Marco Tronchetti Provera, Bernie Ecclestone, Shanghai, 2012

Banker jailed in Ecclestone bribe case

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky is jailed on charges of tax evasion, bribery and breach of fiduciary trust after receiving a payment from Bernie Ecclestone.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Banker in F1 bribes case found guilty (FT, registration required)

“Mr Ecclestone, the 81-year-old kingpin of the motor sport and one of the world?s best known sports entrepreneurs, had been the “driving force” when Gerhard Gribkowsky accepted $44m (??28.3m) in corrupt payments in connection with the sale of F1, a judge in Munich said on Wednesday.”

German banker jailed in F1 bribery case (FT)

Bernie Ecclestone: “They based their decisions on what he told them. I told them the truth. I think Mr Gribkowsky told them what he thought he had to tell them. I don’t think I should (face further action) but you don’t know, do you?”

Ecclestone offers ??35m to stage London Grand Prix (The Times subscription required)

One week ago Ecclestone said he had “not put his name to” plans to use the London Olympics site for a Grand Prix. Now he’s apparently offering to put ??35m into an F1 race in London.

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Diversion tactics: Ecclestone tells The Times he’s putting money into an F1 race in London on the same day Gribkowsky is sentenced to jail.”

Frank Williams Q&A: I wouldn?t be here if I wasn?t still a fan (F1)

“Formula One is very expensive. To keep a team running is always a struggle – finding sponsors, finding funds – for almost every team except probably Ferrari, but they have Marlboro in something that is called subliminal advertising in marketing terms. And even if the FIA say you can?t do it, they can?t prove it.”

City to consider $5.5 million customs facility for F1 flights (Austin-American Statesman)

“The city does not intend to ask organisers of the November race to help pay for the airport terminal extension and customs facility, officials said, arguing that efficient processing of travelers will help burnish the city’s international image and that the facility would be available to handle large commercial flights from Europe that the city hopes to attract.”

Schumacher tipped for more podiums (Autosport)

Norbert Haug: “His lack of results this season are not down to the driver, and in fairness to him he could have definitely had in excess of 60 or 70 points if we would not have had technical issues – which would have been good for him and good for us in the constructors’ championship. We did not get it because we got it wrong.”

Pure racing instinct (Sky)

“The RB8 has been massively re-engineered over the last two races – with new rear suspension, brakes and wheel hubs in Montreal to make possible the reworked rear bodywork in Valencia, all combining to give a substantial aerodynamic improvement. The indications from both the long runs of Valencia practice and indeed the race itself were that the car’s previous heavy tyre usage were things of the past.”

Red Bull look good despite Alonso win (BBC)

Jaime Alguersuari: “This week, I am at Spa in Belgium working with Pirelli to develop the F1 tyres for next season.”

Consistent inconsistency (Darren Heath Photographer)

“With all these inconsistencies it is at least good to hear of one playing field levelling consistently. Each and every set (of the chosen compound) of Pirelli F1 tyres delivered to each and every team will give the same performance. When erstwhile F1 tyre supplier Bridgestone?s rubber was delivered, teams hoped for the best. The theory at the time was that if your allotted set had been packed for freight in the wet the performance would be different to those loaded in the dry.”

After F1 scandal, Piquet making progress in NASCAR (Fox News)

“[Nelson Piquet Jnr] said people often focus on how his F1 career ended instead of what he had achieved to get there. ‘People don’t acknowledge everything that I’ve done in my past’.”

Alonso’s best victory (Formula 1 Guitar)

“Take a look to this meaningful map with the number and name of overtaken drivers on each spot (black: on track; green: during the start; gray: during pit-stop; red: mechanical problem).”

Comment of the day

Beneboy on the potential of a Vettel-Alonso pairing at Ferrari and other developments in the driver market:

Vettel to Ferrari sounds good to me, although it would be a big change for a team that has a tendency to focus on a number one driver as I doubt Alonso and Vettel would accept anything other than absolute equality if they were to be paired together.

If this means the team need a seat warmer for a year I hope they don?t fall back to the safe option of retaining Massa. I?d much rather see one of the younger drivers given an opportunity with the team, even if it is just for one year. A driver like Perez/Di Resta/Kobayashi or even a driver from GP2 or another series could take a lot from a single year at a top F1 team like Ferrari and given Massa?s performance over the last few years even a rookie would be unlikely to do that much worse and it?d certainly be a whole lot less expensive.

The one thing I really want to see is Schumacher staying, ideally in a much-improved Mercedes. He appears to have got used to the new car and the new tires and he?s had some good drives this season, even though his results don?t really reflect this. I hope he and the team can continue to improve this season so he can start next season positively and compete for a few more wins (and even if it is just a hopeless dream ?ǣ maybe even compete for the drivers’ championship one last time…)

It would be nice to see a few more driver changes in the coming seasons, the last few years have been pretty static ?ǣ especially at the sharp end of the grid ?ǣ I don?t know if it?s just my perception but it feels like I?ve been seeing the same faces (or helmets) in the same cars for years now and a few driver changes, and possibly even some new faces, would be a welcome sight.

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On this day in F1

In-season testing was legal ten years ago, so Ferrari and BAR piled on the miles at Mugello on this day in 2002.

Michael Schumacher, who was already comfortably winning the drivers’ championship, logged a fastest time over two-and-a-half seconds faster than Jacques Villeneuve, who was also running on Bridgestone tyres.

Anthony Davidson in a second BAR lapped within a tenth of a second of Villeneuve.