since 95 when they entered the state office, and misuse of public budget, they manipulate the media by pounding them lots of state ads, they manipulate the justice by appointing allied judges, prosctors and attorneys

      and so the idiot, alienated, racist, short minded “paulista” middle classes, alongside with the ruling entrepreneur class, keeps voting in them, and therefore SP is in a spiral, losing jobs and enterprises to States with a better government

  1. You couldn’t make it up?

    The court correspondent got out of bed the wrong side did he? I did, so this article touched just the right tone.

    • I’ve just spent the morning completing my dual (corrected damn predictive) jurisdiction accreditation. Admin fee asked by Bavarian High Court appeared pricey….

  2. So the politician are afraid the punish Russia in a real way (because they need them). So somebody else should be the boogie man (fifa, fia. ..) that’s ridiculous. Classic case of “i dont have enough balls, why don’t you do it”

    • If there is more weakness shown, Putin will swing round to Transnistria from Crimea quicker than you can say “Sochi” or “UniF1ed”! Eastern Ukraine would then be surrounded… while the western part they would probably leave to the EU to pick up..

    • If FIFA did take the world cup away from Russia, England could easily step in and host the competition at a moment’s notice.. of course, I saw this in the Daily Mail though.. but the hosting part is true. USA would also be more logical than Qatar, but for the sake of money, USA will have to wait until 2026. And we’ll be waiting much longer..

    • This is the best and funniest F1 site but I do not come here for political discussion, ZeroHedge is much more suitable.

      Asia Times Online is one site that gives a wider and more balanced view of the world than your normal news sites which are utterly compromised and biased.

      I wish the idiotic “Russia is bad, boycott it” crap will disappear from here, plenty of other places to went your ire.

      Russia did not start the mess in Ukraine, where nazis are on position power in a European Capital first time since 1945.

      Have any of you any evidence of Russian involvement in shooting down the plane?

      The behavior of Ukrainian secret police regarding the ATC tapes is utterly unacceptable.

      Finally, Cui bono?

      By the way, I’m born in Finland and have no love for Russia.

    • The problem is that there is a serious limit to the effectiveness of sanctions that foreign can nations impose on Russia. Russia, a country rich in mineral resources, will shrug them off and still get by. However, canceling a Formula 1 race in Russia is a much stronger political statement. That’s gonna hurt Putin’s ego. It was Putin’s pet project, and he is surely planning to exploit it for political reasons.

      • I think economically Russia is more fragile than it looks. Proper sanctions can do a world of harm. Shut off all the banks from the American and European equity and debt markets; freeze all big-shot Russian assets in London, Paris and NY; ban the import of Russian gas. Do all this, and chances are the Russian economy will implode just as nicely as the USSR one did in the eighties. Of course, do all this and chances are Putin will line up the tanks..

        • As a reply to this, I can say that economically Europe is also more fragile than it looks. Ban import of Russian gas? Freeze Russian assets in London? Please. This kind of prescription can only come out of some neo-con based in Washington DC or the US West Coast, nice and cozy in his armchair and not risking his job. At the time when the European economies are experiencing a slow recovery, this prescription sounds extremely dangerous for them.

          Even if such draconian sanctions happened, Russia could switch its trade entirely to China, Iran, India, Japan, and other Asian countries. Some loss would happen but, like I said, Russia could still get by on that, and the state-sponsored media would continue to report how great Russian economy is doing.

  3. “summarize the article beforehand: Bernard E. will avoid being sentenced for bribery – by bribing the court.”….

    Hold on a sec, wasn’t that the same thing I said earlier in the week?…. How can someone pay the courts to have a criminal case dismissed? I’m no legal eagle, but I thought that it was only cases where someone sued another party for financial damages, can the courts be willing to accept a cash settlement, provided that the aggrieved party is willing to accept?

    So if this was an option available to him in the first place, then why the hell did they go through with this fiasco in the first place?

    • That’s right – that was the 25M part payable to BayernLB. But since then the bavarian state has contacted Mr. E’s lawyers that for a bit of a bribe they were willing to frop the case.

      • But couldn’t they have still tried and convict him as well as instruct him to pay BayernLB for damages?….

