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Previously on TheJudge13:
The #TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: “The Counselling HAS Helped”
OTD Lite 1957 – Argentina celebrates as Fangio wins at home
On this day, almost sixty years ago, one of the greatest artisans of Formula One opened his season with victory in his home race. The four time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio had left the Ferrari squad – that he had won the previous years campaign with – and joined the Maserati team.
The iconic 250F, recognised as one the most beautiful machines ever to be entered in competition would carry the Argentinian to his fifth and final world title. This would remain a record until Michael Schumacher surpassed it in 2003.
Fangio would go on to claim a further three victories that season including what is rated as one the greatest ever races – the 1957 German Grand Prix. He retired following the 1958 French GP when he placed fourth but with his legend secured.
The Grumpy Jackal
Hamilton offered a paycut for his services
Sources from Italy are reporting that Stuttgart is playing hardball in their contract renewal negotiations with 2014 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
With his current contract due to expire at the end of this year, and with Mercedes in the comfortable position of having a dominant car they are apparently refusing to accede to Hammy’s cash demands and have offered a three year contract with remuneration of ‘just’ 20 million Euro a year.
Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are handling the negotiations with the British World Champion which sheds some light on Wolff’s recent comments about Fernando Alonso being a possible candidate for the second Mercedes seat in 2016.
Of course with the Spaniard and Sebastien Vettel both earning in the region of 30 million annually – the offer to Lewis appears on the low side, but the Brackley team have added a performance related clause to the negotiations whereby every race victory will earn Lewis an extra million and he would receive an additional 5 million for winning a third title.
In a Silver Arrows as dominant as the 2014 machine, this should be a simple decision. But with the FIA backtracking on engine freeze rules and a number of technicians leaving the German team – the chances of a similar level of domination will evaporate as surely as any dominant period has inevitably done so in F1 history.
Mallya under severe restrictions of travel
Further to TJ13 reporting on Sunday that the Indian authorities had placed travel restrictions on the ex-billionaire Vijay Mallya – a metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai has decided that the Force India owner can leave India providing he gives the authorities a detailed itinerary of his travel at least 48 hours in advance. In addition to this stipulation is Mallya will have to produce two people as references whenever he has to go out of the country.
Whilst this is not welcome news to the magnate whose empire is crumbling – of possibly more concern to the employees of the team and F1 in general is that for the first time, the salaries of the employees were not paid on time – they were received early this month as opposed to December. The significance of this being that Mallya was always insistent that payment of the salaries was punctual.
The whole of the Force India team is hoping this is merely a temporary problem. Yet with Mallya’s Kingfisher Airline having lost its operator permit in December 2014 and with the AAI – the Airport Authorities of India – filing a civil suit in the Bombay High Court – the omens do not appear favourable for the Silverstone based team.
Mclaren deny running before launch
Mclaren has confirmed that the new MP4/30 will not be run on any ‘filming’ days before it’s actual launch on 30th January and that the first time it turns a wheel in anger will be when it comes out of the garages in Jerez on 4th February.
This denial follows a report that appeared in the Spanish daily – El Mundo Deportivo – which claimed the Woking team “a couple of days before the launch the machine will run at Silverstone for a shakedown and filming day. It is hoped that the software problems highlighted in the post season test in Abu Dhabi have been resolved.”
The newspaper continued “that the British team is unlikely to have the support of a title sponsor for a second consecutive year after talks with Spanish telecoms giant, Movistar, broke down.
Marchionne affirms Ferrari’s future
Sergio Marchionne held a press conference for the forthcoming Detroit Motor Show recently where he spoke briefly abut the Ferrari challenge he presides over. He said he will go to a few of the races and give his backing to the new team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene.
His message for the immediate future for the Red army was anything but hopeful: “It will be a difficult year as we were heading backwards” before adding that he had no intention of rekindling the war of words which the clearly angry Luca di Monetezemolo used in a recent press conference last month.
“Ultimately the team is prepared to work hard to get back on top with Vettel and Raikkonen ready to challenge the competition. The important thing now is to engage, keep their heads down and work. You cannot go into war with a slingshot. The thing I can guarantee is that in Ferrari we have a thousand people ready to win – everyone in Ferrari wants to win.”
As a businessman Sergio has few equals – having transformed the monolithic Fiat and Chyrsler corporations in record time and he provided an answer to the doubters who felt he was about to compromise Ferrari’s exclusivity in exchange for the lure of the dollar.
“The goal is to keep production under constant demand because the wort thing that can happen to Ferrari is to over-produce. It’s a brand that’s different to all the others and is something we imposed strategically back in 2007 and this policy will never be changed. We have the technical capacity to produce 10,000 cars a year but I think that this has been exaggerated by the press.”
“As Enzo Ferrari once said, we sell one less car than the market wants.”