#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 5th December 2014

DN&C_header_EXPRESS_4

This page will be updated throughout the day.

Please if you are on Twitter press the tweet button below. If you re-write and tweet individual story headlines don’t forget to include #F1.

You may not realise how hugely important this is and has helped grow our community significantly

Previously on The Judge 13:

The #F1 Bar Exam: 04th December 2014

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: Well that solved entirely nothing…


OTD Lite 1975 – Funeral for F1 legend

More changes within top level at Ferrari

Force India to use Toyota windtunnel for 2015

The fake race gains credibility – or not

McLaren confirm

Lewis being British


OTD Lite 1975 – Funeral for F1 legend

On this day thirty nine years ago, over 2,000 people attended the service to celebrate the life of Graham Hill who had been killed just a week before. Outside St. Albans Abbey another 2,000 gathered to pay their respects as the double World Champion was laid to rest.

StAlbansCathedral-PS02

He and five other members of the Hill racing team had been killed in an aircraft crash as they returned from testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in heavy fog. Hill, who was piloting the aircraft, mistook the lights of the A1 trunk road for the landing lights at the nearby Elstree airfield and they perished.

From his debut in 1958 to his retirement in 1975, Hill won the title twice, fourteen Grand Prix victories which included five at Monaco and also claimed victory at Le Mans and at the Indianapolis 500. A popular man with both fans and fellow drivers, he defined an era that will never be seen again.

The Mourning Jackal

Top

More changes within top level at Ferrari

Sources from Italy are suggesting that Ferrari’s lead designer – Nikolas Tombazis – may be frozen out from his position and be replaced by his second-in-command Simone Resta.

Tombazis rejoined Ferrari back in 2006 and has overseen the design of their cars since Aldo Costa was dismissed in 2011; after another conservative design failed to challenge for outright honours.

As the team has been systematically dismantled this year, only the position of the Greek designer has remained relatively stable and this is in part to the contract he signed when he returned to the Italian giants. It would prove very complicated to dismiss him – hence the freeze of his ‘talents’.

With Stefano Domenicali being the first victim of the senior staff cull, followed by engine designer Luca Marmorini – the Gestione Sportiva continued blood letting as they ruthlessly dismissed  Luca de Montezemolo and later Marco Mattiacci.

James Allison and Pat Fry for now are considered untouchable within the infrastructure and although Allison and Nikolas know each other from their time together in Maranello back in the late 90’s – it appears that senior management within the team want to promote Resta to chief designer.

Resta graduated from the University of Bologna and worked at Minardi under Gabriele Tardozi before joining Ferrari in 2001 and working his way up through the ranks. Resta has also been involved in the detail design of the new 666 chassis and it appears that the first chassis has already been manufactured.

With Ferrari having bolstered their staff continually over the preceding months, recent additions to the team include David Greenwood (Marussia), Riccardo Adami (Toro Rosso), simulation expert Ben Ferrey (Red Bull) and James Tortora (Mclaren).

One fascinating rumour that is being touted in Italy is the possibility that Red Bull chief designer, Rob Marshall, may possibly be Maranello bound. Dietrich Mateschitz, by all accounts was not happy that Red Bull were found guilty in Abu Dhabi and has visited the factory for answers.

Could it be that Sebastian Vettel is following his heroes example of building his own team within Ferrari?

Top

Force India to use Toyota windtunnel for 2015

Toyota spent a staggering amount of money as they chased Formula One glory back in the early years of the 21st century. Their facilities in Cologne were considered equal to any other racing department and even now some five years after their withdrawal from the sport – their facilities are still in demand by a number of F1 teams.

Force India has nominated the German facility as their windtunnel for the coming season following a rule change for 2015 that a team can only make use of one wind-tunnel.