        This whole thing stunk from the get go.

        • They could, but it would have taken weeks and he wouldn’t have gone to jail anyway due to his advanced age. So they decided 75 mill for the next Bunga Bunga party was a better way to solve this.

        • As difficult as it is, I agree with Fortis, but I suspect we don’t know the nuances of German law and apply our own systems. Bernie should be found guilty and F1 should be rid of him, but it seems the rich, once again, will buy their way out. Equal justice indeed. At least the court could make the fine painful to Bernie in an economic way, say 50% of his net worth.

  4. “It remains to see whether the French politicians can mount sufficient pressure on the Paris based Federation which governs world motorsport, to call of the race.”

    Hah! French politicians are sharp enough to continue selling strategic weapons for a puny 1 billion dollars to a country who is (almost) openly threatening the territorial integrity of the EU, and openly destabilizing countries within EU’s backyard, countries openly seeking EU membership. Give Russia a pair of Mistrals and say buy-buy to the Black Sea, which for Russia is largely the only maritime way of projecting military power in Europe.

    For a NATO country this is stupendously short-sighted; better park the Mistrals in Constanța or in a worst case sell them for a discount to Turkey, and make sure that the Black Sea is in firm hands of the NATO and that NATO has military options to intervene when needed/desired. With Mistrals in the right hands and parked strategically, even interventions in Lebanon or Syria are potentially on the cards (again, if needed/desired).

    I’m no security expert, but it seems to me that in terms of projecting power Mistrals are on the scale of the Black Sea what aircraft carriers are to oceans. And when was the last time that the US or the UK has sold a couple of aircraft carriers to China? You do NOT part easily with strategic weaponry such as Mistrals, aircraft carriers or Buk missile systems and place them into uncertain hands. This is complete insanity. With a pair of Mistrals, Odessa, Transnistria and Moldova are immediately into “fair game” territory. If the French proceed with their sale as seems likely, they will likely rue it sooner rather than later given how Putin is currently shaping up the geopolitical landscape and given ordinary Russians’ craving for “Russia über alles”.

    So now not only the Europeans are vulnerable to Russia instantly turning off the gas taps in the middle of the winter, but also to them making waves with Mistrals near the shores of Odessa, Romania and Bulgaria. And from there how far is Kosovo? Helping their Serbian brothers is a must for Russia’s foreign policy. (For those with a short memory, remember that Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014 was a direct answer by Putin to his Kosovo 2008 grudge. Talk about a dog with a bone!)

    So to come back to those hilarious French politicians, if they ever make any waves and pressure on the FIA wrt Sochi GP, it would be only to hypocritically cover up as much as they can their Mistral cock-up.

      • And realistically, what would that achieve? Russia will simply respond with military exercises using real ammunition in Kaliningrad.

        Put differently, how would that help Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova? Russia (and the EU) knows full well that NATO will never militarily engage itself with Russia (because the latter is too erratic and reckless, while the former is too cautious and lacking balls) over minions like Odessa or Moldova. Hell, up until this year NATO wasn’t at all sure of intervening on behalf of its members, the Baltic states, in case of Russian aggression: they had no contingency plan—even if the cry-babies Poland, Estonia et al. were haggling their big brothers for years—and no real interest or balls for that matter.

        And now NATO is willingly giving away Mistrals to Russia? Way for France to show aspiring EU member that it cares..

    • You statement of Russian naval threat to Europe is overly alarmist. Russian Black Sea fleet is one of the most “neglected” Russian fleets because it’s bottled up in the Black Sea. In case of any real conflict with the west, BSF will never get through the Dardanelles. BSF is getting several new ships, but at best this will simply put it on level ground with Turkish navi. The real “task” of BSF is to threaten weaker countries, like Georgia or Ukraine.

      Mistral is an amphibious assault weapon, but by itself a Mistral ship is as vulnerable as an American aircraft carrier. It has no weapons or defenses against any ships or submarines. All aircraft carriers are basically sitting ducks without a supporting group of ships, and the rest of Black Sea Russian navy is not that impressive. A bunch of surface ships built before most of this blog readers were born, and one barely working submarine. I kind of wonder if Russian BSF could survive a clash even with a Turkish navy, much less other NATO powers.

