Ecclestone book reveals animosity with Dennis that cost McLaren

2011 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2007

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2007

Tom Bower’s new book on Bernie Ecclestone shows how his hostility towards Ron Dennis cost McLaren dearly in 2007.

Ecclestone says: “When Flavio [Briatore] stuck a knife in my back, he charmed me and said, ‘It’s good for you to let out some blood.’

“But when Ron puts the knife in, he wants you to know that he’s in charge and he’s killed you.”

It shows how some of F1’s recent scandals were driven by jealousies between Ecclestone, Dennis, Briatore and former FIA president Max Mosley.

During the ‘spygate’ affair in 2007 Fernando Alonso waited until the Hungarian Grand Prix to threaten Dennis by revealing incriminating emails.

But he had already revealed their contents to Briatore two weeks earlier, who in turn had shared the details with Ecclestone and Mosley.

Ecclestone later talked Mosley down from banning McLaren for two years (“bit heavy”, he said) and instead imposing a record $100 million fine. Mosley joked that it was “$5 million for the offence and $95 million for Ron being a twat”.

Briatore was later embroiled in a cheating scandal but remains a close ally of Ecclestone’s. The pair share an unusual nickname for Lewis Hamilton -‘Jumbo’.

But Ecclestone is less comfortable with Mosley’s replacement as FIA president, Jean Todt, of whom Ecclestone says: “He put the president’s hat on and his personality changed”.

The book also reveals Ecclestone draws a ??2.5 million salary from F1 owners CVC plus ??1 million in bonuses.

F1 is set to be broadcast in high definition for the first time this year but according to Bower FOM had “perfected” their HD broadcast in 2006.

Among the many anecdotes from earlier in Ecclestone’s career is this about a failed bid for a Russian Grand Prix in the early eighties: “The city’s mayor wanted us to race across the cobblestones in Red Square and put the entire thing through his wife’s bank accounts.”

Read the F1 Fanatic review of “No Angel”:

Buy “No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone” by Tom Bower

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217 comments on Ecclestone book reveals animosity with Dennis that cost McLaren

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  1. I sure as hell hope nobody in power thinks I’m a **** then…

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th February 2011, 10:12

    Ecclestone later talked Mosley down from banning McLaren for two years (“bit heavy”, he said) and instead imposing a record $100 million fine. Mosley joked that it was “$5 million for the offence and $95 million for Ron being a ****”.

    If anything, Ecclestone was Dennis’ greatest ally here. If I were in McLaren’s shoes and I was given the choice between a $100 million fine and a two-year suspension, I know which I’d take.

    • McLarenFanJamm said on 24th February 2011, 10:37

      Definitely.

    • If 95% of the fine was a personal vendetta as quoted above, do you think McLaren might appeal to get some of it back?

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th February 2011, 11:46

        Given the book is unofficial, I doubt it. Leave it be I say.

      • Not given that the book describes Mosley as joking when he said it.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th February 2011, 11:56

        If 95% of the fine was a personal vendetta as quoted above, do you think McLaren might appeal to get some of it back?

        It’s long since been spent. I believe about half of it went into road safety programs (which seems to be the FIA’s equivalent of community service; I remember Michael Schumacher had to do a lot of road safety stuff after Jerez 1997), while the rest of it went towards funding young driver development programs.

        • TBF, don’t think McLaren really paid much, Mercedes put the money up, an it’s peanuts to a company that size.

          Might well have had something to do with the Merc boards decision to leave McLaren though.

          • Oliver said on 24th February 2011, 15:25

            I dont think Mercedes paid any part of the sine. They just said it was a Mclaren problem.

          • Actually, the reason why the Merc/McLaren relationship whent sour is because McLaren started developing their own road car, powered by a McLaren engine…

        • russ mckennett said on 24th February 2011, 16:23

          Half of it went to buy prison guard uniforms,and the other half went to the hookers.

          • andrewh said on 24th February 2011, 17:21

            They have been treating Max well at the other “facility”, he may have also spent some on “Tea”

      • Spaulding (@spaulding) said on 24th February 2011, 13:46

        Also, if they had the gull to demand 95% of the fine back, the FIA could always demand 95% of two seasons worth of suspensions.

