Conman jailed pretending to be Hamilton’s boss | DN&C 26/02/16

Conman who pretended to be Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes boss jailed

An unemployed conman who posed as the Mercedes Formula 1 team’s chief operations officer to dupe hotel staff and trick other victims into attending “business” meetings in Germany has been jailed for two years.

Stuart Howatson even donned liveried clothing to adopt a glamorous and powerful false persona pretending to be World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s boss, and he ordered computer security systems worth up to 1.1 million US dollars – about £750,000.

He also enjoyed lavish hotel stays without paying in Bewdley and Kidderminster.

Coventry Crown Court heard that the 37-year-old committed 12 counts of fraud and a theft during 2014, netting him several free stays at hotels in north Worcestershire as well as £1,500 from a hotel guest who fell for a bogus job offer.

f1collage

Opening the facts of Howatson’s offending, prosecutor Sharon Bahia said: “The frauds relate to separate offences all stemming from one central falsehood – that being that the defendant was the chief operations officer of the Mercedes F1 racing team.”

False email accounts purporting to belong to his assistants at Northamptonshire-based Mercedes were set up to book hotel rooms in Bewdley and Kidderminster, Ms Bahia added.

Among four individuals who fell victim to the frauds was an engineer who flew to Cologne with his wife to meet Howatson, who had promised him a job with Mercedes and a company car.

Ms Bahia said of the victim: “He describes the defendant as being very knowledgeable about the workings of Mercedes-Benz.

“This defendant suggested to him that he should come to work for Mercedes-Benz as an operations director. He was offered Bupa health care and Rosetta Stone software in order to learn German.

“He states his disbelief at the lengths the defendant went to in order to con him into believing that he had genuinely been offered a lucrative position.”

Howatson’s lawyer, Nick Devine, told the court the frauds committed against software companies – relating to contracts worth 1.1 million US dollars, £224,000 and 23,904 euros – would not have benefited his client financially.

Mr Devine told Recorder Derek Sweeting QC: “Mr Howatson suffers from a variety of personality disorders that have manifested themselves quite clearly in his behaviour throughout this series of offences.

“The plain fact of the matter was that he was enjoying the fact that he was dealing with these big figures, and the fact he was pretending to be someone with the kind of authority to enter into such contracts.

“It was all about what he got out of the pretence of being somebody in a considerable position of authority in a glamorous line of business.”

Passing sentence, Recorder Sweeting told Howatson – who was jailed in 2010 after inventing an illustrious police career – that his jail term had been reduced by a third because of his guilty pleas.

“You carried off the deception with a great deal of persuasive skill,” he told Howatson, of Fisher Road, Bishops Itchington, Warwickshire.

“The victims have commented on the lengths you went to.

“The real purpose of the fraud was to make you feel better and more powerful, and to carry through the persona of being chief operations officer for the Mercedes-Benz racing team.”

birminghammail.co.uk

 

More news in the world of F1

McLaren should probably be embarrassed?

TJ13 - Fans of team Woking will probably need to keep chanting the officially endorsed mantra, #KeepFighting. Question is, how long will they expect to keep their fans when new teams such as HAAS seem to avoid these seemingly innocuous issues. 2 days now lost....

 

McLaren will not win races this year – de la Rosa

McLaren-Honda is right to be keeping its expectations for 2016 in check, according to the British team’s former long-time test driver Pedro de la Rosa. Now 45, de la Rosa has made an appearance in the Barcelona paddock, where expectations that his former colleague Fernando Alonso might have a winning car this year are high.

“We must be realistic,” he told Spain’s Radio Marca. “McLaren will not win races this season. They are much better, they have started well, but hopefully the improvement will be to get into Q3 and a podium,” de la Rosa added.

He said teams that want to take on the might of Mercedes need to work steadily towards that goal, as has another of his former employers, Ferrari. “I think this season we will see four cars winning races regularly,” predicted de la Rosa. “The two Ferraris and the two Mercedes. Both are well above the rest. What surprises me is that a big team like Ferrari has shown its weapons so soon with some great times, without hiding anything,” he added.

De la Rosa admitted that his F1 career is probably now over, but he is now exploring a potential move to Le Mans sports cars. “If I can, I’ll be on the track when I’m 120,” he smiled. “It’s similar with Fernando,” said de la Rosa. “Talking about his retirement is silly, to put it politely, because giving up is the last thing Fernando does.” (GMM)

f1today.net

 

Mercedes upgrades are ‘ahead of the game’

Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes has introduced upgrades to its 2016 which are “ahead of the game”.

Mercedes ran an innovative floor design on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, with further new parts introduced on Wednesday. The final day saw a new nose layout tested on the W07 and Rosberg – who completed 88 laps in the afternoon session – was left buoyed by the level Mercedes has set.

“It’s generally been positive and reliability is looking good,” Rosberg said. “It’s quick, the car is quick, and I love the way it looks. If you look at it there is some real innovation on there and it’s cool that you can really see the progress of how far we’ve come as a team.