      • “Russian Black Sea fleet is one of the most “neglected” Russian fleets because it’s bottled up in the Black Sea.”

        You may be right, and again I’m no security or military expert. But from what I see, following Crimea Putin is reorienting his military priorities. The Mistrals are part of that strategic “pivot” towards destabilizing budding EU aspirers.

        “The real “task” of BSF is to threaten weaker countries, like Georgia or Ukraine.”

        And that’s exactly what I am pointing out. Give Russia the ammunition to hold these countries under military fear, and they will stay destabilized for decades to come. With no Mistrals, Odessa is relatively safe. With Mistrals, hmm.. Same for Moldova/Gagauzia/Transnistria. The slightest pretext and Putin can send in the cavalry in a snap.

        “and the rest of Black Sea Russian navy is not that impressive.”

        Perhaps, but the rest of the Black Sea navy is more desolate still. And Turkey is thus far a bit removed from all this (but good point, I wasn’t sure what their navy was actually worth).

        Right now in my eyes the concerned players are mostly Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, on the Black Sea front. Following Crimea Ukraine is out of that game. Moldova has no military presence whatsoever. And Romania, well, I strongly doubt it has any military fleet worth talking of. Georgia — we know how that ended. So unless NATO is actually willing to shoot at Russian vessels, which won’t come without serious provocation (and by this, I mean annexing Crimea, Odessa and Moldova; and shooting down civilian airliners don’t cut as significant offenses), Russia has free hand at keeping all those minions in check. They already do so with the gas taps, but give them Mistrals and the more power they have over them.

        “You statement of Russian naval threat to Europe is overly alarmist.”

        Perhaps. But what I’m trying to say is that now significant military confrontations in Europe are no longer fantasy-world.
        Prior to Kosovo 2008, Russia attacking Georgia and annexing its territories was unthinkable.
        Prior to Georgia 2008, Russia attacking Ukraine and annexing Crimea (during the Olympic Games, mind you) was unthinkable.
        After Ukraine 2014 (which isn’t done yet, not by far), Russia attacking Moldova or the Baltic republics is no longer unthinkable. (Imagine Putin salivating at the prospect of helping all those poor and oppressed Russian populations that should by right be part of Russia. Beware New York!)
        And if that happens, well, I don’t want to be alarmist..

        • If you take Turkey and other NATO members out of discussion, only Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia are left. Russian Black Sea fleet can harass them without a Mistral ship anyways.

          By the way, to me, even after Georgia 2008, Russia annexing Crimea was unthinkable. Even though many people draw parallels between Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014, they are all wrong. The 2008 conflict was initiated by Georgian president who ordered an all out military assault on a de-facto independent but formally Georgian region of South Ossetia with the Russian peacekeepers in it. Russian peacekeepers and South Ossetian civilians were indiscriminately shelled.

          It surely helped Putin’s sinister goals, but South Ossetian conflict was never really started by Russia, not in 2008 and not in the early 90s. When USSR fell apart, Georgia was ruled by nationalist chauvinists (not much different from Saakashvili in 2008 it seems) who threatened to crack down on minorities and also on the autonomous regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. When Ossetians and Abkhazians heard that their autonomy may be abolished, they rebelled. The separatists beat and humiliated Georgians fair and square on their own in the 90s, and a ceasefire as well as the Russian peacekeeping force was agreed on by all sides. Saakashvili was out of his mind in 2008. The current situation is completely different. Now Russia is interfering in a place where it has no right to be.

          • BBC ran a news piece tonight on region of Transnistria (part of Moldova) now agitating to be reunited with Russia.

            Moldova recently signed a partnership deal with EU. Moscow responds with ban on Moldovian wine imports. Sales down by a third in the first month..

          • Transnistria has been under Russian military control (hence Moldova under Russian military occupation) since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Up until now it now it has been de facto out of Moldovan control. However now, with Crimea, Donetsk and Mistrals, the prospect of a formal accession to the Russian Federation looms. If Putin’s plan of destabilizing Donetsk and Harkov succeeds (after Crimea was a success), then I reckon that Odessa is next. And if all goes well for the KGB thug, then he will have managed to strip Ukraine of access to the Black Sea and “reunite” Transnistria to mother Russia via a continuous mainland strip. Of course this is a worse-case scenario, but imagine this salivating prospect of “sticking it to the EU” for the average “Russia über alles” Russian citizen..