      • Malcolm said on 24th February 2011, 17:20

        I surely hope that they do.

      • I think Ron got Max back with the sex scandal. Good one, Ron!!!

        And if it wasn’t Ron, I’m sure there were at least $100M worth of chuckles over at the MTC while that whole affair was unfolding…

    • Ilanin said on 25th February 2011, 16:33

      Enlightened self-interest. Eccelstone’s job is to sell F1, which would have been much harder without McLaren around.

  3. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 24th February 2011, 10:13

    Wow, can’t wait to read this book now! That anecdote has provided me with yet another reason to detest Max Mosley. And the sooner Bernie goes senile and gets shipped off to the retirement home, the better

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th February 2011, 10:44

      Touche! I share the exact same sentiments. Unlike a lot of people who are avid Bernie supporters, I feel that he has past his prime, and there could be several replacements who could do a much better job than he has been doing off late.

      • Out of curiosity Todfod who do you think could/should replace him?

        • skodarap (@skodarap) said on 24th February 2011, 11:23

          Well, I’d love to see Ron Dennis in charge :)

        • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 24th February 2011, 11:50

          I don’t see why there needs to be one individual with overriding control. Maybe a commitee of people to stop one person taking a dictotrial control of the sport, as Ecclestone has done

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th February 2011, 12:20

            Yeah, it just seemed like Bernie had bit off more than he could chew. He was getting involved in improving the show with shortcuts & mario cart ideas, deciding which drivers get on the grid, involved with technical regs, and political relations, etc. This is in addition to his basic responsibilities as commercial rights holders which involves negotiating with broadcasters, race organisers/promoters, etc. In handling all these different roles, he isn’t doing himself or the formula 1 group any favours. A committee of people would manage all aspects of this sport more efficiently.

          • Yeah right – a commitee, if F1 isn’t run in a dictatorial way it will never get any agreements. Commitees are for governments to urinate tax revenues up against the wall not for dynamic world class business.
            With a moniker like Ned Flanders it sort of figures that you wouldn’t understand that!!!

          • Personal attack in the closing sentence aside, I agree with Peter about committees p155ing money up the wall.

            Even in my job, a humble web app developer, we’ve had a pair of projects recently where one succeeded with the Bernie school of business, the other is still p155ing money in the requirements phase as they can’t agree on anything and own agendas create extra work to overcome.

          • …and in more, the Bernie school of projects netted the company a handful of industry awards.

          • Maciek said on 24th February 2011, 15:27

            @Peter. Simple question: if that’s true – then why do companies have management boards?

            By the way, with comments like that about other posters, it sort of figures you’re a Max Mosely name for Ron Dennis!!! : P

          • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 24th February 2011, 16:42

            I can tell you right now, running anything by committee tends to be a BAD idea.

          • Maciek – companies have management boards to hold the chief executive to account for the running of the company. But it tends to be the chief executive who calls the shots…

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th February 2011, 19:42

            @Tim. CEOs of companies have VP Marketing & Sales, COO, CFO, and other designations that make the calls, or at the least have an opinion that is held in high regard by the CEO. The formula 1 group is a one man show… an 80 year old half senile man …Bernie Ecclestone.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 24th February 2011, 11:57

          Just off the top of my head – Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports (company that own all the commercial rights to MotoGP). He has done a great job for distributing and licensing all the rights for MotoGP thus far, and has kept Dorna hugely profitable, while keeping the sport out of controversy.

          Another replacement could be Vijay Mallya, although I really dont see him giving up his CEO role of his entire liquor and airline industry anytime soon. He is a brilliant businessman/entrepreneur, and as a commercial rights holder, I’m sure he would possess the skill set in making sustainable profits while improving the quality of the show.

          I honestly do not know a lot about the governing bodies and individuals in motorsport, so I wish I could come up with more examples. I guess executives at CVC and JP Morgan, should have Bernie’s replacements planned already, and they would answer that question better than I could.

  4. I can’t say ****? Keith and Mosley even said ****! Lol.

  5. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 24th February 2011, 10:15

    Wow this book sounds like it gives away a lot of juicy F1 gossip!

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th February 2011, 10:15

    Anyone got any theories on ‘Jumbo’? Because I’m stumped.

