New F1 deal for teams may be “unlawful” – Parr

F1 Fanatic round-up

Start, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: Former Williams chairman Adam Parr claims the commercial terms in the new Concorde Agreement is anti-competitive and may be unlawful.

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Formula One?s ??Unequal? Revenue Split Needs EU Probe, Parr Says (Bloomberg)

“‘There?s a strong case that an unequal division of power and money to a subset of teams is unlawful,’ Parr said by telephone. He?s not convinced Formula One ‘is organised with the right principles of fair competition,??’ he added.”

Barrichello Opts For Brazilian Stock Car Ride In 2013 (Speed)

“Formula One veteran and 2012 Izod IndyCar Series rookie Rubens Barrichello has accepted an offer to race full time in the Brazilian Stock Car series in 2013.”

Williams defends Senna/Bottas strategy (Autosport)

“Valtteri benefited tremendously from it. We have got a lot from the third driver as well.”

Di Resta: Big season to come (Sky)

“The end of my season wasn’t great. We had mechanical issues, a chassis change, and ultimately the style of my driving did not suit for the last few races.”

FMSCI re-elects Vijay Mallya, Vicky Chandhok (The Times of India)

“The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) unanimously re-elected Vicky Chandhok as president at its AGM on Tuesday while Vijay Mallya will continue as the chairman and Bharat Raj as vice president.”

German Moto GP date switched to avoid F1 clash (Reuters)

“Next year’s German Moto GP race at the Sachsenring has been moved back a week to July 14th to avoid a clash with the country’s Formula One Grand Prix.”

2014 Formula 1 Grand Prix of New Jersey (Inches of Mercury)

“This photo was passed along to us from someone living in New York City, further solidifying plans for the race. An excerpt: ‘…it is to occur on or about the third weekend in the month of June…’ So there you have it!”

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Comment of the day

The minimum weight for F1 cars is set for a big rise in 2014 but is it still needed?

The minimum weight was originally introduced because cars were being designed without sufficient strength and not strong enough so it was a way to give designers the opportunity to design cars strong enough without penalty.

But that has not been the case for many years. All safety critical structural components are tested for strength by the FIA and the use of exotic materials is limited by the rules.

The designers all design the cars as light as possible anyway so that they have the most flexibility to tune the handling by moving the ballast about. I don?t think F1 cars should be carrying ballast as a matter of course. All that does is restrict another area where innovation is possible.

OK it is used to even out drivers weights, I wouldn?t mind a ballasting system for that, but I think a minimum weight for cars is totally unnecessary.
@JimN

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On this day in F1

Five years ago today David Coulthard warned that a proposed ban on tyre warmers for the 2009 F1 season was a serious safety risk.

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73 comments on New F1 deal for teams may be “unlawful” – Parr

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 0:05

    “‘There’s a strong case that an unequal division of power and money to a subset of teams is unlawful,’ Parr said by telephone. He’s not convinced Formula One ‘is organised with the right principles of fair competition,”’ he added.”

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Parr loses his position, then turns around and says that the commercial deal designed to secure the future of the sport might not be legal. But his complaints about how money is divided up are nothing new to the Concorde Agreement, and nobody has ever had a problem with it until now.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 12th December 2012, 0:20

      I’d love to see how Parr thinks F1′s operation is an infringement of EU competition law. Even if there are issues, they may be justified under certain articles in the EU Treaty anyway. As F1 is a pretty unique entity it would be very interesting to see how competition law is applied to interaction between the teams and the commercial rights holder.

    • China said on 12th December 2012, 0:27

      If nobody has had a problem with it why did Mercedes complain about it and other teams? And if they have nothing to hide why not let the European commission do an investigation? My bet is if they do Bernie being Bernie will punish them like he always does, the repercussions are really bad.

      This is one thing i dislike about F1 it’s not really open, like other sports secret back room deals and anti-competitive behavior. I mean seriously what was it last time, Ferrari getting 200 million to sign the previous concorde agreement to the detriment of the other teams? And that’s ok is it? Sour grapes? I think more to it than that to be honest with F1′s reputation.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th December 2012, 3:04

      I’m not going to argue law with a lawyer and really to say “nobody has ever had a problem with it until now” is pure speculation at best, as you like to ask @prisoner-monkeys, can you prove that?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 3:58

        When was the last time you heard anyone complaining that the allocation of money under the Concorde Agreement was unlawful? I’ve never heard a single person make these claims until Adam Parr complained about them.