            Counter-intuitively, in a sense Transnistria joining Russia a la Crimea would be no big deal, since it would only formalize what has been an on the ground reality for the past ~25 years. (BTW, I’ve listened to first-hand accounts that Transnistria is a preserved, living and breathing enclave of the USSR: nothing has really changed there in the mean-time, all courtesy of Russian peace-keeping tanks.) More worrying for Moldova though is the prospect of Gagauzia.

            “On February 2, 2014, Gagauzia held a referendum where an overwhelming majority of voters opted for closer ties with Russia over EU integration and also opted for the independence of Gagauzia if Moldova chooses to enter EU.”

            Which means, basically, that after Crimea, Gagauzia is taking the same stance as Transnistria did at the break-up of the Soviet Union, namely breaking away at the prospect of Moldova reuniting with Romania (then—a reunification which never happened, mind you—; or acceding to the EU, now). Hence now Moldova is facing the real prospect of Russia’s parachuting a pair of tanks and on-ground “peace-keepers” via their shiny new Mistrals to protect that oppressed population of Russian-speaking Turks (mind you!), now that Russia has the mandate to do so. And upon this the EU will get itself yet another frozen military conflict at its backdoor (on top of Transnistria and Crimea, not to mention Kosovo which I reckon will erupt at the first hint of Serbia’s feeling in a position of power), and then Moldova will be in for yet another savage butchering of its territory. All fun prospects..

            “Moldova recently signed a partnership deal with EU. Moscow responds with ban on Moldovian wine imports. Sales down by a third in the first month..”

            Counter-intuitively this is actually a good plan for Moldovan producers to break away from their dependence on the Russian economy:

            This is not the first time that mother Russia has imposed such bans on Moldova, and each time it has resulted in Russia throwing away market share and Moldovan producers finding markets elsewhere. So now Russia is throwing down the drain its last 1/3 of market share, and once the ban is lifted it will likely be left with a puny 5-10%. Now that Moldova has been enrolled in EU’s free-market movement, and given that their wines are good and cheap, it seems to me that it should be relatively straightforward for wine-makers to tap much more lucrative markets henceforth.

            All this is likely, of course, if Russia doesn’t do an 1812 all over again, given that after Crimea the KGB thug must feel on a spree, in which case market shares won’t matter that much:

  5. “In 1988-89 with another dominant car at his disposal, he claimed 2 per season against Senna’s 13 annually… and that was it until his greased his way into Mansell’s seat at Williams for 1993 and took 13 pole positions in the most dominant car of the season. His fans will say he drove this way because he used his intelligence to win races and qualifying was not important. Personally I counter this and suggest he drove this way because he didn’t have the innate speed built in him.”

    Lol. Perhaps a Senna fan shouldn’t write the Prost summary. I had to laugh.
    Can I do Hamilton’s?

    • Why not. As is clear by now the judge (and his contributers) spare none! Off with their heads! And Carlo’s insights are more fun than those political correct ones out there. It made me laugh. 🙂

    • Sis, I have never made any secret of the fact i can’t stand Prost and it dates back to the 1982 French Grand Prix, the year before I saw Senna in British F3.

      I found him to be manipulative throughout his career and the British press loved him which was sufficient to question them.

      As to writing about Hamilton, please do, it generates angst amongst many, lol – but ultimately I like provoking a reaction in people.

        • You want reaction… Let me do something about Senna… 😀

          Put it this way, I see him a little different to most.

          • Well Colin, I like my writing in the same way I like my sex.

            Messy, controversial, with people screaming at me and often resulting in me being banned for a while.

            Stay tuned.

          • I don’t know Colin. I do the editing and scheduling for the site… I have the final word hahahaha. 😉

            In all fairness, if this website was running at the time of Senna I would have been as balanced in my praise as in condemnation. Whilst he was my hero, he was also massively flawed in some of his actions and I would be the first to chastise him.