Millionaire owner Vijay Mallya, in rather predictable fashion stated. “The decision to use Toyota’s facility in Cologne is indicative of our ambitions to continue as a competitive force in Formula 1. It’s one of the most significant decisions in our history and gives us access to what is regarded as one of the finest windtunnels in the world.”

Of course, when Ferrari were having problems with their own tunnel in Italy, they made use of the German facilities. In 2013 Mclaren also followed suit.

With the recent performances of these two racing giants proving so poor – Mclaren securing just two podiums in the last two years and Ferrari being carried by a brilliant Spaniard for even longer – maybe it’s wise for any Force India fans to cross their fingers now.

Top

The fake race gains credibility – or not

Despite the fact that a May date for a 2015 race in South Korea breaches the principle of the latest FIA recommendations over rainy seasons to themselves, the fantasy of a return to Mokpo was clearly exposed yesterday.

The Shanghai Daily reports an official from the race organising committee stating, “We were given no prior notice. The FIA just announced it, although we’ve already conveyed our position about the difficulties of hosting a race next year.”

Since its inception, the Korean GP has lost almost $200m and the same unidentified official claimed the promoters were almost “broke” due to the fact that there is little hope of further financial support coming from the South Jelloa provincial government. “We also have to consider the negative views many people in the province have over the cost of the event,” he added.

Bernie ‘the now forgetful’ Ecclestone also stated in 2013, “I don’t want to go back there” and the announcement from the FIA was apparently a complete surprise as the circuit official from Yeongyam revealed, “We were given no prior notice. The FIA just announced it, although we’ve already conveyed our position about the difficulties of hosting a race next year”.

Negotiations have been held on revising the contract in an attempt to reduce the financial burden, but they have been unsuccessful so far,” the official added.

The French news agency, AFP reports that in fact the South Korean GP may in fact be held on a street circuit in Soul.

So, returning from Fantasy-landia.

The Korean GP is scheduled 7 days prior to the race in Barcelona, it is now to be held in a month with 3 times more average rainfall than its original calendar position, it clashes with the 6 hour race of Spa to which Nico Hulkneberg is committed and now the Koreans appear to know little – or nothing about it.

But hey… this is 21st century Formula One.

Top

McLaren confirm

untitled

 

Today, McLaren state they will not be announcing their 2015 driver line up before next week

So, nothing confirmed again?

Maybe this isn’t the case.

It’s not rocket science to decide on who is the best driver line-up based upon a trade-off between driving ability and the cash provided by a drivers’ financial backers.

Despite the reports that Big Ron has been chasing around Denmark to secure sponsors, these calculations will have been largely done and dusted for quite some time.

McLaren have ‘confirmed’ that there is a huge power struggle going on inside the team, and that the failure to agree and announce a driver line-up for next season reflects this most evidently.

The question is – whether a third head is about to roll from the F1 line of long standing servants. LdM is no more – Ecclestone is down and nearly out – and is Big Ron is fighting for his life?

Top

Lewis being British

Over the past week there have been two articles written about Lewis and his patriotic claims to be British. The first questioned his right to this claim, because Hamilton has chosen to become a ‘tax fugitive’ and live in Monaco.

Oliver Brown, who had written a congratulatory piece on Hamilton winning his second world title decided he should reflect in a second article the views of a substantive and vocal number of Brits who had responded to his ‘Well done Lewis piece’.

He concluded. “Hamilton’s flag-waving is all very well, but back in his Riviera apartment he ought to reflect that patriotism in its truest form is a two-way street”.

Brown’s article is here

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/lewishamilton/11256242/Lewis-Hamilton-may-be-Britains-first-multiple-F1-champion-for-41-years-but-his-success-taxes-British-fans.html

Mark Gallagher, a former F1 correspondent, marketing manager for Jordan and Red Bull and then business unit manager for Cosworth responded.

He concluded, “People ought to take in a more complete picture of what Hamilton’s achievement has done for a country whose passport – and flag – he carries with pride”.