        Furthermore, my not being able to prove that no-one has ever had these issues before does not automatically make Parr’s allegations true. The only reason why anyone wants to believe them is because they’re allegations against Bernie Ecclestone, and people will take any excuse that gets offered to see him pulled down.

        You don’t think that it’s slightly suspicious that Parr would only have a problem with the terms of offer once he lost his position? And if he had stayed in his position, would he be making the same claims?

        Sorry, but Parr’s claims have got “disguntled former employee” written all over it.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 12th December 2012, 8:15

          The only reason why anyone wants to believe them is because they’re allegations against Bernie Ecclestone

          I think that he has a point, and for a long time I haven’t liked the unfair distribution of resources within the sport. As I don’t think, as a competition it’s in the right spirit. Really, the money should be distributed evenly I think.

          However, it goes against what Bernie thinks so my point is invalid right?

          Also, I’d like to point out that at no point in his tenure at Williams was Parr one of Ecclestones employees. It’s rather more like that an employee of a sporting team has been pushed out by someone involved in the governing organization of the sport due to differences of opinion. Which to me, seems really really wrong.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 8:20

            I think that he has a point, and for a long time I haven’t liked the unfair distribution of resources within the sport. As I don’t think, as a competition it’s in the right spirit. Really, the money should be distributed evenly I think.

            However, it goes against what Bernie thinks so my point is invalid right?

            There is a difference between “unfair” and “unlawful”. The distribution of money might have always been unfair, but this is the first time that people are claiming that it is unlawful.

            What I don’t like is the way people have automatically assumed that it is unlawful, simply because Adam Parr claims he was pushed out of the sport by Bernie. We only have Parr’s word for it that this happened, and he has every reason to push the blame onto someone else – after all, he lost his job. So at best, he’s an unreliable source until he can prove otherwise, but people have jumped on his allegations because they want to believe that Bernie is evil and this just gives them more ammunition to use against him.

          • DVC (@dvc) said on 12th December 2012, 9:20

            Is offering prize money unfair? That’s an unequal distribution of monies.

          • @prisoner-monkeys

            There is a difference between “unfair” and “unlawful”

            And here you can distinguish between what Parr is saying, and what my thoughts are. Because I’m not claiming that it’s unlawful, he is. I’m just saying that it’s an interesting point, and that there is possibly merit behind it.

            “People” have had many ideas about it, some seem to think that it is unlawful, others not. You seem set on that Parr is a lying scum bag who is only out to get revenge side of the argument…. I’m going to sit on the fence myself, but I think Parr has some interesting ideas.

            What I don’t like is the way people have automatically assumed that it is unlawful

            I haven’t automatically assumed anything. I doubt many people have, and I’m offended that only you can have a thought out opinion. I’ve read what Parr said in the article, and I think he has a point.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th December 2012, 12:50

          I’ve never heard a single person make these claims until Adam Parr complained about them.

          But we all heard Mercedes were seriously considering a complaint, so if what you write might be technically correct in wording, its far from true that this is anything new.
          My take on it: at the time it came up, and with my knowledge of a bit of EU commercial law and competition law, I did see a valid point in the questioning of its legality to give advantages to some hand picked competitors and not to others on less than clear criteria (I, contrary to you, do live and do business in the EU, and these treaties were part of what I learnt during my studies).
          And as @hohum mentions, Parr is a lawyer and unlikely to state such a thing without reason to believe it might stick. Not to forget 5 years of life inside the paddock.
          Also you should not forget, that the way the sport is ruled, and the commercial rights have been seperated from the governing of the sport, was done as a result of an earlier investigation into the FIA’s dealings by the EU commission. So its hardly without precedent to have the EU look at competition law.

          Parr has been out of F1 for over half a year now, and what he says, while unpleasant for some does not have any repercussions for him.
          Unlike the effects it might have had on both Williams, and Mercedes, if either, or both would have gone ahead with any official complaint – As someone mentioned, insiders in the sport still believe that McLaren payed their 100 Million fine more for being part of afore mentioned complaint to the EU, than for spying on a competitor. And I would argue, that UK tax authorities might see it the same way.

        • When was the last time you heard anyone complaining that the allocation of money under the Concorde Agreement was unlawful? I’ve never heard a single person make these claims until Adam Parr complained about them.

          There is always the first time for everything. Just because no one said it before does not mean that it shouldnt be true at all.