    • a google images search for jumbo brings up some childrens cartoon images of an elephant.

      so… big ears then.

      • Abuelo Paul said on 24th February 2011, 10:29

        It’s politeness, really they mean Dumbo.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th February 2011, 10:32

        Might be it. I don’t suppose they mean him to be unstoppable once he gets going.
        Although the Bernie-Flav connection might hint at that one a bit, being a result of his stance at McLaren against Alonso.

        That connection as well as the Bernie-Ron dislike also explains, why Bernie never really liked Hamilton and rates just about everyone higher than Lewis.

        • Exactly BasCB! Brundle asked him who he wants to win the WDC in 07 at Interlagos and he made it clear he did not want LH to win it.

          And LH saying till today he could and cannot say what happened to his car in that race tells more than the eye sees :( .

          Max and BE did not want that success for Ron and LH and Ron had to agree to save his lifelong work.

          • i understand you are dumbo’s fan, that doesnt mean he has to win all the WDC’s right? .. that year hes was not good enuf to win it and he din’t, its funny how ppl relate everything happened around the world to his wdc loss…..

          • What the?

            Don’t be daft… Lewis lost, Kimi won… Unless you have a shred of evidence try to keep your insanity on the inside… Like I do! :D

          • zvoni said on 25th February 2011, 9:04

            Exactly, I made that point three years ago. And there was a Brazilian reporter – I forgot the name – who actually implied there was much more about that “missing button” then we know, or are allowed to know. But, who knows, in 10 or 20 years…

    • I guess because of his ears… Are you sure it’s not Dumbo? Like the animated elephant? It would make sense. Briatore and Ecclestone should look at themselves first before giving people nickname. Both look vomitive to me

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th February 2011, 10:33

        Definitely Jumbo. Here’s the quote:

        ‘I bet Jumbo wins’, [Ecclestone] told Briatore, using their nickname for Lewis Hamilton.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumbo

          Jumbo (1861 – September 15, 1885) was a large African Bush Elephant, born 1861 in the French Sudan – present-day Mali – imported to a Paris zoo, transferred to the London Zoo in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T. Barnum, for the circus.

          The giant elephant’s name has spawned the common word “jumbo”, meaning large in size.

        • Well Keith, let me put a little light into that name. He may not mean to say “Jumbo” but “Bimbo” which the German speaking people call strongly pigmented people of African origin.

      • Agree Sarah, Lewis’ ears are tiny compared to those twos’ which is why I fear it might be some weird racial slur?

      • So here we have a nickname without explanation, and people here instantly think racially, what does that say about them and their thought process?

        Seriously that never occurred to me until I read the comments here, I just thought they’d seen him in the shower.

        • frood1919 said on 24th February 2011, 14:00

          is this meant to be a joke? you say the thought that it might be a racially motivated nickname has never occurred to you and then you bring up a prominent black stereotype. erm, care to explain?

          • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 24th February 2011, 18:17

            What was meant was a negative racial slur never occured to his mind, a positive stereotype is hardly going to offend anyone now is it?

            I mean can you imagine a black guy saying “I’ve got a big what?, you get back here you *****” No, you can’t can you?

          • Maciek said on 24th February 2011, 21:38

            @Jared – actually it’s only positive if you have a certain mindset. The fact is that that stereotype is part of a long history of portraying black people as primitive and brutish and black men’s abilities in particular as being limited to physical prowess.

          • PeriSoft said on 25th February 2011, 2:30

            @Maciek

            Bingo.

          • Skett (@skett) said on 25th February 2011, 8:24

            Who’s to say that LH isn’t hugely endowed anyway, regardless of colour (or perhaps a sarcastic opposite?). When was it ever claimed that was a racial comment to begin with?

            I feel I should also ask what you’d define as a stereotype and what is a fact? The average black man is more endowed than the average white guy!

            If I say that most black men have darker skin that most white men would it be a slur?

    • RichyB (@richyb) said on 24th February 2011, 10:29

      I seem to remember from when I was young that the theme tune mentioned something along the lines of how Jumbo was packed off at a young age and taken to the circus – is it possibly an attempt at a cynical analogy as to how McLaren took him on from such a young age and shore-horned him into F1, and that they presumed Lewis wouldn’t be able, or know how, to fend for himself? If so, seems a tad harsh, wouldn’t all 21-year-olds in their first season struggle a bit in this mad world of ours. I probably would.