Gallagher’s article is here

http://www.mark-gallagher.com/news/hamilton-deserves-better-than-exile-over-his-tax-status

So what do you the TJ13 readers think? Please avoid personal attacks on other commentators – these will not be tolerated and moderated fully.

Top

Advertisements

80 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Friday 5th December 2014

  1. OTD Lite 1975 – Funeral for F1 legend

    “he defined an era that will never be seen again.”

    What are you pointing at specifically? Because with Hulkenberg joining Porsche and possibly Alonso coming along aswell, a part of that era might return (being able to enjoy F1 drivers in other branches like Le Mans or the Indy 500).

  2. Re-force India wind tunnel
    As soon as I saw this head line I immediately thought of the correlation issues Fezza and Macca had using that same facility. Who knows, maybe force India with their limited resources will be on the money with correlation as they simply can’t afford big mistakes and are less whimsical with what they want to achieve with their car and due to limited resources they tend to waist far far less by checking and re-checking their progress to ensure that costly mistakes can’t happen.

  3. Judge,

    I just wonder having read the news regarding Redbull’s technology support for the America’s cup. The report mentioned about the simulation technologies and mathematical models of Redbull being the best available. In such a short time period (10 years) how Redbull became such a technological powerhouse beating the fabled Maranello and MTC. If money is the only reason, then Ferrari and Mclaren have it. What else could be the reason behind such a huge success in such a short time? Request yourself or @fat hippo to provide insights into this if possible.

    • Red Bull Technology (the company that builds the F1 cars) has been around much longer than the F1 team. People often dismiss most of what RB does as a pure marketing exercise, but RB have worked since the 90s on the premise that you have to do more than just slap your logo on it. Take Baumgartner’s stratosphere jump for instance. RB did not only nail their logos to the balloon. They developed the capsule from which Baumgartner jumped.

      • If you look into Red Bull beyond the marketing hype you see a very disciplined group of people working hard on various projects, F1 is just one of them. It’s always worth remembering that Newey works for Red Bull Technology rather than the racing team. If he doesn’t renew his contract there after he’s finished with the America’s cup stuff, you know he’s either retired or he’s on the move in F1. Newey sounds a bit burned out after the last few seasons of intense competition. He seems to fall out of love with F1, does something else and is then tempted back. Remains to be seen if that happens this time.

        Also I suspect Red Bull will probably see more people following Vettel to Ferrari. Brain drain time in other words.

  4. It’s that very same tax system why 2 time triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt refuses to participate in any further athletic meets in the UK.

    Usain Bolt is not a British citizen, but under their rules, if he gets paid to compete in the UK, they will be entitled to also tax his entire worldwide earnings.

    Personally, the article is very insulting and I’ve seen many of its kind written elsewhere and its a cheap shot.

    • .. Question Fortis or for anyone… seeing as the debate is slow..

      Does someone having been brought up at the expense of the UK tax payers – eg schooling, healthcare, public transport, roads etc – not have an obligation when they are in the fortunate position to be required to pay tax – to continue the circle for the kids today?

      • There are plenty of other things you can do to help the kids of today in the country without paying tax – which could probably be of more help than paying tax could do anyway. God knows where the tax is going nowadays – roads are in a state, uni fee’s higher than ever, healthcare in crisis etc.

        It’d be of more use pulling out of the blo*dy European Union which would save us 50 million a DAY, and stopping foreign aid – which ends up in the pockets of the rich anyway. That turned into a bit of a political rant but you get the point.

        • Funnily enough, if there wasn’t such advantageous rules on pensions being paid to OAPs living abroad, there wouldn’t be expats living all over the world (mostly in Spain I imagine).

          Thus, that money would still be spent in old blighty. Although, immigration scaremongering would then be shoved down our throats even more than it currently is…

          It’s a global world we now live in; clamping down on corporate tax avoidance is a bigger priority IMO. Hence the 25% announced in the Autumn Statement.

