Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013

Vettel’s excess of success a concern for Infiniti

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull sponsors Infiniti admit there is a downside to Sebastian Vettel’s sustained success.


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Infiniti: Vettel’s dominance is bad news – for now (Autocar)

Infiniti executive vice president Andy Palmer “We are in F1 to gain awareness of our brand, and that?s all about getting eyeballs on screens. From that point of view you could say Sebastian has been too successful.”

CSST blames racing group for Grand Prix death (CTV News)

“[Marie-France] Vermette [of the workers’ health and safety group Commission de la Sante et de la Securite du Travail] noted that the event?s promoters say that the crew was rushing because fans had started to flood onto the track, and they didn?t want spectators to touch the car.”

Ecclestone laughs off claims of intimidation (The Telegraph)

“It emerged in court on Thursday that Gribkowksy, who has been jailed for eight and a half years in Germany for his role in one of the country’s largest corruption scandals, at one stage felt so threatened by Formula One’s chief executive that he went to the police to register his concerns.”

Eddie Jordan and Alain Prost paid ??10m each in key F1 deal, court told (The Guardian)

Ecclestone’s response to being asked whether he thought it was acceptable to pay a bribe to a public official: “I’ll have to think about that. I wish I’d thought about it before actually.”

‘Everybody wants to have security’ (ESPN)

Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s very rarely that someone – only Lewis [Hamilton] comes into my mind – comes into Formula One and is right away in a top team and in a competitive car. Most of the drivers have to earn their way through and really fight for a top drive and maybe it’s not the time yet but I think my performances show that I would be ready to deliver good things.”

Teams on the limit to get new cars ready (Autosport)

McLaren operations director Sam Michael: “Teams now have operational procedures to make sure they don’t make mistakes, and almost all of those will go in the bin [for 2014] and we will have to start again. That is why you will see variations next year.”

New FIA personality of the year and FIA moment of the year (FIA)

“In the FIA Moment of the Year category, followers of the FIA Facebook page will be able to vote on 12 videos selected by the FIA Jury, each featuring action from numerous FIA Championships over the past year.”

The real Vettel (MotorSport)

“I tried most sports when I was younger ?ǣ and hated sharing. I didn?t really enjoy football, for instance, partly because I wasn?t very good ?ǣ perhaps that?s why the others never gave me the ball. Mainly, though, I think I?m selfish, as you have to be in F1: I want to do things on my own terms.”

End of an era: signing off the final Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, FF73! (Mercedes via YouTube)

Guest Blog: How F1 has changed, by Ed Gorman (James Allen on F1)

Lewis [Hamilton] seems to have turned into the paddock?s answer to Zsa Zsa Gabor with his pet dog in tow and lots of other superstar nonsense but no sign of another title.”

250 Hard Drives Used To Make One Epic F1 Car (Legit Reviews)

“Rob Ryan carefully crafted this F1 car and at first glance it is hard to imagine that it came from hundreds of hard drives.”


Comment of the day

An observation on Bernie Ecclestone’s legal disputed from @Graham228221:

As a British tax payer, I?m increasingly annoyed that HM Revenue and Customs have not been taking up a case against Ecclestone and his Bambino Trust.

He has admitted now several times that he paid a huge bribe to this banker because he felt ??threatened? that his tax arrangements would be revealed and that he could be liable to pay out a huge amount in unpaid tax (I?ve seen ??2 billion being mentioned).

If this isn?t an admission of tax evasion I don?t know what is ?ǣ he owes the UK a huge amount of money, and our government has done nothing.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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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

Honda ended their most successful stint in F1 as engine suppliers on this day in 1992 with another race victory. Gerhard Berger, driving his last race for McLaren, won the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide after team mate Ayrton Senna collided with Nigel Mansell.

That brought Honda’s ten-year involvement in F1 since 1983 to an end. They will return as McLaren’s engine suppliers in 2015.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

89 comments on “Vettel’s excess of success a concern for Infiniti”

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  1. Totally agree with the COTD and I’m really scratching my head over that one. Ecclestone has said over and over again that he paid the bribe because he was being blackmailed with threats of exposing his tax dealings. If Ecclestone things that it’s worth paying millions to avoid people taking a look at his taxes, it rather suggests that his taxes deserve some serious scrutiny you’d have thought. maybe there’s some legal technicality which means he’s not able to be investigated for tax evasion while he’s the subject of a corruption case, but it seems pretty unlikely. If I were HMRC I’d be going through his details with a fine toothed comb at this point and building a case against him.

    This man is a crook who seems to think he should be above the law, and I really hope he ends up in prison where he belongs.

  2. COTD is spot on. Why isnt anyone in government looking into the tax affairs of the Bambino trust is beyond explanation now.

  3. Everyone is going to hate me for this, but what did Bernie actually do, or is it an allogation?

    1. @kieferh4 – He stands accused of paying a bribe to Gerhard Gribkowsky, a German banker, before the sale of the rights to Formula 1. Bernie does not deny the payment, and instead claims that it was extortion, with Gribkowsky threatening to report him to tax authorities unless he paid.

    2. If you have been asleep for the last 2 years you will need to do research online.

  4. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    8th November 2013, 11:08

    What ramifications would chasing Bernie for £2b have on the rest of the motorsport industry in the UK? The industry employs around 40k people and contributes around £5b to the UK economy annually. Any disruptions to those figures speculatively chasing a one-off £2b might well be counter productive in the long term.

    1. Motorsport could rest easy knowing that an unscrupulous man would no longer have a huge war-chest available to take over and asset strip their industry.

  5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    8th November 2013, 11:56

    @kieferh4 In Janet and John language, it’s alleged that Bernie bribed Gribwots’isname, who worked for F1 Group’s owners Bayern LB, to under-sell F1 to his preferred buyers.

    Bernie’s explaination for the $44m payment is that he had snubbed Gribkowsky for a good job within F1 and in response the German threatened to expose the full extent of Ecclestone’s involvement in his family’s trust fund (called Bambino Holdings) to the UK tax man. Should that threat be seen through, the tax man may potentially chase Ecclestone for a rumoured £2b. He is worth around £2.6b.

  6. they work blooming quick at Mercedes F1 Engines! :)

  7. @joepa hey, YOU are that Infiniti spokesperson, admit it!!! (At leat defending that position a gazillion times gives me that impression)

  8. RBR with Vettel and Newey will equaly win with a Mercedes Benz engine, a Ferrari Engine. And I guess they will do a decent job with a Cosworth. Infinity/Renault is the lesser reason why Vettel is so ahead.

  9. Kenny Ryekonen
    8th November 2013, 23:48

    When Vettel shows his finger backwards, it’s not to say ‘yeah baby i’m number one…’, it’s to tell everyone Infiniti is spelled with ‘i’, not a ‘y’

  10. In the wake of Robinson’s death the CSST has ordered a ban on using forklifts, cranes and other hoists from transporting vehicles on the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack.
    When vehicles or any heavy load are moved they should be properly balanced by the hoist, and not rely on people to keep them in place.
    The agency also says all heavy machinery operators should be properly trained in their use, and that cranes should have a speed limit sign attached as a reminder.

    That is how you should react, not with complacency.

  11. Infinity should put its money in MotoGP. I changed my tv channel long ago and to be honest it is much more interesting.

  12. Infiniti is most likely trying to preempt a situation where they may have to pay more for being title sponsors… I mean most of the times, the rates of more successful teams are higher. I’m pretty sure that there may be other sponsors who may want that spot on RBR cars.

    that was easy :P where’s the prize?

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