#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 28th October 2014

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Previously on The Judge 13:

The FIA and FOM share the blame equally for failing #F1 teams

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Yes!!! Man DID land on the moon….


OTD Lite: 1930 – Birth of a visionary money making leviathan

Indian brothers make ‘serious’ offer for Marussia team

Toto Wolff prioritises the manufacturer teams

2014 US GP – Equal smallest grid in a decade

London High Court announces Caterham debts of £16.2M (UPDATE 14:19 GMT)

Marussia brake-by-wire being investigated by FIA

Ferrari drivers and cars

Airlifting stricken cars on circuit was tested by the FIA

COTA claims annual economic benefit to Austin is $900m

Massa face exchange

The mystery of the Caterham cleaner revealed


OTD Lite: 1930 – Birth of a visionary money making leviathan

As a Scorpio born on October 28th, you are known for your ambition, passion and cool nature. Outwardly you are calm and may even appear calculated to others. This outer reserve is the opposite of your inner workings, which is greatly passionate and this drives you to get all you want from life. Highly ambitious, you will work tirelessly to achieve your goals, but your drive and people skills create a variety of options for you to explore. Your ambition will be well-suited for a career in business or media.

20130718bernie-ecclestone-1Who said that horoscopes were hocus pocus? On this day, Bernie will possibly take time out from his ambitions of running the world or from having countries around the globe kissing his wrinkled derrière whilst enjoying immunity from public prosecution.

Bernie may well be sat simply with his friends… associates and just playing a round or two of monopoly.

In dutiful servitude, proffering the drinks and nibbles, will be the the BBC and Sky F1 broadcasting teams, as they revel in his omnipresence, before publishing copy that would shame the internal Russian media system.

Satire aside, Mr. E is responsible for galvanising a rag tag and bobtail bunch of petrol heads into a global sporting phenomenon that they claim ranks alongside the Olympics and the World Cup.

Yet greed and power appear to have transformed what could have been an outstanding sporting legacy into a cynical epitaph. Chin chin Bernie..

I have a high art, I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me.”

The Samurai Jackal

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Happy Bernieday

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Indian brothers make ‘serious’ offer for Marussia team

Baljinder Sohi and Sonny Kaushal, the Indian steel billionaires have made an offer which has established them as ‘serious’ in the eyes of the Marussia Administrators, FRP Advisory LLP.

The offer is to fund the team to the end of the season, and depending on the monies received from FOM, settle the outstanding creditors – not in full – but to a percentage of what they are owed.

Currently, Marussia by finishing 9th in the F1 constructors’ championship, stand to earn just over $60m. The debt in the business is reputed to be $46m.

This would see the brothers then double the balance of cash remaining having paid the creditors in part.

The figure of a £55m ($88m) – cited by the Telegraph – is an offer made by the brothers to the Administrator and is based upon $44m remaining from the cash in and the debtor’s being settled, with a further $44m being added to fund the team for 2015 from the brothers.

The Administrator has made a counter offer, which is being considered.

Sohi claimed today, “We are very close to a deal, but it has to be the right price. We have put in a serious offer and we will see what happens.” $16m was the estimate of the difference between what the Administrator requires and what the brothers originally offered.

Time is short because the team are funded to the 31st October, however, if a buyer is not found by then, the Administrator will be forced to declare the business no longer ‘a going concern’.

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Toto Wolff prioritises the manufacturer teams

An interview with Toto Wolff scheduled for publication in Friday’s Financial Times, the Mercedes boss for many will reveal the current ‘newbie’ attitude in Formula 1 towards the smaller teams.

“We have a certain responsibility to the rest of the field, but this cannot be our main objective. We have seen in the past more than 100 F1 teams that have come and gone. It’s good that in the past the commercial rights holder has tried to take care of the very loyal, important teams for F1.”

“It is clear that Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Williams those guys have been around or ever and they have healthy business models. It’s clear that you are trying to put more emphasis and priority on keeping those teams in the sport than teams that have just come in, where it is unclear what the shareholders’ purpose is, what the shareholders’ targets are, whether funding is a bit of a struggle from year to year.”

“But I think this is how F1 has always been. It hasn’t changed massively (compared) to the past.”

The problem with Wolff’s view which appears to support the idea of fewer teams going forward in F1 and a sport only made up from those who have the best financial backing is that this process of natural selection will always eliminate those who are toward the rear of the grid.