“If you look five years ago we weren’t able to make such innovation but now there are so many different things that are ahead of the game. I’m not saying we are definitely the quickest but there is some good stuff on the car and that’s impressive.”

With Mercedes covering over 3000km across the first week, Rosberg said the mileage allowed the team to prove out its new parts.

“We found a few bits and pieces that broke on the car and we wouldn’t have found them with only 2000km. That has been useful because for sure that will help us at the beginning of the season. We’re confident that it’s been the right thing to do and has gone well. It’s stuff we’ve found during the day, not race stoppers but stuff you don’t really want to see happen.”

f1i.com

 

Pirelli to be told to make faster tyre as F1 seeks more excitement

Pirelli will be told to produce a tyre drivers can push to the limit in 2017 as Formula 1 bosses seek to make the sport more exciting. The current tyres prevent drivers from racing flat out because they degrade quickly and need to be nursed.

Cars will be as much as five seconds a lap faster in 2017. Pirelli has already indicated its willingness to produce a racier tyre next year but says it needs more track testing to fulfil its work.

It has been allocated 12 days for this purpose in 2016.

The BBC has learned that the FIA, which governs F1, will instruct Pirelli to design a tyre that will allow drivers to push hard for longer. Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera told teams and drivers at a meeting earlier this month, where dissatisfaction with the current tyres was discussed, that it could produce whatever the F1 wanted as long as it had clear commission. Pirelli has been given preliminary information about the performance the cars are expected to have in 2017 so it can start working on tyre design.

The FIA plans to outline how it wants tyres to perform and will provide all necessary data to the company by the end of March.

bbc.co.uk

 

Haryanto may need more money for full Manor seat

A cloud may already be hanging above Rio Haryanto’s new race seat at Manor. The 23-year-old rookie secured the drive when his sponsor, the Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina, lodged a EUR 5 million downpayment.

But it is rumoured Manor has been promised a further $15 million from the Haryanto camp across the remainder of 2016. “We’re going to see the first Melbourne race, and what’s going to happen in the first half of the season,” Haryanto’s manager Piers Hunnisett said last week.

Now, Indonesia’s national news agency Antara reports that the country’s national motor association (IMI DKI) will try to help the Haryanto camp to raise money. “IMI DKI is still designing a solidarity system such as through sale of merchandises of all championships held under IMI to support Rio Haryanto,” chairman Alfonsus Judiarto said on Wednesday.

“The government has tried to help using the national budget,” he added, “but the procedure for it is complicated and the idea has caused pros and cons. We hope private parties would contribute to help Rio.”

In a separate media report, manager Hunnisett was quoted as denying that Haryanto’s seat is in danger. Hunnisett did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (GMM)

f1today.net

Magnusssen shows us what we’ve been missing

Either that or just demonstrating how loose the back end of the new Renault is

 

David gives us his thoughts on endurance racing

 

Whoa!

Here’s what Scarbs thought on Twitter

 

On Google+ Follow TJ13

There’s a fantastic insightful F1 community on Google plus, join us and be part of the coming F1 season.

Screen shot 2016-02-25 at 15.02.32

Advertisements

14 responses to “Conman jailed pretending to be Hamilton’s boss | DN&C 26/02/16

  1. Just curious, why do you say someone pretending to be the Mercedes F1’s COO is pretending to be “Hamilton’s boss?” None of the people quoted even mentioned Hamilton. Wouldn’t this guy be masquerading as Nico Rosberg’s boss, too? Mechanics as well? How far does the COO’s authority reach – does that mean he was pretending to be Paddy Lowe’s boss?

      • How about you use the headline, “Conman Pretending to Be Mercedes COO Jailed.” It’s rather simple. You can link to an article all you want but you don’t have to mimic bad journalism.

    • Exactly right, Dwil! +1

      It should’ve been abundantly clear that this man was a fraudster if he presented himself as Lewis’ boss given that Lewis doesn’t have a boss and is, more or less, uncontrollable. *echo* controllable… trollable… ollable… lable… able… llllee…

      *Brief silence*

      I’m sorry… I couldn’t help myself, mate. 😀

    • So, I had two initial thoughts as I read the tantalising headline:

      1. I was hoping that the authorities had finally caught up with Paddy and sent him down for a poor Ross Brawn impersonation, or…

      2. Maybe the Hamfosi had made a citizens arrest because NO-ONE is Hamilton’s boss. Everyone knows Lewis is a free-wheelin’ dude who answers to no man 😉

      Anyways, I’m disappointed to find out that the guy in jail is just some random loon with esteem issues. Doh!

    • I agree. An engineer who doesn’t check the most basic of facts is an engineer I don’t want on my staff.

  2. Well I guess the only way for the story to make the front page, was to just add “Lewis Hamilton” to the title and voila… Headline grabbing…..

    Just shows the power of the man, that even when an incident has absolutely nothing to do with him, just mentioning his name draws eyeballs to said site or tabloid press.

    #3peat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s