UK government to review Ecclestone payment

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: HM Revenue and Customs query Ecclestone’s payment to Gerhard Gribkowsky.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

HMRC to review Ecclestone?s ??27m payment (Daily Telegraph)

“The Attorney General?s Office and HM Revenue & Customs are understood to want to look at multi-million pound payments made by the Formula 1 chief executive to German investment banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.”

The BBC, two free Wimbledon tickets and F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone (Daily Mail)

“Mr Ecclestone ?ǣ who is worth about ??2??billion ?ǣ was given the tickets just two weeks before the Corporation struck a deal with the tycoon to share screening arrangements for Formula 1 with Sky.”

Indian Grand Prix video edit

Video review of the Indian Grand Prix.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Several people remarked on how long some F1 Fanatics had been following the sport for. Yesterday’s data revealed a number who’d started keeping track of F1 in the fifties.

One of our more experienced readers is Rob Godby and I believe this was his first ever comment on the site yesterday:

Sheesh, I feel old looking at that “What year…” graphic. Heck I feel old every time Vettel talks about his karting and meeting Schumacher.

The current crop of drivers and very close championships in past few years though makes me not doubt that the sport has attracted lots of new fans. And it’s nice to see passing again, regardless of how it’s getting done.
Rob Godby

From the forum

matthewf1 asks Should Webber retire at the end of this year?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to A.S. Mahesh, Claudio Sampaio and flowerdew!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Nico Hulkenberg claimed a remarkable pole position in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix on this day last year.

Just as incredibly, he was dropped from their driver line-up for 2011. But Hulkenberg is being tipped for a race return with Force India next year.

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39 comments on UK government to review Ecclestone payment

  1. Hamish (@hamish) said on 6th November 2011, 1:13

    Big night there Keith?

  2. sato113 (@sato113) said on 6th November 2011, 1:15

    bonfire night!

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 6th November 2011, 1:21

    also i’ve noticed something odd in the indian gp race edit-
    vettel is using his DRS outside of the two zones…

    see here at 2:16

  4. Hairs (@hairs) said on 6th November 2011, 2:24

    The Daily Mail group (part owners of ITN and investors in rival radio and TV stations) sinking to new desperate levels in its attempt to discredit the BBC. A billionaire notorious for being the hardest bargainer in sports, or any other business was bribed by two tickets to a tennis match? Give me a break.

    • snowman (@snowman) said on 6th November 2011, 3:11

      Rosberg on Friday denied the rumors of him visiting Maranello and has said his dream is to win at Mercedes.

      Rosberg To Ferrari Rumours

      Would love to see how he would do against Alonso so hope there is something going on.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th November 2011, 3:39

      Again, typical tabloid sensationalisation.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 6th November 2011, 7:13

      I sincerely hope these rumours stop here.

      I’m convinced Massa will get a win next year if the Ferrari is competitive.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 6th November 2011, 11:38

        Massa’s results are very poor, but he’s overall driving better than last year. He has been consistent with his driving this year, last year he had some great and some awful races.

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 6th November 2011, 19:21

        How is Massa going to win next year? In order to do that, Ferrari and Alonso would have to decide to let him: that won’t happen. So, let’s assume that Alonso crashes out. Now, Ferrari have to build a competitive car. Then, Massa has to avoid crashing out like he did in India. He also has to have enough racecraft to avoid crashes with other drivers. Finally, he has to be good enough to beat Lewis, Jenson, vettel, Webber, and possibly Schumacher or Rosberg too. I have no idea what makes you think all those things will happen.

        • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th November 2011, 23:53

          @hairs What makes you think Ferrari will favour Alonso? I could understand if it was for the championship but they would just be as well giving drivers equal support.

          Don’t forget, Massa has won races in the past and beaten many of those you have mentioned above.

          • Riffa said on 7th November 2011, 7:30

            I like Massa. But he needs to be coddled. Alonso is ruthless and so are Ferrari. That’s why Ferrari like him so much. The odds of Ferrari favoring Alonso are maybe, or possibly, or almost.. 100%.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 7th November 2011, 9:33


            The same thing that made them favour Alonso this year and last year: He’s the #1 in the team and dictates what the #2 driver is allowed to do. Ferrari have never believed in giving the drivers equal support.

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th November 2011, 13:19

            @hairs I don’t think Ferrari would be stupid enough to back Alonso if Massa was leading the charge though.

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 7th November 2011, 14:11

            @andrewtanner How would Massa end up leading the charge, though?

            He’s not as good as Alonso. He outqualified him a few times this year. His race pace, however, is woeful, even if you ignore his propensity to make mistakes, give up, or stop listening to Rob Smedley’s driving instructions.