Kill off Caterham and Marussia, maybe Sauber and Lotus too, and we can have the super teams all competing with 3-4 cars each and there is no fear of a team running into financial disaster.

Yet when the current smaller teams are gone, it will mean the likes of Force India are at the back of the pack. Their sponsors and backers may then get sick of coming last and decide, enough is enough.

Even were F1 a sport filled with rich manufacturers spending hundreds of millions each a year – someone will finish last in the constructors’ championship. The result is predictable, because just as in 2008/9 when we saw the wealthy corporate entities like Honda, Toyota and BMW leave Formula 1, this will happen again.

So what then if one of the BIG FIVE has a poor year, finishing always at the back – there comes a time when even these vast empires of wealth can’t compete – and they leave.

Wolff’s short sightedness borders on absurdity. In Autosport, Ross Brawn said in November 2013, “We’re not a supporter of customer cars, we think the identity of the teams is important, the fact that the teams design and build their own cars is important”.

Two factors may be contributory to the demise of Caterham and Marussia. As James Allen noted, this was the year the V6 turbo arrived and engine prices to all teams skyrocketed.

Further, as TJ13 suggested in last nights post, The FIA and FOM share the blame equally for failing #F1 teams the FIA granting new F1 racing licenses, diluted the value of any goodwill value that Marussia and Caterham had in terms of permission to race in Formula 1.

King of the F1 world, Toto Wolff, only knows success and glory. Yet had he spent a few years working for another team, even Ferrari, he’d tweeting a slightly different melody than one which embodies the message.. ‘survival of the fittest’.

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2014 US GP – Equal smallest grid in a decade

With eighteen cars set to take the start of the U.S GP it will be the lowest number of starters since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix when BAR were completing their two race ban for technical infringements following that year’s San Marino Grand Prix.

Of course many will site the 2005 US GP at Indianapolis as the lowest number with just six reacting to the startline lighting gantry but it’s often forgotten that the cars all assembled on the grid. Due to a dangerous design inherent in the Michelin tyres, all teams that ran on the French rubber were advised to withdraw. At the end of the green flag lap, they all followed pole sitter Jarno Trulli’s Toyota into retirement.

Of course stifling boredom followed but Ferrari’s Jean Todt was never going to allow changes to the circuit – to accommodate the Michelin runners – in a year that the Scuderia were handicapped by tyre regulations. Max Mosley supported his stance and placed the blame squarely on the French tyre manufacturer’s shoulders.

Either way, a historic day for Minardi as they finished with both cars in the top 6.

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London High Court announces Caterham debts of £16.2M (UPDATE 14:19 GMT)

With Caterham having applied for administration last week, the London High Court has shown a list of around 400 crediitors that the racing team owes monies to. The Anglo-Malaysian team is shown to have debts totalling £16.2 million with the prinicpal amount being against Renault which stands at about £7.4M. The unpaid bills are for the provision of the French company’s V6 Turbo engine as used by Caterham this season.

In addition to the aforementioned, there are the following: £754,090 to the Total oil company; £711,134 to  Dell Computer’s; £111,281 is owed to McLaren Applied Technologies and the last significant debt is for £20,942 which is outstanding to Formula One and Events Hospitality Services, a service company headed by Bernie Ecclestone.

Other smaller creditors include the Haymarket Media Group which are publishers of many retail magazines including Autosport. The Group was set up in the 50’s and remains privately owned by former Tory Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine.

And it all began with a pack of lies from a Charlatan who had no intention of ever concluding a transaction with Fernandes.

Here is a letter provided to TJ13 from one of the creditors. It was sent to them days after Kolles announced he was ‘taking over’.

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The FIA needs to ensure better corporate governance and scrutiny is placed upon team owners and the financial state of the teams. At present they rely on Bernie’s Autumn annual guestimate of the F1 competitors financial health.

Further, to protect employees and creditors – it would not be difficult for the FIA to regulate that any transfer of an F1 team’s ownership mid-season must be done via external independent Insolvency Practitioners. This would prevent in the future the kind of scams as pulled by Colin Kolles.

Further, it would ensure that team owners take their responsibilities to their staff and to the sport in which they chose to compete more seriously. This in turn would prevent the apparent whimsical fashion with which Tony Fernandes treated his Caterham F1 team.