            To my mind the most cynical abhorrent piece of driving I have ever witnessed was his taking out Prost in 1990. I understood his reasons, his anger at the establishment but for a man of his ability that was shocking.

            It’s much the same with Ferrari, I’m intensely passionate about the team but I’m also unbiased about when they screw up. Alonso is wasted in Maranello and they need to sort it out.

            For years it has angered me that people believe Ferrari have always run a 1-2 driver policy, Enzo Ferrari hated the driver being more important than his cars so whilst I enjoyed the domination of 2000-2004 i barely watched because due to team-orders the result was a foregone conclusion.

            Whilst I feel for Schumacher’s current plight, I also despise what he and Todt turned Ferrari into

          • My feelings, verbatim, Carlo.

            I was tifosi to my core well before F1 took off to be the spectacle it is today. But my love for them died after Austria and Indy.

            Initially I celebrated their world championship, with tears on the day, but I soon got very tired with the bullshite that was going on.

            The romantic in me holds a small belief that Enzo would have wanted to win, and win big, but not by that route.

            But that belief grows smaller and smaller as the days pass.

            It hurts me to say it, but I think all my F1 heros from days past were flawed in the integrity department in one way or another.

            Suppose if you lie with mangy dogs you’re bound to get fleas. Suffolk ones….

      • Hehe, hey I do love reading your stuff Carlo.

        I just found it amusing… I agree by the way… Just found it funny.

        Judge, can I write something about Hamilton? I’d focus in his 2011 year in particular.

        Pretty please? 😀

        • I read this site, as I often do with blogs, without reading the comments after each post. It’s because I want no outside coloring from the peanut gallery.

          When I finally choose to post a comment I notice there is primary person who has, without provocation, taken it upon himself to write about, “seeing Senna “a little differently than most,” and counter positive, including factual mentions, about Lewis Hamilton.

          I will say that one only needs to read the late Murray Walker’s accounts of Senna for “old school” condemnation of the late Brazilian’s driving ability (what you WON’T find in those articles and commentaries are mentions of Senna’s ability to know his engines or his ability to think his way through a race, though Ron Dennis and/or Jo Ramirez will graciously tell you that Senna thought process concerning F1 on and off track, as well as life, was MUCH deeper than ANY other driver with which they worked).

          It is interesting but completely understandable that, at an early age, Lewis Hamilton decided to pattern his driving style and his worldview – albeit, with a British bent – after Senna.

          And the result of Hamilton’s efforts at following in his hero’s footsteps have been met with the same type of broad stroke derisive writing and commentary with which the media attempted to paint Senna.

          The first thing a Senna/Hamilton hater will tell you about Lewis – this goes for myopic Senna fans, as well – is, “Hamilton’s no Senna” often accompanied by “lol” or “smh,” or they’ll write, “How could you dare mention then in the same breath.”

          Being a double major in English and anthropology (I am the only person in the world whose works are prominently mentioned in both a book about sports AND a book about archaeology – Dave Zirin and Dr. Brian Fagan being the two authors), with an African-American History minor, I understand well, both how words are used, histories of their uses, and for what impact certain words are chosen. It’s why I choose to write, even when irate or being snarky, contextually; doing so in the process of a conversation will immediately elucidate whether the other actor(s) in a conversation are willing to separate fact from fiction, historical accounts from myths, or whether they seek to trade opinion for fact.

          Though F1 writers, bloggers, and those who opine will never admit as much, there are but a few reasons why someone would, without knowing either person, write about both Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton in a similar, negative vein.

          What is equally – unfortunately – true is that there are a limited number of reasons for negative treatments of the two, as drivers and as men.

          I hope you, judge13 take this into account if you are actually considering allowing S.I.S. to write. In fact, I will aver that his moniker alone should tell you what his mindset toward Lewis Hamilton is, since Hamilton’s “Still I Rise,” takes on meaning far beyond the track and into the realm of a place unable to be traversed here, though it is central to EVERY minority’s attempts to navigate their way through the Western world – a world often constructed by them, but made without them in mind.

