F1 Fanatic round-up
In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone appears in court over Gerhard Gribkowsky payment.
Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:
“A person familiar with the situation counters that the bid was very much alive as of mid-October. That individual says News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, the 39-year- old son of CEO Rupert, and Exor chief executive John Elkann, 35, are actively courting racing-team owners and working on a 5- to 10-year business plan for Formula One.”
“It would have been a disaster for me. They would unravel the lot. There was a large amount of money at stake and it would have been so easy for [HM Revenue and Customs] to assess me and put the burden on me to prove that it wasn’t correct… I couldn’t afford to take the risk, simple as that.”
“Mr Ecclestone’s allegation that the payments related to threats… rather than to the disposal of the BayernLB holding is untrue.”
Fernando Alonso: “I’m sure that the most frequent question in tomorrow’s press briefings will be about my return to the Yas Marina circuit after last year’s race. It would not be honest if I told you I won’t be a bit uncomfortable thinking about it tomorrow morning when I see the paddock for the first time.”
“The team will run Valtteri Bottas and Mirko Bortolotti during the young driver test days in Abu Dhabi on 15, 16 and 17 November 2011.”
“Many people asking me about F1, the only thing what I can say is we are very busy, and pushing hard for it! It’s [going to] be interesting times.”
“I got an email yesterday morning and the news was good! I won’t go into details for confidentiality reasons but basically FOM have said it’s okay for me to promote and sell the ‘stripped down’ versions of the F1 posters, provided I make it 100% clear to people that they’re unofficial and have nothing to do with FOM.”
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Comment of the day
Compare Brazil 2008 (the passion, the love of F1, the weather, the fantastic track) with the championship decider at Abu Dhabi in 2010 (artificial, no racing history, no weather, etc…) which in fact should have been even better given the fantastic championship we had.
I don’t buy the argument that they will get a racing history by having an F1 race because all places have to start somewhere. Yes they do, but they need to walk before they can run because otherwise there is nothing deeper behind the facade, just Bernie turning up with loads of classic cars and racing drivers solely because they are getting paid a sheds load of oil money.
Passion for motorsport needs to start at a grass roots level and evolve a gradual interest in the sport over time like it has done in Europe and South America.
To quote Paul McCartney, “you can’t buy me love”.
(Of course, a decent circuit wouldn’t do any harm either)
From the forum
- Rumours over Charles Pic joining Virgin/Marussia in 2012
- Fans heading to Yas Marina discuss the best place to watch the race at the circuit
- Here’s the full line-up of GP2 drivers for this weekend’s end-of-season races
- And an up-to-date list of GP2 drivers and teams on Twitter
Happy birthday to Lucien_Todutz!
On this day in F1
Five years ago today Williams signed Kazuki Nakajima as a test driver.
He drove for the team from 2007-2009 before being dropped. It has recently been announced he will race for Toyota’s Le Mans team next year.