    • kowalsky said on 24th February 2011, 10:37

      jumbo jet? because the way he drove on his rookie season? They were as impressed as the rest of us. Just a guess.

    • McLarenFanJamm said on 24th February 2011, 10:59

      Because they’re both very rude and ignorant individuals?

    • Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 24th February 2011, 11:52

      Perhaps it’s something to do with a ceetain stereotype about black people…

    • Daffid said on 24th February 2011, 11:55

      Could be because of the image of the powerful animal that behaves timidly for his keepers like the original Jumbo, but that’s probably a bit deep. It’s also common to call people with a big penis jumbo. Just saying…

    • Coefficient said on 24th February 2011, 12:11

      I think he’s called Jumbo because he always goes large at Mcdonalds!!

    • Lucien_Todutz (@lucien_todutz) said on 24th February 2011, 12:45

      well, jumbo usually defines something big/huge, as in “jumbo’jet” for ex… :))

      …too bad there are so few women here to enlighten us in this matter :)) any suggestion girls???

    • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 24th February 2011, 16:50

      Though everyone in the comments are correct in that Jumbo was the name of a famous elephent, I don’t believe the nickname is in reference to his ears. If anything, it’s probably an interesting nod to P.T. Barnum who owned and made the elephant famous. Barnum did all he could to make money with the elephant by making it a spectacle and showing him off at every opportunity. Even going so far as to make sure it hung out in a field near some train tracks that went by his land. I think the comparison here is that Lewis was their “Jumbo” in that he contributed to bringing in lots of money and fans by people gawking at/clamoring to see the new and amazing superstar. Seeing as how F1 is often called a circus, it’s actually rather apt. Plus it puts Mosley and Ecclestone in the place of Barnum which is favorable for them since he was a VERY shrewd and clever marketer/businessman.

    • No no no, you’ve all got it wrong. It’s due to a little stunt he pulled whilst partying after winning his first race. He climbed on a table and turned out his trouser pockets whilst shouting “Who wants to see my elephant impression”…

    • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 24th February 2011, 20:20

      I’m trying to convince myself that its simply because Hamilton was the next ‘big’ thing.

      Not sure its working however

    • rossi said on 25th February 2011, 0:08

      knowing bernie and max (not personally) of course,and what those 2 are like, i doubt the real meaning of “jumbo” would be printable on here keith, thats my opinion,anyway.

    • Its racist. They are calling him an animal basically because he his black.

      • I don’t think it’s racism. They are just senil and stupid! Briatore dated a black woman, i don’t think he’s a racist.

    • Jon Wilde said on 28th February 2011, 20:01

      Could be the biggest thing in the book. “jumbo” is a highly racist term.

  7. Richard Brown said on 24th February 2011, 10:17

    Max Mosley must have absolutely loved the opportunity to finally fine something to do with Ron Dennis into the ground. You get the impression from the tonality of some of these quotes that he and the FIA had wanted to do so for years; but ultimately it would have been impossible to fine a man, who for years had sternly tried to stand-up against the credibility faults in the sport, attempted to preserve technical innovation (remember the number of parts teams ‘complained’ against Mclaren in the late 90s), and had successfully and wisely headed a team for upwards of twenty years. The opportunity would have been too good to miss.

    • Franton said on 24th February 2011, 11:20

      It does explain some of the rumours that Mosley was “rumbled” by P.I’s paid for by Ron Dennis.

      Saying that, I did manage to see the edited video of the “torture session” before it got removed from the internet. There was a good shot of Max looking very shifty as he got near the building so someone somewhere paid for it, that’s for sure.

  8. I am a McLaren fan, but it has to be said that animosity was not the cause of McLaren’s woes in 2007… they did it all by themselves.

    I want to move on :)

    • IceMan said on 24th February 2011, 12:04

      Well said.

    • Coefficient said on 24th February 2011, 12:22

      I seem to recall the whole thing being instigated by one Nigel Stepney as it happens yet Ferrari mysteriously get off scott-free. Article 151c I believe was quoted “Any group or individual bringing the sport into disrepute” etc.