          First on the agenda – close the double Irish and clamp down on Tax Havens in the EU.. well, that’s if JC Juncker isn’t bought and paid for by them..

        • …Ahh… There’s lots anyone can do – should we then say – we can all opt out of contributing to school’s, roads, healthcare… because what we decide is important is what we shall contribute to…. Like it – I disagree with many government spending policies – whichever government is elected.

          • I’m guessing the USA is a bit more down that road, with both of their parties to the right of our main parties. The subsequent corruption of money and power has thus allowed the mega-rich there to pay less tax %-wise than pretty much everyone else (well, even more so than here perhaps).

      • Yes they do and I’d assume that he has put back into the tax system. But to single out an individual to me is crass and dispicable. That shouldn’t takeaway from his or hers accomplishments or deem them not to be British.

        Lewis is not the first to do this as the 2nd article highlighted, this should go for everyone. There are a lot of successful ex-pats scattered all over the world that doesn’t pay into the tax system.

        If we’re to blame anyone, then it’s the government for making it so easy to avoid paying back into the coffers. Look at Starbucks for example, recently there was a story in the press that stated, they won’t be paying any tax in the UK until 2017, because they’ll continue to losses until then. What!!!! Exactly who are they kidding? There are too many loopholes in the system and those with wealth, had the resources to get those in the know, help them avoid said taxes.

        Look Bernie earlier this year, owed £1b in taxes, but only paid £10m. But if the ordinary shop owners owes £1000, he’ll have to pay every single penny of it.

        Tax avoidance is not new and its a general accepted practice and will continue to happen even after Lewis. The timing of the article was poor and disrespectful.

        • …maybe post the biggest global financial crisis ever… people are seeing things differently… Interesting that Google and Starbucks – faceless corporations – are lambasted for tax avoidance – avoiding the intention of the society in which they operate and claim to be part of – but our favourite movie stars and sports people are exempt from criticism?

          • Presumably the scale of the numbers involved and the mechanism by which those “faceless corporations” have made their profits mean that people are more ‘concerned’ about them?

            A film star/sportsperson doing their job but then using legal options to avoid paying tax could be and is viewed as different to a “faceless corporation” using dubious business tactics and employing what many consider to be unscrupulous practises globally to make as much profit as possible, but then write it off to a completely different country so as to not pay tax where the money was in fact made. That difference in circumstances means that someone comparing the two would probably be likely to be more empathetic with the lone individual who earns a living through their job (as they’re in a similar position to them, albeit with different results) rather than the faceless corporation.

      • Well Judge, is he the only one? Think not! Let’s start with all the other royal, rich, businessmen, politicians, sportsmen and eventually we’ll get to Lewis. In my opinion, this is just a cheap article to get a shot at Lewis, simple as that.

        And don’t get me wrong, I agree with what you say and I’m all for ‘tax the rich’. But who can say what will contribute more in years to come. His 45% tax money (that I’ll have no idea where it’ll go!) or spending some of that money in charities and poor areas that he seems to be interested in.

        And something last “…brought up at the expense of the UK tax payers”. True, but didn’t his dad had to have to 2 jobs? Didn’t that kid sacrifice his childhood to succeed? Is that any different to any UK kid going off to live and work in the US, Germany, Australia etc? Think not! Just because HE made it?

        • …No he is not the only one McLaren78 – and the original article spends more time discussing others who do the same as Lewis, so why not debate the principle behind the article – and we should try to do so with an open mind…

          • fortis was recently told that this was not a political blog when he tried to talk about the issue of race in relation to hamilton. how come we are encouraged to discuss tax evasion, the corruption of latin american governments sponsoring drivers, whether or not there should be races in russia and bharain given the nature of their governments, but when the issue of race is touched upon, all of a sudden the discussion gets moderated because this is not a political blog?

            as far as lewis and taxes go, yes it would be recommendable if he payed his taxes in the uk. however, it’s astonishing that this becomes an issue with hamilton and not others. vettel fled to switzerland, schumi did too, jenson button and half of formula 1 are living in monaco just like lewis. so why single out hamilton? and didn’t he also say that part of the reason he moved out of the uk was because of his celebrity? in monaco he is just one of many milionaires and celebrities, while it is very difficult for him to live in peace in the uk?