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Marussia brake-by-wire being investigated by FIA

Autosprint carried an article yesterday that the FIA informed Marussia that they were to investigate their brake-by-wire system immediately following the Japanese Grand Prix.

In simple terms it’s a device that automatically compensates for the lack of sensitivity that the drivers experiences whilst it is harvesting energy. As the driver applies the brakes the electric motor absorbs the kinetic energy being produced. The brake-by-wire installation consists of a control unit and actuators but Marussia manufacture their own design rather than use the one produced by their engine partner – Ferrari.

Eye witnesses have declared they saw no braking effort made and there were no tell tale marks left which would show any application of them before the accident. It has to be taken into account that they would have proven ineffective on wet grass but it has triggered the FIA to request that Marussia check the operation of their system in certain conditions.

The collated evidence is to be provided to the panel of experts that have been assembled by the FIA, which includes Ross Brawn, Stefano Domenicali and Mekies Laurent who was a former chief engineer for Toro Rosso.

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Ferrari drivers and cars

As part of our commitment to social media, we occasionally bring to your attention the efforts of other like minded F1 fans, who may not (yet) be part of the TJ13 circle of love.

Here’s an offering from @diehard_f1_fan who you can also find on faceboob and google+

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Similarly… continuing the horse/ass theme…

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Airlifting stricken cars on circuit was tested by the FIA

Air Zermatt believes they have had a workable solution to car extraction from the circuit following accidents. The Swiss aviation company suggests that F1 cars should be recovered by a helicopter.

In 2005, in conjunction with the FIA, Air Zermatt ran tests at the 2005 A1 GP in Dubai.

The recoveries were successful and would prevent the scenario where Jules Bianchi hit a land based recovery vehicle.

“The [Bianchi] accident could have been avoided with our rescue system”, claimed Air Zermatt’s Jürgen König to Swiss publication Blick.

One of the reasons this solution was not pursued, was because it was argued that the safety of the marshals was not reflected in what was an expensive solution.

Further, those of a more cynical inclination, may believe that the use of helicopters for vehicle recovery – would also make it too transparent when weather conditions were unfit for helicopter use.

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COTA claims annual economic benefit to Austin is $900m

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Circuit of The Americas (COTA) generated $897 million in economic impact to the Austin area in 2014, according to a study prepared by New York-based Greyhill Advisors.

The analysis represents all COTA events, activities and annual operation for FY 2014, defined as October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014. The time period captures one full cycle of COTA’s major annual events, including the 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, 2014 MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas and ESPN’s 2014 X Games, as well as track rentals, and concert and events at Austin360 Amphitheater.

The full report, available here, was commissioned by Circuit of The Americas.

“COTA has turned out to be much more than just a racetrack,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “It’s a job creator, a revenue generator, and a destination for quality, year-round entertainment. These benefits to taxpayers result from racetrack construction that was solely funded by private investment. I commend COTA for its positive impact on our community and its contribution to Austin’s emergence as an international city.”

According to the report, there were 1.1 million attendees across all COTA events in FY 2014, leading to $731 million in economic impact. An additional $166 million is attributed directly to COTA operations.

Over the course of the year, COTA hosted six motorsports and other major sporting events, 18 concerts and 110 track rentals and other events.

Formula 1 generated $507 million in economic impact for the Austin metropolitan area

All other major sporting events, including ESPN’s X Games, generated $161 million in economic impact

Concerts and events at Austin360 Amphitheater generated $49 million in economic impact

Track rentals and other miscellaneous events generated an additional $14 million in economic impact

COTA’s annual activities and operations combined to support 9,100 jobs in the Austin metro region representing $306 million in annual payroll for Austin-area workers. Direct visitor spending injected into Austin area business establishments such as restaurants, bars, hotels and retailers totaled $423 million.

“COTA is a thoughtfully designed facility that has helped Austin successfully compete for and host events that put our city in the global spotlight,” said Bob Lander, Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO. “We attract over 21 million visitors annually – three times as many as only a decade ago. Tourism has a substantial impact on the Austin economy providing nearly 54,000 jobs and $6.2 billion in direct traveler spending. World-class facilities like COTA greatly enhance our ability to attract new international audiences and markets that widen our spectrum of business.”