      It was a personal vendetta against Ron Dennis, nothing more. Alonso opted to become the spark to the flame because at the end of the day he is a big puff and couldn’t cope with the idea that there was someone else in F1 that was as quick as him.

      • Hewis Lamilton said on 24th February 2011, 15:40

        Are you seriously saying that Ferrari should have been disciplined for a Ferrari employee committing espionage against Ferrari? Pish Posh

        McLaren should have said no to the data they received and turned the matter over to the governing body.

        McLaren are fortunate they didn’t receive the 2 year ban.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th February 2011, 20:21

        I seem to recall the whole thing being instigated by one Nigel Stepney as it happens yet Ferrari mysteriously get off scott-free.

        I stole your wallet yesterday. The police’ll be around in a few hours to nick you.

        • Skett (@skett) said on 25th February 2011, 8:33

          Whilst I disagree with what he said, I don’t think thats entirely what he meant.

          He simply stated that the whole thing was illegal, and it was one employee selling data to another employee, not ferrari to mclaren. What he was saying was that if mclaren are to be fined for the actions of an employee so should ferrari (since both ends of the transaction were illegal).

          Seems a bit daft though tbh, since ferrari would have lost out already due to mclaren having seen their data!

          • As I read then, the thing is that DelaRosa and Alonso Mails prooved that McLaren was using that information. Alonso asked by mail to Delarosa if that was Ferrari’s stolen information. And DelaRosa told him that yes, that they were using that information.

            Yes, Alonso is allways inside all these things but he’s the only one with integrity.

          • @RaulZ

            Integrity! He tried to blackmail Ron Dennis! After he had already leaked the info!

            If you think that is integrity then I would not want to do any deals with you….

          • @Tom

            Yes, you don’t have to do any deal with me. Expecially when you’re doing something ilegal. I’ll backmail you.

            I think that’s integrity, but maybe, as my mother tonge is not English, I could be understanding anything else.

          • Skett (@skett) said on 25th February 2011, 16:27

            Why is that a reply to me? I didn’t even mention alonso!

    • They acted, FIA reacted.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th February 2011, 10:33

    Based on those quotes, I think Bernie is mightily disappointed with Todt going his own course instead of listening to him.

    Good on you Todt, focus on your job. Still not a good reason to keep silent about Bahrain until two days after it was over though.

  10. Abuelo Paul said on 24th February 2011, 10:36

    Strange how Alonso “found” the evidence regarding Ferrari, and spoke with Briatore first, and now drives for Ferrarri… just thinking aloud of course..

    • f1yankee said on 24th February 2011, 12:09

      what are you thinking?

    • Also the fact that Renault had Maclaren plans but escaped any significant punishment (Did they get any punishment?) Despite the dissemination of the data at renault being far more significant than ferraris data at Maclaren.

      Oh and Ferrari escaped punishment for the cheating that set off the whole thing.

      • DASMAN said on 24th February 2011, 13:35

        What’cheating’ was that exactly? Me thinks you are trying to deflect the blame for ‘spygate’. It wouldn’t have mattered so much if McLaren only possessed Ferrari designs and docs, but the fact that they used them is what earned them a sanction. If you’re referring to Ferrari’s stepped floor, the rule was only clarified after it was protested, therefore Ferrari had to change it in order to comply. No cheating there.

        • As far as I remember Stepney became angry at Ferraris attempts to hide the floor from the FIA. In fact the whole design of the floor was designed to be hidden from the FIA during tests. Yes the rules were clarified after the fact but Ferrari were purposefully trying to deceive the FIA from noticing it in the first place (which I think is against the rules and I am pretty sure other teams have been punished for similar acts). Stepney as a result gave the documents to Maclaren so that they could blow the lid on it.

          They were not punished for using the documents as it was never proven that they did use any of the information and the information was only in known to a handful of employees. However they were obviously guilty of having them in their possession. However Renault were found to have Maclaren documents on their main computer system available to all engineers yest they got away without any punishment, why? Surely Renault were more guilty than Maclaren?

          Incidentally, With the allegations that Alonso had already notified Briatore of the facts before he blackmailed Ron, I wonder if it was him who also gave Renault the Maclaren documents?