          It is beyond trite, childish snark to twist Hamilton’s heartfelt self-exhortation – this anonymous commenter slips into gross insensitivity and cannot write, in any form or fashion, anything approaching insightful or contextually factual about Lewis Hamilton – or Ayrton Senna.

          Another clue as to the aims of S.I.S.: what season of Hamilton’s is he choosing to examine?

          • Interesting points, but one point stood out almost immediately. Murray Walker was part of the British media that turned on Senna over the winter of 1985-85 because he had the self belief to refuse Lotus signing British hope Derek Warwick. His relationship soured with many journalists after that.

          • Carlo, Judge, the “reaction” has already begun and I haven’t even written a single word yet. Perhaps Colin is right.

            I have to say. I do love the Christian Horner style of communications… you know, why use one word when 10 will do.

            Peace and love, from SiS. 😉

          • Write your piece still.

            I feel it is futile to judge the content of an article before its written.

            Its also your right to have an opinion, be right or wrong, create a debate and ultimately learn.

            Censorship is reprehensible, especially when imposed with chest thumping rhetoric and ‘my brain is bigger than yours’ self aggrandisement.

            Your opinion matters. Share it. Do not be cowed by intellectual bullying.

            I know enough about you from your posts to know that you’ll consider the scuds that come your way, dismissing the hysterical overreactions and learning from viewpoints that are different to yours but cogently articulated in a manner that deserves your consideration.

            This is an F1 blog with a little philosophy thrown in, occasionally, not a philosophical blog with an article on F1.

            Waiting, with interest, on how this develops.

          • The only reason why he’s asking to write the said piece on Hamilton, is for no other reason than to put across his own bias and punitive views. Now we’ve all seen in his comments what he thinks of Lewis and the fact that he uses the “still I” in his avatar name, so as to make a mockery of the significance that’s Lewis puts on the poem, all goes to further enhance his opinions.

            Whatever he writes won’t be written with a fair and objective view, but rather from those that would only demonstrate his biased opinions and cherry picking that which supports his arguments and also to try and insight a heated debate as well as trying to bait people or should I say the “Hamfosi” (guess I’ve fallen foul of his trap) into trading barbs with everyone.

            But I think the judge should let him write his piece, because I think most followers of the blog, is fully aware of his views and dislikes towards Lewis. He already finds it hard to go a day without making reference to him in any of his comments, even if the days DN&C makes no reference to Lewis at all, case in point today. Carlo makes reference to Senna and Prost, but somehow the name “Lewis Hamilton” finds its way into his attempt at being funny. So for those who follow this blog, won’t really find anything he writes, surprising, given that the year he has chosen to make the centre piece if his article has long been covered by everyone worldwide, even by Lewis himself, so there’s nothing that’s left to be told. But he needs to tell his story to those who haven’t heard it before.

          • May I suggest a counter article to stills instead of this Fortis?

            I’ve spoken previously of your contributions being worthwhile in the past.

            I honestly think you could write something interesting on the subject, especially if you gave an insight into why lewis is so important to you.

            Back in the day I felt the same about senna, and actually overlooked some of his less sporting moments, which age and time would not allow me to do now. He had, and still has, a profound impact on my life.

            Reading if this was the same for you would be very interesting for me, and probably many others who haven’t got that connection to Lewis.

            How about it?

          • Wow! Breathtaking levels of cocksuredness happening right here.
            You almost got an old-school tl;dr but I struggled on through – had to take a jay-break mind you 🙂
            Thanks deigning to take the time to read the chatterings of us plebs here in the peanut gallery. Much obliged, guv’nor *tugs forelock*
            And that you chose to bless us with a comment of your own on this fine day? We’re truly not worthy.
            As for what you wrote, it sits between “meh” and “whatevs”. Rather heavy-handed, overly-dismissive. Talking loud (with big words!) and saying nothing.
            Having said that, I look forward to reading your not-at-all snarky, extremely contextual assessment of Lewis and his contribution to the sport on this very blog in the not too distant future.

          • My thoughts too, pretty much. The arrogance is strong in this one. But ultimately, going forward, I won’t bother with him much more. He has been found wanting on more than a few occasions and won’t rise to any academic challenge. The cheesy parts, for me, are the self styled, virtuous, truth protector type labels he has placed upon himself and yet he’s the only one that’s been found to, let’s say, fabricate evidence to underpin stone throwing stories. Classic troll. Lots of verbiage, little message.