Since it was announced in 2010, COTA’s cumulative economic impact on the Austin metro area has been $2.8 billion, with an average annual impact on the Austin area of nearly $700 million per year, according to the report.

Included in the cumulative impact was construction of COTA’s 1,500-acre campus, which supported more than 7,100 jobs representing $350 million in annual wages. The economic impact from construction was $918 million, the report said.

“We built COTA to be a part of the economic and cultural fabric of Austin,” said Circuit of The Americas Chairman Bobby Epstein. “We’ve created a place where Austinites can enjoy world-class sports and entertainment, and it’s gratifying to see the enormous benefit to local businesses big and small.” (Source: COTA)

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Massa face exchange

Felipe is having some fun here… tweeted, “face exchange”… Look closely

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The mystery of the Caterham cleaner revealed

TJ13 was the first to question the sacking of Colin Kolles father from the board of Caterham Sports Ltd and the appointment of Constantin Cojocaru – previously the cleaner at the company. That said, he is well liked by the staff and nick named ‘Mario’.

Having contacted Tony Fernandes PA, Shelley, to inform her of the accusations being made against Fernandes by Kolles side kick Manfredi, she began following the mailing list of thejudge13. Presumably it was there she saw the story of Constantin Cojocar.

Interestingly, as part of his eventual rebuttal to Kolles, Tony Fernandes mocked the appointment by Kolles of ‘a cleaner’ to the board of Caterham Sports ltd.

Yet no one was certain from where Cojocaru had emerged. Of course he was made the stooge director when Kolles decided to place the Caterham business into voluntary administration.

Racecar Engineer have revealed who in fact Cojocaru is; a 52-year-old former Steaua Bucharest footballer who played for Romania’s best team for two seasons. His career high was in the 1988 European Cup (Now the Champions League) semi-final with Benifica when he replaced team mate Dan Petrescu for the final 14 minutes of the game.

Having been friends for some time, the relationship between Cojocaru and Popescu appearsd to have broken down, as Racecar Engineer discovered in an interview Cojocaru gave to Romanian sports website Prosport.

“I came to England in August to find work, cleaning or working in a warehouse” says Cojocaru. “I left Romania because I had financial difficulties there. I had bills to pay and as the Chief of a bus depot in Brasov I was paid less than 200 pounds a month. After I finished my career as a footballer everything was grim. I had no money and nobody wanted to help me starting a coaching career.

“My former room-mate during training camps, Gheorghe Popescu, promised to help me but he didn’t. The only one who really helped me was George Becali (the currently imprisoned former owner of Steau Bucharest). I told him: ‘Gigi, help me please. I’m hungry.’ Every time he offered me money. Finally I gave up. I was ashamed to ask him any more help.”

“An Italian [or Spanish waiter], a kind of an owner here at Caterham recognised me as a former football player. He told me: ‘It’s absurd for you to clean the floors, you are a known footballer. From now on you are a director here!’ And I was appointed as executive director at Caterham Sports Ltd.”

The rest is history. Though Caterham staff TJ13 spoke to on the first day they were locked out of the factory, complained the toilets were never the same following Cojocaru’s promotion.

Clearly, Constantin is enjoying his new work and is a faithful servant to the man who gave him his big break.

“I represent the interests of Kolles, he offered me this chance. There are some serious problems here. I have to remain here right now I have no other choice. Once you enter the game you have to play it. Right now I’m in Germany, in Munich, at the main company who bought the team headquarters.”

Mmm. Constantin….. yes you are at Colin Kolles Munich base…. and maybe you should check the paperwork for that alleged acquisition…..  just in case you signed for it huh?

Still, this tale is much like the Eddie Murphy story, “Trading Places”. And for Constantin, let’s hope it all ends well…

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79 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Tuesday 28th October 2014

  1. “Ferrari’s Jean Todt was never going to allow changes to the circuit – to accommodate the Michelin runners – in a year that the Scuderia were handicapped by tyre regulations.”

    Er, actually as I understood it Jean had nothing to do with the decision. The FIA simply wasn’t allowed to change the track prior to the race, after it had already been approved and signed off by the insurers as is. The FIA bent over backwards to keep the Michelin cars in the race, even offering to police some kind of “reduced speed lane” through the final turn to stop the Michelins from failing, but in the end Michelin took the only decision they could when faced with public humiliation: they forced their teams to withdraw.