          • Lee my friend, you are a clever man. Also to add to your awesome comment i remember Toyota not getting punished for having some Ferrari data although i admit i don’t know exactly what they had.
            Anyone claiming that Mclaren built their car in 2007 on Ferrari data is a complete idiot because they got them in March. Actually i think they already did the first race.

          • Is it just me or does everyone have Ferrari Data? I bet Ferrari accidentally left it all on their bulletin board or something…

          • DASMAN said on 3rd March 2011, 13:59

            Err, you can’t be punished for a rule that doesn’t exist. Think double diffuser 2009.

            Also McLaren were punished for using the information they had to hand. They tested some of the ferrari data, but decided not to use it on their car.

          • Andrew said on 11th March 2011, 18:12

            They were hit with $100,000,000 because Ron had stood up at the FIA and said they did not have any material from other teams. Which was untrue. When the FIA found out Ronald had been lying to them, they went medieval on his ass.

  11. As i tweeted, the nickname is very strange and it is obviously nothing to do with Lewis’ size. Maybe it is about his ears? ‘Knowing’ those two, sadly it might be a racial slur:(

    • It’s probably racially motivated, to say the least. The only other significant thing called ‘Jumbo’ was of African origin and was some sort of circus attraction. It’s too bad Bernie and Flavio, people of little repute, of such disgusting character are allowed to parade around and above the sport like this and make some of the idiotic decisions they do without consequence(in Briartore’s case, his punishment was dramatically lessened.)

      Yet again, some of the difference between American Sport and European.

      • DASMAN said on 3rd March 2011, 14:01

        People tend to be too quick to pull the race card. there may be a perfectly innocent explanation. Jeez.

  12. vjanik said on 24th February 2011, 10:45

    i think the title of this article should be: “Ecclestone saves McLaren from 2 year ban,recent biography reveals”

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th February 2011, 10:45

      Ecclestone’s intervention was known ages ago.

      • vjanik said on 24th February 2011, 11:13

        i know but since I didnt read the book I was going by the article itself. And in it i dont see Ecclestone costing Mclaren, but rather helping them in talking Max down from a much harsher penalty.

        • Are you nuts? 2 years ban or 100 million, either way it is a more of a punishment “for Ron being a ****”. You see later Renault got nothing for cheating.

          BE just didn’t want to lose money, it’s bad for F1 without McLaren, otherwise we wouldn’t have a great season like 08′.

          • Indeed, it seems that although Ecclestone tried to get a lesser punishment for Maclaren he managed to get Renault (who one of his best mates ran) off the hook completely!

      • JamesR said on 26th February 2011, 10:34

        Even then as now, was it not simply a case of good cop bad cop and a charade played out for the media. The penalty was set from the beginning as it was believed F1 would not survive a McLaren ban.

  13. Christian Briddon said on 24th February 2011, 10:46

    Anyone notice how 95% of all recent F1 controversies somehow involve Alonso?

    • Such is the power he wields!

    • or they all involve mclaren, ferrari and benetton(ren).

      probably more closer to the truth.

      alonso had no power in the development/spying strategy. tho he was a bit a of a tw*t the way he used his knowledge to his advantage. but i suspect there is more to it that we will never know…or frankly care. Alonso and prost stood up to ron and thats why i respect them.

      as for singapore. he didnt know. why would he? he openly said he cares not for single wins only titles. Renault were about to leave so pat and flav NEEDED a win to sway the board. Nelson NEEDED to stay so would do anything So they were both desperate. Fernando wouldnt risk his career for a win he didnt need. which is pretty much it. i might be wrong but alonso is clever and wouldnt take that risk. for a title win sure. but then so would michael and probably many others.

      Fernando isnt squeaky clean for sure and clearly can be a bit of a idiot when it suits him, no senna but he can cause a stir with the best of them. but people get well OTT on his bad side. and its quite comical.

      • *sigh*… Alonso never know anything. He didn’t even know Massa was told to let him pass either. Poor little thing!

      • Alonso didn’t really stand up to Ron as much as he tried to Blackmail him (while now seemingly having already spilled the information out) That is not standing up to someone that is the actions of a low life. Also from what I am hearing from within Ferrari it seems as if he has not made many friends their either.