    • Jubameister said on 12th December 2012, 6:08

      It’s not just about the money, it’s the new f1 comission where some teams have a place that is causing some trouble.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 12th December 2012, 6:46

      Interesting words from a man whose previous team hadn’t won a race for 7 years and were benefiting greatly, surviving even according to some journalists. From advanced payments of an “unequal division of power and money to a subset of teams “.

    • Kelsier (@kelsier) said on 12th December 2012, 11:48

      There’s no evidence that Adam Parr “lost his job”, just a few weeks before Frank Williams said he was like a son to him and a natural successor. Seems more like he quit because he was unhappy. Which would fit in with him criticising Bernie if he was unhappy with how the sport works.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 12th December 2012, 12:36

      Parr had problems with the Concorde Agreement long before he was forced to quit Williams. Obviously we don’t know what’s going on behind the closed doors, but I think it’s good that someone fights for fairness in F1. Even if Parr is a “disgruntled former employee”, it doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 0:12

    bid for takeover of winning #Formula1 team was declined yesterday.

    I find this comment interestingly obscure. It was only posted two hours ago, so I’m guessing Nimmervoll only just found out about it.

    I wonder what he means by “winning team”? Is he referring to Red Bull, the team that won the championship? Or is he referring to a race-winning team? I find it interesting because Nimmervoll is the one who broke the news of the Lotus-Honeywell deal, and that is said to involve title sponsorship. I wonder if Honeywell were looking to buy the team outright – that might have been enough to cause this deal to collapse at the last minute.

  3. celeste (@celeste) said on 12th December 2012, 0:13

    I think that team that declined the takeover was Red Bull Racing

    • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 12th December 2012, 1:27

      Or Toro Rosso

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 12th December 2012, 2:23

      Please, clarify this, I’m totally lost. How is Nimmervoll? Was he about to buy Red Bull Racing? Where did this news appear? @celeste thanks

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 12th December 2012, 2:24

        Who, not how (embarrased)

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 12th December 2012, 2:46

        @omarr-pepper he is a journalist…more than that I don´t know…
        I´m only using the information he had giving to made an hypotesis…

        A winning team, as @prisoner-monkeys wrote it can be a “race” winner or a “championship” winner team…

        Plus I wouldn´t be surprise if Red bull just turned down Infiniti

        Is it a worry that, in the joint-branding with Red Bull, Infiniti may not enough cut-through?

        There have always been sensitivities about Red Bull being too dominant, or not accepting of other brands, but we’ve learned that we get along and – even if we wanted to – we couldn’t throw Red Bull out.

        There is brand equity rubbing off in both directions. We also want to do this in a tasteful and integrated way, not just slapping big logos on everything. I lot of people thought it unlikely, but for both brands it would be a good move.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th December 2012, 8:51

          He is a journalist for a pretty well respected German publisher. And he does have his ties to good sources of inside info (see that one about he Lotus – Honeywell deal).

          Given that he was present at the VW Polo – Red Bull sponsored WRC car, then it makes sense to think about Red Bull having something to do with it (could have picked up the lead for the info there).

          But its rather more likely that “winning team” would be STR than the current top dogs in the sport (after all, its far easier to buy STR and get towards success in a couple of years with your own brand than to buy successfull (and likely VERY expensive) RBR and hope to keep the run of success going for another couple of years, and still risk beeing seen as just the guys who bought a winning team).

  4. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 12th December 2012, 0:21

    Oh… No Barrichello to cheer on in IndyCar next season. That’s unfortunate. He could have been well-placed to move forwards. Back to 100% behind Sato then. Providing Sato gets a seat.

  5. Parr didnt lose his position he resigned. Which was a shock at the time, even to frank.

    But we now know why. F1′s crooked ringmaster blackmailed him out of the ‘sport’

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 2:01

      Right, because the word of a disgruntled employee is completely trustworthy. Parr has offered up no proof that Ecclestone forced him out, and Bernie had no motive to do so.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 12th December 2012, 2:51

        I agree with this point of view

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th December 2012, 3:19

        What makes you call Parr a disgruntled employee, he wasn’t working for Bernie ? By statements from both sides Parr left Williams for the good of the company , because he believed “rightly or wrongly” that Bernie would not give Williams a good deal while he was there, that is cautious lawyer speak for ” I tried to organise opposition to Bernie in order to get more money for the teams but a vindictive Bernie took it personally.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 4:15

          What makes you call Parr a disgruntled employee

          Because he lost his job and he’s angry about it. That’s the definition of a “disgruntled former employee”. He’s simply casting the blame on the person he believes got him fired.

          that is cautious lawyer speak for ” I tried to organise opposition to Bernie in order to get more money for the teams but a vindictive Bernie took it personally

          Perhaps if you stopped putting words in other peoples’ mouths, you might understnad the issue at hand. You have absolutely no evidence that Parr tried to organise a resistance against Bernie. You’re just assuming that it happened because that’s what you wanted to happen.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th December 2012, 8:56

            Perhaps if you stopped putting words in other peoples’ mouths, you might understnad the issue at hand. You have absolutely no evidence that Parr tried to organise a resistance against Bernie.