          • To answer your question – the ban on racial debate has been the result of people going off on Twatter “promoting” our site as inherently racist, which is not only untrue, it is also a case of slander. There have been commenters in the past, who came here blackmailing everyone: “Either you post more favorably about Lewis or you are racist” and backed these threats up with according messages in social media. Since there is no way to defend ourselves against such unfounded allegations, we had to ban the topic alltogether as a few individuals threatened to wreck the site’s image over their blind fanboyism.

          • … I think it was a response to what was perceived as Lewis/certain publications being uber nationalistic – maybe Vettel was less so…

            Anyway, the point of the debate I made clear from the outset, was not to be just Lewis centric – but deal with the issue of people becoming tax fugitives…

          • “There have been commenters in the past, who came here blackmailing everyone: “Either you post more favorably about Lewis or you are racist” and backed these threats up with according messages in social media.”

            weird, i check this blog almost daily, yet i never saw a post like that.

          • That’s because we removed them. Unfortunately we couldn’t remove the twitter messages. The site has suffered from such antics in the past.

        • One can’t rely on the very wealthy in our society to redistribute their wealth through philanthropic acts alone, and how do they decide where that money should go?
          There already exists a system for taking a slice of revenues earned and using it to keep the mechanics of civilised society running smoothly…it’s called paying your taxes.
          I don’t understand the logic in defending the most privileged in society.

        • @McLaren78: “spending some of that money in charities and poor areas that he seems to be interested in.”
          As far as I’m aware, one can offset one’s tax bill against any charitable donations/Trusts etc.

          • Yea you can in the UK, but it can only be a certain percentage of ones yearly salary, if I remember correctly, I think it’s 1/3rd

          • Isn’t Lewis attached to Unicef? I seem to remember visits and pictures.. that sounds like the place to start!

      • “when they are in the fortunate position to be required to pay tax”
        Agreed. To my mind, moving to a tax haven to avoid paying tax in your native country – after having reaped the benefits of ones compatriots’ (most of whom will never be paid enough to have to consider such a move) tax dollars – is somewhat in the same vein as extraordinary rendition, i.e. ‘we don’t torture people in this country…we just ship them to somewhere that we can’.
        [i know that looks like an extreme comparison, but I hope my meaning is clear].

      • I’m sorry Judge, but that does not make sense. For instance, there are plenty of British expats who are working and living abroad, not paying into the British tax system. Surely nobody would call it their obligation to do so.

        Many countries favour people leaving and working abroad for sometime, seeing the tax income loss as an investment into that subset of expats who at a later age return and bring with them a vast amount of experience. The risk of certain individuals not returning is included in that calculation.

        • …to which I should add that I appreciate the fact that you’re probably taking up that position to get the discussion going. It’s just that I do not think there should be much of a discussion 🙂

      • In answer to the question “Is Lewis avoiding paying UK tax by his choice of residence?” the answer is clearly “yes”.

        But as the question is “does he have an obligation to pay back in UK tax for his upbringing” the answer, in my opinion, is “no”.

        There are many ways that many of us choose not to “pay back” – some by working in other countries, some by using legal tax-reduction means, some by choosing not to work and so on. All of that, of course, is a “whataboutery” argument – what about this, what about that, etc. But I think it’s reasonable to use it to balance criticism of Lewis (or others). I am proudly British (and, more recently, Canadian) and was brought up there, but I live and work in Canada and pay (lower) local taxes here – and I don’t feel obligated to pay additional taxes to the UK. Do others think that I should? Maybe…!