          • …. “We’re truly not worthy”

            Indeed you are not. However the long benefactor tradition of thejudge13 family line chooses to bestow grace upon you 😀

          • Thank you for descending down to us, oh noble one. I am merely a cnc Miller, mentioned in no books… but the thing about the Internet is that we, the ones you find trampled under your feet, can say what ever the f#%k we want. That’s the beauty of this concept. Lately we do have to get our post checked, because we can come across rude sometimes. We’re not as good with words as you are. Probably because we don’t have the intellect you have… but we are trying to get there. Maybe you should enlighten us more. Trow a dog a bone.

          • Lol.

            Actual facts are not his strong point.

            Don’t argue, or we’ll get another wall of text littered with made up facts and data.

      • It would be interesting to analyse the race laps and see if Prost was going faster in the races than in qualifying, vs. his team-mate and others, or whether he would always build a little lead then back-off to the end… I do remember that those cars seemed to be fragile at Renault in particular, perhaps that was the only way to win in them.. and overtaking wasn’t as impossible as now.

        • Some research required there I think!

          I do remember many of Prost’s victories in the fuel limited years of the mid to late 80’s being due to his running to a delta lap time throughout and picking off drivers as they slowed due to fuel consumption issues. Intelligent certainly, but hardly breath-taking..

          • I guess you can only drive to the rule-set.. although even Prost can get caught out by that. The funniest moment for me recently was when McLaren told Jenson to go slow all race, then he found near the end he could have gone much faster all race long….. so they basically hindered themselves on purpose by thinking ‘we have to drive to our calculated delta time’…

    • I see Prost a bit like Alonso.. i.e. he was on the pace when younger – hence his good score in ’82 with the Renault, with Arnoux a bit like Trulli and getting more poles. But come ’86, he was winning with a slower car (think late-2006 Renault vs. Schumi), after winning with better cars (Lauda.. Raikkonen), before losing the big chance at McLaren vs. the next big thing (Senna.. Hamilton), then sucking with a poorer Ferrari (2010-13..).

      Alonso only gets his ear tweaked however, so hasn’t left and pushed his way into a dominant Mercedes car… that’s the last piece of the story missing for him, i.e. that last title in a dominant car. It’s fallen to Hamilton instead.. (if he can best Rosberg, which he should), and pilots are unlikely to die now, so Alonso will probably just retire instead without that last title.

      • And yet, if you look at the 1982 season, Prost and Arnoux had 5 poles and 2 victories each. By seasons end Arnoux was 6 points behind in the standings, with Arnoux retiring from 10 races but Prost only 7.

        • Interesting.. I was going off memory, perhaps of another season. But the qualifying success/race failure makes me think of the 2013 Mercedes, or possibly the 2012 one.

  6. Wait … is that the same ruthlessly honest Judge Noll who has a grudge against Bernie and who would be sure to have justice prevail?

    Cheers, C.

    • Noll has had quite a few white collar cases and handed out quite severe punishments. The 8 years for Gribkowski were certainly not on the lower end of the scale. The deal was made between Ecclestone and the prosecution, not the judge

      • Yeah, I was sort of addressing the “Judge Noll and the corrupt court in Munich” bit 🙂

        On a side note, Hippo (I’m tempted to be all British about it and call you ‘Hippers, old lad’ 😉 ) … I’m thankfully not experienced with the German justice system, but can you tell me if in Germany the judge has the final say (and can block a plea bargain) – and if so, please tell me 🙂 )

        I’m dyslectic when it comes to legalese, so I apologize in advance if my question is particularly stupid.

        Cheers, C.

        • Nope, the judge is pretty helpless to block it. If there’s a deal between the accused and the procecution, the latter will drop it’s charges and then he’ll simply not have a case anymore to preside over.

      • I find it bizarre that the parties still have ‘Christian’ in the name.. is that an anachronism, oxymoron or hangover from previous times?

        • Its to antagonise, I reckon. If so, result – it definitely antagonises me!