            Maybe you should look back at your own style of arguing before posting that kind of remark towards someone else @prisoner-monkeys!

            Sure, there is no proof (is there ever in F1 – How much was proven in doping use in cycling – if the insiders are afraid to talk about it, not much is ever getting out), but its a fact that almost immediately AFTER Parr resigned Williams got a more favourable offer. Its not proof, but it does give good ground to think that both were connected (as most of us took it as certain at the time it happened, including Paddock insiders)

          • He didnt lose his job, he resigned. why is that so hard to understand?

          • @prisoner-monkeys, please stop talking like as if Parr was completely in the wrong, unless you actually have inside information on what actually happened.

            Bernie had no motive to do so

            How would you know that Bernie would have no motive to force him out? Do you actually personally know both men, and have actual details on the situation? No? Then don’t make such extreme claims.

            and please read carefully before “putting words in other peoples’ mouths”, as you have mentioned because it has been mentioned that he didn’t get fired, he himself resigned to help Williams get better terms.

            Also as mentioned by @bascb and others before me, surely there must be something fishy going on if Williams got a better deal near immediately after Parr has resigned, showing how Bernie & Co. might actually not be very keen to have him involved in F1.

  6. Kimi4WDC said on 12th December 2012, 0:44

    COTD: Apply this http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/formula-1/formula-one-2010-drivers-guide-207442

    Consider time gained per lap for fuel spent. In modern Formula 1 minimum weight is more important than ever. It would be a shame if F1 would become Horse Racing or Ski Jumping type of sport with regards to a very sharp requirements to physical attributes rather than racing talent.

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 12th December 2012, 0:48

    We had mechanical issues, a chassis change, and ultimately the style of my driving did not suit for the last few races

    I have to say I dislike comments like these from Di Resta. The chassis change as I understand it was made because the old chassis wasn’t to his liking, now the excuse for his poor form is that it was changed? And what is this ‘style’ that he refers to? A smooth calculating style like Jenson, the same man who won in Brazil? A ‘style’ that means he cannot drive in the wet?

    From such an exciting prospect, Di Resta is becoming so dull with his excuses. Sorry if this sounds a little harsh, I guess being once a fan myself it’s frustrating to see a driver fail to improve.

    In the words of chicken-in-a-basket-style entertainer Rihanna, the time has come to “shut up and drive” Paul (albeit in 4 months time).

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th December 2012, 1:23

      @john-h

      I have to say I dislike comments like these from Di Resta. The chassis change as I understand it was made because the old chassis wasn’t to his liking, now the excuse for his poor form is that it was changed? And what is this ‘style’ that he refers to? A smooth calculating style like Jenson, the same man who won in Brazil? A ‘style’ that means he cannot drive in the wet?

      I’ve noticed that di Resta is a master of deflecting blame away from an issue in such a way that it doesn’t hurt his career. If he qualifies poorly, it will be because he got stuck in traffic, or the track characteristics changed and hsi tyres weren’t very good, or there was a niggling mechanical fault, and they always seem to strike just before he has the opportunity to set a decent lap time. It’s like he’s far too worried about upsetting someone in such a way that it will hurt his career, and tailors his comments to explain away his problems without treading on anyone’s toes. To hear Paul di Resta tell it, you could be forgiven for thinking he’s the unluckiest man on the grid because problems that are beyond his or the team’s ability to control always show up at the worst possible time, as if fate is conspiring against him. A perfect example of this is when McLaren signed Sergio Perez up for next year: when asked about it, di Resta said that McLaren chose Perez because he was “more marketable” than himself, not because Perez was a better or more-accomplished driver. Likewise, after a poor qualifying session in Austin, di Resta said that he has a very smooth driving style, which ultiamtely proved to be too smooth to get the tyres working. So he takes the blame for it, but he pays himself a massive compliment.

    • Spinmastermic (@spinmastermic) said on 12th December 2012, 1:32

      My thoughts exactly, Nico was miles ahead in Brazil.