        The US has a different approach; all US citizens must file a tax return in the US no matter where they live (or earn money) and, if appropriate, pay US taxes. I understand that Mayor Boris doesn’t agree… I believe that he is wrong – he’s actually breaking the rules.

        But if you play by the rules, what’s the problem? If people don’t like it, change the rules. But don’t criticise anyone for following the rules or say that they have an “obligation” to do things the rules don’t ask them to. That seems perverse.

        Would we expect Mercedes to bolt an extra 100kg to their car because they have a “obligation” to make the racing closer (the racing that they have themselves benefitted from)?

      • Excellent question and there seems to be a double standard in this topic. If a businessman, banker or investor does this and sets up a domicile in tax heaven to avoid taxes in his home country, then 99.9% of people call them cheaters. If it’s a sportsman, including racing drivers, suddenly they get much more understanding from the crowd.

        Personally I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s competition of wealthy or good taxpayers many countries participate. Countries set criteria to allow immigrants and define tax rates for residents, if UK is not attractive to live in it’s the governments fault. I’m sure Lewis would be welcomed resident to any country in the world. It’s a personal choice, it might though impact how patriotic they are seen.

        • It’s not aleays a question of tax evasion. Schumacher for instance went to live in Switzerland mainly for the fact that he could live there in peace, rather than having to live in a fortress to keep the media out. I tend to think that ‘anonymity’ plays a major role, too. If you earn a lot of money and go to live in Monaco, you are one rich bloke among many, nobody pays attention to you. That would certainly be different if you were to live, lets say, in Stevenage. There have been several high-profile kidnappings and blackmail crimes against rich folk in Germany. That alone has helped driving a lot of well-earning people out of the country.

  5. McLaren wise ? You’d think they’d want the driver line up decided so they can get on with the preparation for the challenges of the Honda Power Unit and the season ahead. Instead of bickering in the boardroom, while Big Ron is desperately trying to raise the money to buy the shares to take full control of the group.

    Ah well I guess barring a miracle, 2015 will be another McLaren season to forget, other than when Alonso drags the woking donkey to decent finishes.

    • …and the exact reason Alonso is also thinking about WEC at the same time. He’ll have more success there.

      • Alonso will probably move to WEC when he feels he can’t fight for a 3rd drivers title.

        Oh and I believe Eric will be on the Askcrofty show on Skysports F1 tonight. Hope he’s got some new shoes, he’ll be spinning so fast he’ll fill the studio with smoke.

  6. You’d have to be UTTERLY DELUDED or on meth to have no issue in willingly handing over 45%, yes 45%, of your hard earned cash to the government in the name of tax which is effectively theft. A non story being blown way out of proportion by those who have a hidden agenda. That’s the real British media at work for you

    • So what’s a fair amount? What if no one paid any taxes? Should Hamilton voluntarily pay, say, 25% or should he be a parasite with a plane? It’s great that the wealthy can avoid taxes; that we should all be so fortunate.

          • So they’re paying taxes which will still end up back in their pockets at some point in time.

          • …..@Fort I think you should know your facts before making sweeping uncorroborated statements.

            Ever heard of the “Quit Rents” ceremonies each year?

            Anyway – diversionary tactics are being deployed –

            All we have so far is – Lewis, Coulthard, Schumacher, Mansell, Jenson et al are justified living in tax havens because those with greater means can do what ordinary people are unable to do.

          • No I’m not familiar with it, but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ll look it up.

            But in my reply to your original question (which is still in mod), I did agree that yes he should put back into the system. But he along with many others, are allowed to get away with it because the system allows them to do so.

          • Judge.

            …..I live in India and i dont know the taxation system in the UK. However i suppose there would be many tax planning options that would be available. Why dont they exercise that. Even footballers earn such high money. Why can’t f1 drivers consult those consultants for tax saving options.