          Probably helps with a few votes from lazy sheeple who like to follow the other sheep.

          Why bother finding out the facts when a nod to Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha in the name of a party, or some such prophet / deity, means you don’t actually need to zone in to what’s happening in the world.

          IMO any reference to religion should be banned from politics. Keep them seperate.

          Political parties should do the best they can for all people domiciled in their countries, and not just the ones who go to the same place of worship that they do.

          People of a religious bent should be free to practice the religion of their choice as long as nobody is getting hurt.

          We all matter.

          • Agreed Colin.. although some religions have in them the ‘obligation to spread the word and convert others’, which gets problematic when some people try and take that too far…

          • -knock knock knock-


            “Hello Sir, can we interest you in the word of the lo…”


            “Who was it luv?”

            “Nevermind, hey do you know where I left my electric cattle prod?”


    • They should do the old “Yes, we’ve paid the money, here’s the receipt, then once the people are let go, pull the money back…”

    • Funny, Dave should consider reading the UK bribery legalisation that all persons working in financial services must be bound by…

      Any of them used the words facilitation payment and see how well that goes down with a judge.

      Maybe this should have been Bernard’s defence?

  7. I would take a guess that Bernie E and the Grim Reaper are on very friendly terms, if you take a look just how decrepit Bernie is looking these days, I’m sure he in noticing the Grim R looming closer and closer at every turn.
    The one thing he can’t cheat his way out of, no matter how hard he tries, is when his number is up.

  8. I have it on very good authority that although the Red Bull offices are now closed for the summer break, some of their staff (maybe just office workers?) are being hosted at other offices around Milton Keynes…

    • Its always been this way. Always.

      None of the main players give a stuff. Sociopaths aren’t capable of empathy / guilt….

    • I take your comment as referring to all teams equally since I find it impossible to believe that RBR would be the only ones doing it, if indeed they are.
      That you immediately assume the word of a random commenter is correct without any verification suggests your own views aren’t entirely even-handed.
      If what is asserted is true then the fact that the sport’s regulations are so poorly written as to allow such low rent circumvention then that’s the real scandal.

      • I can only talk about RB as I know for a fact that they are ‘visiting’ one of my company’s offices for the next two weeks.

        It doesn’t mean other teams are not doing the same…

  9. ^

    With respect, M’lud, I think you’re being a bit prematurely harsh on your fellow Judge, Peter Noll, here.

    He has a worthy record so far and, as I understand it, any deal that may have been agreed between the Eccles***e and the State Prosecutors would also need judicial approval – and it’s yet to be put to him.

    Let’s wait and see what he says before we send him to the gallows.

      • ^

        M’lud, may I, with great respect, remind Your Lordship, of his own, much appreciated legal conundrum posed to this court and answered by Your Lordship in May of last year, wherein a criminal worked out and then believed, with jubilation, that he had found a way to escape the noose.

        Still celebrating, it came as a total surprise to him when the executioner knocked on his door the following Wednesday, at noon, and took him on a one-way walk to the gallows.


        It occurs to me that Judge Peter Noll will be addressing his own attention to Mr. E’s fate next Wednesday afternoon.

        We can but hope…


    • Yes. Wouldn’t be the first time a presiding Judge has stuck his head up and reminded his court he has the final say.

      • ^

        Indeed so. I’ve seen it happen a number of times in British courts.

        Perhaps we should also consider the possibility that, over the weekend, a quiet word may come down from Berlin to the effect that whilst it’s fine to let rich German felons off the hook in German courts because only Germans read about it in German, the eyes of the world are on this one and it would be greatly appreciated if those involved could avoid making the German legal system look like an auction house, turn it into an internationally criticised laughing stock and send around the globe the message that it’s fine to bribe German state officials if you can also afford to then bribe the courts into letting you off.

        We shall see.


  10. The man-at-the-top of Dime-ler has had some words on the Ukraine and it’s impact on economic stress today. Must be a few at HQ sitting uncomfortably with their Mercedes/Petronas connection whilst this plays out.

  11. About 3 weeks to go. Then I can get back to insider F1 info. For now I will continue to scan world view of whatever here. 🙂 Good times J13.

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