    Which was good because as farcical as people think that race was, it would have been 1000 times worse if it had featured cars crashing every lap.

    • Mosley is on record that it was his decision not to change the circuit, a lot of the press blamed Todt who wasn’t against it either.
      The Michelin teams asked about a temporary chicane and offered to give up the leading points positions but ultimately it was a no go

  2. “Running around serving drinks will be the whole of the BBC and Sky teams as they revel in his omnipresence before publishing copy that would shame the internal Russian media system.”

    So indeed. Shame on Autosport, too! I can’t pick which sycophantic piece is more sickening… This which engages in consensual activities with Bernard:
    The F1 star back on top in Singapore
    http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6203/the-f1-star-back-on-top-in-singapore/

    Or this which gives our favorite dentist an encouraging tap on the back, as in keep up the work:
    Kolles: F1’s tail-end troubleshooter
    http://plus.autosport.com/premium/feature/6234/kolles-f1-tailend-troubleshooter/

  3. “It is clear that Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Williams those guys have been around or ever and they have healthy business models.”

    Is the Woof day-dreaming? Last I checked Merc disappeared from the constructors’ landscape for a healthy 50 years or so, before returning from scratch couple years back. Been around for ever? Really?

    • He probably refers to the fact that they have their 20th anniversary as an engine manufacturer. The works team might only be four years old, but they’ve been heavily involved since 1994. Same goes for Red Bull. The team might still be in single digit age, but they’ve been around as a major sponsor since 1996. Not the same legacy as Williams or McLaren, admittedly, but I think the major talking point was the ‘healthy business model’ bit.

      All of them have something in common. They are all involved in business outside F1, so they don’t stand or fall with a bad season. Williams has recently started being involved in solar technology and provide solutions for other racing series’ and even busses. McLaren have their road car division as well as McLaren Applied Technology and other business ventures. Red Bull Technology, too is more than just the provider of a chassis. They are involved in all kinds of other projects and for instance developed the side-crash structure that all teams are using this year.

      • “Same goes for Red Bull. The team might still be in single digit age, but they’ve been around as a major sponsor since 1996.”

        Oh come on now, that is not how you judge whether a team has been around for ever. You cannot defend Wolff’s assertion about Merc and RBR, end of. By the same logic I just buy out Caterham, rename it Hugo Boss and then I would have been around ‘for ever’!

        I think you’re right that his point is about healthy business models, but he could do away with trying to group Merc and RBR with the historic teams of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams. Lotus have more of a right to be in that group than Merc and RBR.

        • I’m no history buff (only became a serious follower of the sport in 98), but someone correct me if I’m wrong…

          But wasn’t the 95 Sauber, entered as RedBull Sauber after DM purchased majority shares? Or was it just a sponsorship deal?

        • Isn’t that just semantics? It was a stupid way to word it, but in the end it doesn’t really matter for the main statement how long each of the named teams were around. We’ve seen historic teams like Brabham and Lotus go west, so how much time you’ve done in F1 isn’t a measurement for the validity of your business model.

          • How valid is Toto & Niki’s business model if the funding is reduced or removed by the MB board ?

            Could they go it alone ?

          • Their business model is valid as long as they win and the engine freeze is making a pretty good job of securing that for years to come.

          • @hippo….

            Are you ever going to stop all this talk about engines being ‘Frozen’?…..

            Matt has mentioned it on more than one occasion that the engines are not ‘frozen’, if they were, the RB’s wouldve caught on fire practically every race weekend. The 2015 PU’s will be a whole lot better than the this years model.

            Here’s a little more insight into this so called ‘freeze’ you keep referring to….

            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/10/24/mercedes-block-f1s-engine-unfreeze/

          • The engine development IS frozen. The troubles with the Renault was partially resolved by RB engineers before Feb. 28th, which was when the development freeze came into effect. After that any gains were made by new fuel mixtures.

          • @hippo…

            So your saying that all this new found performance with the Renault engine, is due to them coming up with a new fuel mix? So what about their turbocharger? MGU-H and K units? Are you trying to tell me they did no development work on those components?

            Surely if the new fuel mix gives them more performance from their ICE, then that should also affect the performance of the other components. So they’d have to develop the MGU-k/H to best harvest the gains from their new found performance.

          • As far as I am aware, bringing new engine components within the year was not allowed. The only areas where development was possible was electronics and fuel. That’s what they did.