          • …They can and do. that said some drivers choose to live in the UK, Spain and a host of other non-tax haven countries – But for those who do otherwise, why not just be honest and say – I disagree with the level of tax being requested from people in my situation – so I’m off somewhere else?

            Or collect the money from Google first and then I’ll pay up too

          • My wife and I, had a debate about this very same topic and the article in The Telegraph.

            What she put it down to, is morals. Morally the right thing to do, is to pay your share of taxes, because prior to attaining your wealth, you at some point benefitted from something that’s funded by taxes. But here’s where the problem lies in my view, When it comes to making or retaining ones wealth, morality disappears for some people.

          • most honest Fortis – and some might say that tax fugitives claiming to be patriotic to the country they have fled may be considered a tad disingenuous.

            We may support Lee Westwood and Rory Mcilroy on the field of competition – but we don’t have to approve of their every move.

    • Maybe as part of being a sports personality, instead of being forced to pay taxes, when they live in a place that doesn’t require them to, a percentage of their wages should go to charity. That would stop a bit of the moaning about celebrities not paying tax.

      • … A really good idea. But aren’t tax fugitives at odds with their home countries government’s policies on how communities should be run. Maybe it would be okay if they supported a particular colour of government, but they don’t even move in and out of the country as the colour of the administration changes – because they all charge taxes.

        • Hamilton Tax exile….

          Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher(choke splutter) were in agreement that dual nationality should be banned on a global basis. They also wanted a persons tax status to be decided by their nationality. This idea was also taken up by George Bush jnr. It seems to have faded in the last few years, even though there seemed to be wide approval.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_citizenship

    • Hamilton is worth about $200 million. He could certainly have afforded to pay his taxes in England. I imagine the rest of the citizens of England pay with their hard earned cash.

  7. Re: The fake race gains credibility – or not

    The first time I read about Korea returning the first thing I thought was “Oh Bernie doesn’t want F1 drivers driving competing in other series and since he can’t forbid the LeMans race let’s bully the drivers who are thinking about entering Le Mans in not doing it.”. I hope I’m wrong but with all the crazy things the poisonous dwarf has done in the past I wouldn’t be surprised if it really was the reason behind putting Korea back on the calendar on that specific date. I can imagine there was a talk like this “So if we announce a 21st race the rules will allow the teams to use 5 engines instead of 4… sure why don’t we do that because we don’t want to see a lot of engine penalties at the end of the season since it could affect the championship. While we’re at let’s plan it on the same day as the Belgian WEC race. That way all those so called F1 stars that want to go to Le Mans will have no time to prepare, that will teach them not to turn their attention away from F1 while they still got a seat. WEC is already too popular and we can’t let it become any more popular so this will probably also scare away Alonso from going to LeMans.”

    • Lets see if the FIA can have a hand in rescinding the 5th engine.. and I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time that Bernie has tried to sabotage the WEC!

      • At first I thought I was becoming too cynical when it comes to the decisions Bernie makes but the more I think about it the more I’m starting to believe my rant is close to the truth. Let’s just hope it isn’t as close to the truth as I’m starting to believe because having Bernie ruining the F1 championship is already one championship too many and it would be terrible if he really has sets his sights on hurting the WEC.

        • To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bernie aimed to wreck it in the early 90s too, with his suggested rule change to the FIA to equalise the engines with F1’s 3 litre V10s…..

  8. Re: Lewis and his lack of tax.

    I personally can’t be angry at those who avoid paying tax. I, like most other people I imagine, would get involved in one of the many loopholes the Government leave open for their rich pals to exploit given half a chance. The fact is the majority of us just can’t afford the price of employing a fancy accountant to sort all of this out for us. The people who should be getting hounded for tax being avoided are the Government, but the papers people read, and get all their opinions from, teach us to hate each other and not the ones in power setting these laws.