        • IffNav said on 24th February 2011, 14:50

          It seems to me either you are asking the wrong guys or you do not have many true friends inside Ferrari…

          Only God knows how many times has been written and read that Alonso did have a huge problem with RD when within McLaren, and did stand up to him. Guess what? He lost.

          As somebody said wisely, most of us want to move on, but are fed up of sooooo many worthless (or worse) comments about ’07.

          So let’s hope we get another wonderful year and continue to see great drivers in great racing machines battling for victory.

          Ciao,

          • I am not sure what you mean…

            I know someone who works at Ferrari F1 (and has done for some time) who claims that Alonso walked into the place as if He owned it and not a lot of the Ferrari guys are happy about the Spanish Mafia hanging around…. However you can think what you want but a lot of dodgy things happen around Alonso with him always claiming to not know anything about them (strange that).

      • Coefficient said on 24th February 2011, 12:29

        Nonesense!! He was in on it, if you “cares not for single wins” why does he protest so much when journalists call his “hollow” victories in to question? The anger is all over his face when he’s quizzed about “Crashgate” and Hockenheim 2010. Why? because he knows that the whole world is watching him squirm and that its obvious he has indulged in dubious enterprises for his own personal gain.

    • King Six said on 24th February 2011, 11:50

      Alonso always makes me laugh, he’s such a pantomime villain :D

    • IceMan said on 24th February 2011, 12:07

      Anyone notice how 95% of all recent F1 controversies somehow involve Alonso?

      Alonso was not involved in Liegate scandal i guess.

      • Liegate scandal? LOl! It was only made a scandal from annoying Hamilton haters. Big deal he told a small lie that is anything but great or big just to get the position that it was RIGHTFULLY his and only lost it because the FIA cleverly forgot to answer to Mclaren asking them and Mclaren tried to be so careful and actually loyal that they ended being screwed and felt injustice so they acted sentimentally making him lie.
        And every freaking driver lies to his best interest about incidents when asked by the stewards but suddenly Hamilton did something big.
        If only Alonso’s crimes where that innocent and small.

        • “And every freaking driver lies to his best interest about incidents when asked by the stewards but suddenly Hamilton did something big.”

          I doubt they all do but even if they did it wouldn’t make any of them right. It was made a scandal because he did something wrong and liegate has nothing to do with Fernando.

    • Hewis Lamilton said on 24th February 2011, 15:43

      When you are on top of the mountain, everyone is aiming to knock you off.

  14. on this case bernie is right, tho i do respect Ron hugely for his achievements. not his driver management tho lol.

    but on the 07 issue, he lied about it on tv at silverstone(i think) and then again at first part of the investigation. it only became a big deal when it was proven he lied. if he just told the truth i think they would of been ok. cos they really hadnt done that much wrong.

    • IceMan said on 24th February 2011, 12:19

      they really hadnt done that much wrong.

      God!!! they stole intellectual property of rivals. Though i have no idea whether they were involved in sabotaging Ferraris(Some suspicious foreign body was found in the gas tanks i guess). you say they haven’t done anything wrong. Hamilton and Alonso should have been striped off their points.Lucky they got away(Thanks to Bernie?)

      • What about Renault? Should they not have received an equal punishment?

        What about Ferrari? Should they not have received some sort of punishment?

        Yes Maclaren should have been punished however be aware that it was never proven that any of the info they had had been used. But surely Fair is fair and Renault should have had the same or worse penalty?

        • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 24th February 2011, 18:29

          I assume the Renault punishment you refer to is the crashgate scandal, the two events were completely different, the McLaren event amounts to industrial espionage which should Ferrari have chosen to take it to court could have caused Ron Dennis and Nigel Stepney to be sentenced to jail terms. And it doesn’t matter whether they used the data or not the fact is they had it in their possession and there was enough evidence to suggest they did use the data.

          The Renault event involved Flavio forcing one of his drivers to crash, although it was a choice made by Piquet to crash his car, Flavio could not actually control the car. While I agree that Renault escaped lightly it was never proved it was a team decision and making the whole team suffer including the other driver would have been incredibly un-fair.