            If, in the extremely unlikely event that in the last race of the season Massa could win the title, and Alonso could not, then, and only then, would Alonso step aside.

            The theory last year was that having stepped aside in Germany, Massa demanded equal treatment this year. Did he get it?

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 7th November 2011, 21:01

            @hairs I know it’s extremely unlikely but my point is that I don’t think any team would back any driver, irrespective of their results.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 6th November 2011, 9:57

    I would’ve expected this in round up as well. Quotes about Räikkönen to Williams. Man I’m so hoping this ‘ll become true!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th November 2011, 10:40

      Eh, I’m not getting too worked up over it. I honestly think Raikkonen will struggle. At the very least, he won’t be showing the kind of results people expect from him. I think most of the talk of Raikkonen returning to Formula 1 is his fans overstating his importance to the sport.

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 6th November 2011, 11:31

        We’ll have to wait and see. Schumacher is à fine example showing difficulties drivers encounter when returning to F1.
        When hè came back, I had really high hopes. So my expectations are realistic.
        Hoever, based on Kimi’s raw speed, we might be surprised when hè returns.
        And I don’t buy those lack of motivation stories. You just can’t drive these cars without being absolutely confident and motivated.
        So, I think hè knows that of hè returns, he’ll need time to be able to shine again.
        Yes, high hopes here!

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 6th November 2011, 21:08

        Or management want to make drivers sign-up cheap rather than risk losing their ride.

      • Riffa said on 7th November 2011, 7:49

        I hope to see him back, but also am not gonna get worked up over it. It’s really interesting to see a person who does not get caught up in the hoopla of F1. I built him up to my nascar buddies and then forgot about him as I was waiting for his next move. Didn’t even realize he gave it up on it till I seen the Williams thingy. And yes, he will struggle if he doe not get on a top team. Which rouses the question, why is everybody in F1 crap till they get on a good team? They aren’t. F1 is just fickle that way. When a motor blows up, the driver gets no mulligan and actually gets a bad mark for not finishing. Is there an app for that?

    • infy (@infy) said on 6th November 2011, 10:47

      What would he do at Williams besides come 18th each weekend because the car is just so bad?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th November 2011, 11:45


        What would he do at Williams? What he can’t do with anyone else: race. If you look down the 2012 grid, there are virtually no vacancies. Lotus Renault GP is perhaps the highest-ranked team with a possible opening, but even then, they have four drivers for two seats (and there is no love lost between them and Raikkonen). Everyone else is either full, or has no known plans to change their drivers. So despite being ninth in the World Constructors’ Championship, Williams is the highest-ranked team with a vacancy.

        It might sound sad that it has come to this, but Williams is Raikkonen’s only real option if he wants back in. Despite the claims many of his fans make, Raikkonen is not going to be able to step into a Red Bull or a McLaren and be competitive. He has no experience with Pirelli tyres, no experience with fuel-heavy cars, and no experience with DRS or the F-duct. He needs to learn all of that before he can even start giving Williams feedback on the car to develop it.

        • Nixon (@nixon) said on 6th November 2011, 14:27

          But he is Raikkonen…

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th November 2011, 22:43

            Which doesn’t mean anything. If it did, he would have no problem securing a seat further up the grid. Evidently, the teams do not share the fans’ confidence in him.

          • Paul (@miuzi05) said on 7th November 2011, 0:57

            @Nixon He IS Raikkonen, you’re right. I always enjoyed his utter unwillingness to play the PR game, and his sense of humour which occasionally shone through. For example, recall his reaction when asked what he though of Schumacher’s retirement ceremony in Brazil ’06.

            Moreover, he is responsible for some of my favourite racing moments, chief among them his win in Japan ’05. How great will it be, if he comes back next year, to have 6 champions racing, as well as 11 race winners, on the grid? (12 if Kubica makes it back, which I am crossing my fingers for) Half the field would be race-winning drivers!

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th November 2011, 16:20

          Sadly this is oh, so true @prisoner-monkeys

          It might sound sad that it has come to this, but Williams is Raikkonen’s only real option if he wants back in.

          Not even sure which part of that is more sad though. The part where Kimi can’t get a drive except in a high profile ex-WCC team that’s fallen very lowly or the part where Williams is actually fallen this far they must go for marketing stunt drivers to give sponsors a good reason to back them.

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 6th November 2011, 23:56

            @BasCB @prisoner-monkeys I’d love to see Raikkonen back, I really would. However, it has to be right. I think that for all this faults and his time away from the sport, he will be wasted on Williams. He won’t hang about long at all, either. I think he would do well to stick with the WRC personally, but not many people agree with me on that.

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 6th November 2011, 16:21

    And a very Happy Birthday to A.S. Mahesh, Claudio Sampaio and flowerdew off course! Enjoy it.

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