    With regards to Lewis, I don’t think it diminishes his patriotism. Just because he lives in a nicer part of the world where tax is invisible shouldn’t mean he therefore can’t still feel proud of representing his country or his roots. Since when did money become so important that it now affects the achievements of others. Yet more doom mongering from the press that the public are more than happy to lap up. I wake up every morning wondering who’s going to be the fashionable person to hate today then.
    Just hate and anger everywhere, let’s all calm down and congratulate a man on achieving something most of us can only dream of. Not just pick holes in said achievement because we’re annoyed about a piece of paper with a face on it.

    Here’s a question for all you good folks. What exactly constitute Britishness then? All I can think of is loving a good moan, queuing, and having a moan about those who don’t how to queue!!

  9. It’s a global world these days – in fact since Gallileo – so it’s easy to live where you want.

    But it depends on your life. I can imagine ten countries where I would rather live for financial or climatic reasons than in the Netherlands. But family and friends keep me here.

    If you work and live all over the world, and your bed is where your hat is, of course you go to a place that doesn’t swallow up ridiculous amounts of taxes in order to feed the local and European bureaucrasies.

    • …Isn’t it about motive and honesty? Even Gallagher says Hamilton should just have said he moved to Switzerland for the tax breaks – ALL those choosing to live in tax havens for exactly the reason to avoid tax and say otherwise are lying and deceitful – great character traits.

      • Did Lewis not say that at the time (late 2007) that he made the move? I thought he did and that’s when the original ‘tax avoider’ articles started.

        • He did, but his original mistake was saying, he made the move to avoid all the publicity. He could’ve moved away without even letting anyone know about, Jenson did.

      • I don’t blame someone who’s just growing up for a stupid lie from 7 years ago.
        However you could say that it’s rich to live in Monaco and criticize someone who grew up there instead of Stevenedge (or whatever his honetown was called).

        But that’s all part of who he is and to me as an outsider all his flaws don’t make him less British or a lesser champion.

  10. The whole “Lewis tax” thing just seems like an easy way to generate eye-grabbing headlines. When corporate tax was high on the agenda there were stories about it that riled people, and newspapers are savvy enough to know how to slightly shift the focus to make it more topical again. A quick glance at most headlines would also highlight that patriotism and the concept of the United Kingdom/Great Britain are emotive issues again, so it’s a two-for-one as far as they’re concerned.

    There are more reasons than just tax that I can see making Monaco a nice place to live (and more convenient for someone spending much of their time travelling around Europe), in much the same way that although I would say I was proud of where I come from I’m still tempted to look into moving abroad if the Conservatives are in power after the next election because I don’t want to have to watch them further dismantle the country for the benefit of themselves and their friends (see wonderful people like Stephen Dorrell for further details…). I loved growing up in Mid Wales, and I’ve enjoyed living in many places around England and Wales since then, and consequently I still have strong feelings for this place. I would still therefore say I was from this country/group of countries even though the changing political landscape means that I’m not sure I fully want to be a part of it any longer.

    The long-winded point I’m trying to make there is that there are many people who have chosen to move away from the UK and consequently not pay tax to HMRC who would still say they were British/English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/Irish/Whatever-ish. As someone mentioned before, what about all the large ex-pat communities of Brits in sunnier climes abroad? Is there going to be a witch-hunt against those warm-weather seekers too for choosing to forego grey skies and low temperatures (and tax) because they’re financially able to, yet still might say that they were British and proud to be so?

  11. Some people need to get off their high horses – If you were honestly earning a sum of money that meant you get taxed 45% and have the opportunity to avoid paying that or reduce that percentage, then you’re going to damn well do that.

    Corporations avoiding paying tax and not being chased for it, whilst joe public being threatened whenever they don’t pay the required amount, is a different matter altogether.

  12. I haven’t seen any of the pro tax haven posters explain how roads would be built, schools funded, health care paid for all etc. when they figure out how everyone can dodge the taxman.

Leave a Reply