  4. “Eye witnesses have declared they saw no braking effort made and there were no tell tale marks left which would show any application of them before the accident. It has to be taken into account that they would have proven ineffective on wet grass but it has triggered the FIA to request that Marussia check the operation of their system in certain conditions.”

    Interesting piece in the puzzle. Brake failure on two wheels would explain why the car had so much momentum (as pointed out by Bottas) and why the car ostensibly skid straight on into the tractor. But strange, then, that Marussia’s sensors wouldn’t catch up on this…

    • “Interesting piece in the puzzle. Brake failure on two wheels would explain why the car had so much momentum (as pointed out by Bottas) and why the car ostensibly skid straight on into the tractor. But strange, then, that Marussia’s sensors wouldn’t catch up on this…”

      might this have to do with the team suddenly going into administration. if indeed the brakes failed and their construction was responsible, a team that doesn’t exist anymore can’t be sued.

      • Hmm, that would be troubling, indeed. Isn’t there some form of personal responsibility of managers in cases of endangerment of human lives? And would this explain why the FIA launched the “All teams should provide all relevant information” battle cry, and why Marussia responded positively on the defensive?

  5. As a American going to my first f1 race. I was slightly excited to see Marussia running Rossi. I can’t imagine there wasn’t enough big headed sponsers in this country who would love to put their stickers on the marussia. Other than the historical significance of a local running on home soil I could care less of cars 1 min behind at the end of the race.

    No I’m not saying 18 cars is good either but hopefully it’s temporary.

    two days,

  6. Happy birthday Mr Ecclestone,
    I’d say you are only looking at counting the years you have left on one hand these days…….not the massive numbers you are used to dealing with!

    • Not really.

      You don’t need big heavy lift helicopters.

      The small medivac ones at the circuit could easily lift a car + driver.

        • well Peter

          since it’s already gone wrong using cranes, JCB’s, or as in Suzuka using a ” tractor ” –

          do you suggest we just forget about removing any cars then ?

          Maybe we should just BAN racing …….

          because just think about when something goes wrong……

          • @manky, not at all. Said in a previous post have no prob whatsoever with cranes, JCB’s or even a tractor when used appropriately……
            Don’t need to go any further.

          • that’s the spirit Peter

            ” Don’t need to go any further ”

            Don’t want any pesky new inventions like flying machines eh ?

            Don’t want to consider anything that’s new or may be better eh ?

      • WHAAAT? Flying machines did you say?
        Where do you get these strange notions from……?

  7. @the judge…..

    Did Caterham enter into voluntary administration or was it orchestrated by Renault?

    • …We heard the team had applied for this on the Tuesday before it happened on the Friday.

      Reuters reported after the event it was the bank that forced their hand… but that’s an easy ‘assumption’

  8. The Kolles led regime, including Albers, MUST go to jail. They are taking the piss out of everyone – Employees, the law, the FIA, and Ecclestone…. Erm..?

    • Albers left as soon as he realized what was happening at Caterham. In the Dutch newspapers he’s said something like he doesn’t want to burn himself on this kind of mismangement. The private problems that were spoken off in the English press actually refer to his consciousness acting up. Maybe he could have done more to change Kolles his mind but it’s not fair to blame him for what happened after he left. Kolles and “Hi know nothing” Manfredi are a different story 😉

      • “he doesn’t want to burn himself on this kind of mismangement”

        That’s my big problem with this whole situation.
        I totally understand the raping and pillaging of Caterham for it’s intellectual property. What I don’t get, is how if that is what is happening, and it’s all going to end up at FRR next year, how will FRR be able to hire any decent engineering staff?
        Anyone associated with Kolles will be derided, and no engineer would risk signing an employment contract with FRR knowing how Kolles management have handled things with Caterham thus far.
        Everything seems way too short sighted.
        I guess greed is blinding.
        Props to Albers for getting out almost immediately.
        Manfredi has sealed his own fate by lying through his teeth for weeks.
        He will be lucky to end up with a janitors job at any F1 team after this.
        How perfectly ironic that would be.

        • I suspect the whole scam was based on acquiescent media printing out the story from their mouths, and those incredibly rich and anonymous Arab-Swiss. If all articles printed on the subject mirrored Autosport, who would’ve guessed in a million years that a Romanian-guided scam was happening in the first place?