          And why on earth should Ferrari have been punished for someone stealing their data, on your reasoning you should be sent to jail when someone steals from you. The idea that Ferrari should have been punished is preposterous.

          Also, i’m not a Ferrari, Renault or McLaren fan but a Team Lotus fan, and I’m a Kiwi so there is no bias here at all.

          • bosyber said on 24th February 2011, 19:49

            No, Renault actually had data of Ferrari on their computer – seemingly more likely to have been widely spread within the team then at McLaren; From what I read above, Toyota also had Ferrari data – apparently that isn’t all that uncommon in F1.

            I think it was clear to most people in F1 that most of that fine and the big deal was animosity between Ferrari and McLaren, big rivals, fueled by Mosley also detesting Dennis; but both Ecclestone and Mosley always denied that.

          • @Jarred Walmsley

            The above poster is correct, I was on about the fact that renault had Maclaren data on their systems (available to all that wanted to look as opposed to the Ferrari data in maclarens hands that was only available to a few people). They went to the FIA Hearing and walked out free from punishment, Maclaren come out with a £100m fine!

            Also the reason most people (I say most as some seem to think they should be punished for loosing their data which is just stupid) think that they should have been punished for the events leading to stepney handing over the data. They designed parts of the car to purposefully hide their function from the FIA inspectors. Stepny handed over the data as he was not impressed by this and I suppose he did not trust the FIA to deal with it as they were at the time pretty much a ferrari panel.

            Another thing, You think it would have been unfair if the Renault team were punished for crashgate? This was ordered from the top and I can’t believe that Alonso did not know about it as he was driving in exactly the right way to put himself in position at the time of the crash! It will never be proven but I can’t believe he didn’t know. I also can’t believe that Pique came up with the idea either. It was never proven that Maclaren used the Ferrari data (No matter what people think there was not enough evidence and in fact the evidence pointed towards them having not used the data as parts were scrutinised and no similarities found linking any designs to the stolen data) and only a handful of people knew about the data yet the whole team were punished, why not Renault for Spy gate? Why not Renault for Crashgate? Oh, One Briatore is best mates with Bernie while Ron and Bernie have not liked each other for a long time… Is that coincidence? I don’t think so.

            Maclaren were rightly punished but I do think it was far too harsh and I do think Renault should have been punished to at least the same degree as Maclaren. I also think Ferrari should have been punished for hiding parts from the FIA although this is obviously not directly comparable to the espionage of the other two teams.

            Also it would only have been Stepney that would have gone to jail as Ron Denis (even if he was the one that received the data which I am not sure he was) was handed the data freely and had not ordered the taking of it. I am sure he would have been fined but I would be surprised if he would have been handed a prison sentence.

            However I would also have been surprised if Ferrari would have taken it that far as it would be likely that they have been in possession of other teams data in the past (Apparently it is far from uncommon in F1) and they would not have wanted to risk any info like that coming out in court.

      • spanky the wonder monkey said on 24th February 2011, 13:00

        ummm, i seem to remember they were gifted it by a certain mr stepney. the horse was led out of the stable by it’s trainer.

  15. McLarenFanJamm said on 24th February 2011, 11:01

    So in Bernie’s mind it’s alright for you to double cross him provided you smooth talk him afterwards? Surely that is even more despicable than just double crossing him.

    Not only have you “stuck the knife in” but you’ve then gone out of your way to weasel up to him and be his “friend”.

    whatever Bernie.

    • Formula Dave said on 24th February 2011, 12:17

      I think it’s more that when Flavio betrayed him it was all part of the game they both play, sometimes one would win, sometimes the other, either way it would be nothing personal. But when Ron betrayed him he would take pleasure it letting him know it because it was personal.

      I’d be ****** either way but the latter would definitely upset me more.

    • MclarenFanJamm I think the idea of someone trying to destroy/humiliate you and let you know they’ve done it can really rub salt into the wound especially if Bernie is a proud man. Flavio would probably just say that he was playing the game too so I can see why Ron’s way might annoy him more not that I agree with any of the comments at all.

      • PeriSoft said on 25th February 2011, 2:36

        At least with Ron’s way you’re being honest. Stabbing someone in the back as part of ‘playing the game’ is even more repulsive than doing it out of genuine hatred.

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