    • david d.m. said on 12th December 2012, 2:27

      Yes, you’re right, but pretty much every driver is like that, specially in F1, I guess that’s because they’re used to winning all the time in the lower formulas where all the cars are the same and is less competitive, so if they screw up now it’s easier to blame the car or circumstances but of course they’re only fooling themselves.

  8. Haha! What I find interesting about that lease addendum is that the tenant can be evicted for subletting their apartment during the grand prix weekend. Do you have any idea how many people are planning on doing that?!

    • Abdurahman (@) said on 12th December 2012, 1:52

      I noticed that as well! Why would that be of anybody’s concern? I’m sure it is rampant in Monaco.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th December 2012, 3:41

      @aka-robyn, as a one-time Realtor and property manager I find it quite understandable that a landlord would not want his/her property sub let for any event, the danger of damage to the property and breaking of the bldg by-laws is far to great.

      • Oh, I can totally understand that! If I were a landlord, I wouldn’t be crazy about the idea, either. But I think people are going to be doing it left and right anyway. Even my neighbors in Hoboken are talking about renting their place out that weekend, both to escape the mayhem and to make a buttload of money.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th December 2012, 9:01

        @hohum, I can fully understand it as well from the landlord view. On the other hand, I would think the fact one can do sub-letting for such an event might make the property go up in worth too.
        I would expect them to include its at the power of the landlord to agree to some cases of subletting provided explicit previous consent of the landlord (including rules of behavior for the sub-letting parties)

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th December 2012, 15:18

          @bascb, but there is no benefit to the landlord and there is great risk, it is entirely different to an owner occupier doing a short term “event” lease.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th December 2012, 15:50

            The benefit for the landlord would be that its easier to “sell” the rent, as the apartments would be more attractive to potential letters.
            But it would mean some serious conditions fulfilled by the people wanting to sub-let, including things like a fund for potential damages/insurance of risks, I guess.
            Fact is, when its forbidden, people will try it anyway, so maybe making some provision to do it, but only after explicit previous consent (with the rules agreed upon for that occasion) to have the landlord at least know up front and check up on it.

  9. Abdurahman (@) said on 12th December 2012, 1:50

    Barrichelo in Brazilian Stock Cars? Gosh, that sounds dreadful. I don’t know what Brazilian stock cars are but are we talking about clunkers going around ovals? I can’t believe he has not been interested or had any offers in WEC. Maybe he is not into endurance racing but the technology and prestige is in it at least. Even ALMS in the states would seem better than stock cars. Even Blancpain endurance series. All the best to him, though I never cared for him really in F1, he always seemed like a genuinely good guy and respected by all in the community.
    I am also beginning to question PaulDiResta big time after this season. I was pulling for him last year, and last year he seemed to be just a bit more edgy and on it. I found it very interesting that after all the fanfare surrounding his rookie year on SkyF1 and BBC, that neither! of those networks called into question his pretty poor second half of this seasons results. I can’t recall any broadcaster or pundit saying anything less than flattering about him ever. He has seemingly really become so overly smooth and oiled with his responses to questions and such, I guess that is coming from Coulthards mentoring?

  10. I’m not sure what the New Jersey Addendum is supposed to show. It’s just an addition to the terms of someone’s lease. There’s nothing even remotely official about it, just a landlord adding terms to the lease. The date used comes from the date that was initially planned for the 2013 GP.

    Speaking of Jersey, was there a report on how the construction was affected by Sandy?

  11. andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th December 2012, 6:39

    Not sure if it has been mentioned anywhere in the round-up lately, but yesterday I found this wonderful article on Racecar Engineering about the cars that have been designed by Adrian Newey, including a fantastic video of the making of the Williams FW14. Link

  12. RedBullRacer (@redbullracer) said on 12th December 2012, 10:50

    “The end of my season wasn’t great. We had mechanical issues, a chassis change, and ultimately the style of my driving did not suit for the last few races.”

    Hold the phone….. is Paul Di Resta actually accepting responsibility for his own poor results? That’s a first.

  13. NordicF1Team (@nordicf1team) said on 12th December 2012, 19:11

    Is the entry for new team in F1 2013 closed now? (HRT not start)

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th December 2012, 18:25

    Not sure I agree with the COTD…it’s easy to criticise the minimum weight issue, but if tomorrow it was removed we don’t know what ‘innovation’ that might lead to…potentially unsafe. Don’t forget these designers are good at getting around rules so anything to do with safety shouldn’t be removed.

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