          And here cometh TJ13 with their pesky “don’t know ass from elbow” reporting… How dare they report what is going on in Leafield? Judge, I think you’ve now flushed a couple of careers down the drain…

          • ….More interestingly, when I went to Leafield on the day of the first factory close… we talked to Caterham race team staff…

            They said following Kolles takeover, the vehicles used to transport them from airports to hotels to circuits – all changed.

            The minibuses were now all the same – Hertz German hire vehicles – at EVERY European race event along with new drivers who appeared from nowhere – all Romanian.

            So the Caterham owned minibuses were sold off which travelled from the UK to Europe and did the shuttling around of the 60 odd race team people, and were replaced by hire vehicles.

            Cash IN – Cash goes where?

            Asset stripping began a long time ago….

  9. “a 52-year-old former Steau Bucharest footballer who played for Romania’s best team for two seasons. His career high was in a European Cup (Now the Champions League) semi-final when he replaced team mate Georghe Popescu for the final 14 minutes of the game.”

    Typo, Judge: it’s “Steaua Bucharest” (notice the ‘a’)

    Also, he did NOT replace Popescu in the Benfica game. Instead, “In 1988 Cojocar replaced Dan Petrescu at the 76th minute in the semi-final with
    Benfica”.
    http://www.prosport.ro/sport-life/special/furt-identitate-stiam-murit-scenariu-incredibil-telenovela-plecat-anglia-munceasca-intr-depozit-ajuns-director-formula-1-fostul-stelist-cojocar-personaj-cheie-scandalul-anului-f1-13449477

    I tracked down the match:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987–88_European_Cup#First_leg_4

    http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=1987/matches/round=24/match=4084/postmatch/lineups/index.html

    UEFA helpfully recorded him as “Constantin Ioan”.

      • “a 52-year-old former Steaua Bucharest footballer who played for Romania’s best team for two seasons”

        I would only add that it’s not clear that he played for two seasons. More like one, I think, although this would need additional confirmation… In the Prosport interview he states that he played one year.

  10. “I have a high art, I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me.”

    The Samurai Jackal

    Well said, Samurai Jackal!!

    Eff Ecclestone and CVC!!

    We must ignore F1 so that it collapses upon itself and can be rebuilt (even if the corrupt and equally cynical FIA would still be involved).

    • Why thank you Joe. I started as a mere scribe for these OTD Lites under my pseudonym Carlo. Of course someone saw through that disguise and I had to adopt the Jackal. No sooner has that been established then I am offered the opportunity to recite Samurai prose.
      Where will this all end?

      In all seriousness, tomorrows is a belter 🙂 in my humble inebriated opinion..

  11. With reference Cojocaru’s job as an F1 sanitation engineer:

    It would seem Caterham were effectively taken to the cleaners 🙂

  12. Regarding Indy 2005, I vividly remember that Michelin wanted to bring a different kind of tyre which would have resisted the banking area but for some reason they were not allowed to bring those tyres by FIA or something. Any references on that story ?

    • From what I remember, this was the fifth running at Indianapolis – having started in 2000. Michelin re-entered F1 back in 2001 so knew the circuit characteristics but if memory serves, Indianapolis had resurfaced the oval the previous year and Bridgestone had information due to one of their brands running in Indycars. They changed the tyre sculpture accordingly whereas Michelin did not know.

      • Bridgestone was involved in Indycars through their brand Firestone, who, if memory serves me right, were sole supplier of Tony George’s pirate series at the time.

  13. Not included in your DN&C Judge but thought I’d toss it in…..
    Over on another planet a commentator on things IndyCar is getting a sweat up about the Indy 2015 season kicking off in Dubai February next, suggests they’re getting too close to the ISIS sandpit.

    The F1 merry-go-round will be playing in a neighbouring sandpit a whole lot sooner then next February! Eeekkkk.

    • Bernie would hold the “Sulfur Industries Underworld Grand Prix” if they got Tilke or Beelzebub to build a track and pay 500 gazillion hosting fee.

    • …. Yes well… if the IS (or ISIS) crew decide that Ebola suicide terrorism is the next weapon of choice against the West… it will be more than just F1 quaking in their boots and running from the near proximity.

      Oh and there’s another topic the mainstream media have been ‘told’ to avoid.

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