Ecclestone on bribe case: “Bet it doesn’t happen”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Bernie Ecclestone, 2013In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone is confident over the outcome of legal cation claiming he paid a bribe to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

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Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Ecclestone expects bribe case to collapse (7 News)

“Bet you it doesn’t happen … things happen in life and you have to get on with it.”

Lotus sorry over Sochi ‘gay’ tweet (BBC)

“Lotus later said the tweet was ‘unauthorised’ and had been deleted.”

RBS could put brake on Liberty?s battle for F1 (The Telegraph)

“The Royal Bank of Scotland and Goldman Sachs could block plans for a takeover of Formula One by Liberty Media.”

Now, Bangalore court summons Vijay Mallya (Business Standard)

“Vijay Mallya, chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, may have to make more than one trip to a court in February. In addition to the Delhi High Court?s summons to Mallya this month, a special court for economic offences has summoned him over dues from Kingfisher to the income-tax department.”

Protecting the Dynasty: talking with David Brabham (The Motorsport Archive)

“The situation was complicated further when the party in Germany attempted to register the ‘Brabham Grand Prix’ name for the Formula One World Championship in 2009. ‘[Franz] Hilmer ended doing a deal with some other guy that I was suing for the use of the name and call it Brabham Grand Prix, so we put in an objection to that and Bernie [Ecclestone] did as well and it got changed very quickly.'”

Tweets and pictures

Pushing hard with the neck training to prepare for the season! Not the most comfortable training, but it's very important! I'm at formula medicine in Italy together with @alexelgh . Tomorrow I'm flying to uk to spend a couple of days with @caterhamf1 #ME9

Marcus Ericsson: “Pushing hard with the neck training to prepare for the season! Not the most comfortable training, but it’s very important!”

Comment of the day

Max Jacobson on Lotus’s change of heart over their latest controversial Tweet:

I was disappointed by Lotus? apologising and deleting their rather fantastic tweet wishing all the Sochi athletes good luck. They have been far more unorthodox in the past, such as with the infamous rabbit tweet, so essentially advocating gay rights in such a brilliantly ??Lotus?? way was rather mild. But one of their greatest tweets.

If they have the audacity to poke at Red Bull?s misfortune before they?ve even officially ran the car, I can?t see how the Sochi tweet was unnaceptable.
Max Jacobson (@Vettel1)

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Red Bull launched their RB5 five years ago today. It was their first race-winning car and all of its successors were also world championship winners.

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117 comments on Ecclestone on bribe case: “Bet it doesn’t happen”

  1. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 9th February 2014, 0:32

    Agree with COTD, don’t understand why it was taken down. Unauthorised or not, it had a good point behind it.

    • marky mark said on 9th February 2014, 0:44

      I’m guessing its sponsor related.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th February 2014, 1:09

      It is inappropriate. It is clearly intended as a political statement, which the IOC really does not like. After all, Muhammad Ali threw away his gold medal when he was refused service in a bar because of the colour of his skin, and the IOC refused to replace it for thirty years.

      Motorsport might not be recognised by the IOC as an Olympic sport, but the IOC and the FIA have a working relationship. For one of the FIA’s charges to be posting something so blatantly politicised is embarrassing for both the FIA and the IOC.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th February 2014, 15:08

        @prisoner-monkeys – Why should we be apolitical though? Why must we sit quietly whilst this grotesque policy ruins the lives of millions. If Channel 4 can unapologetically come up with “gay mountain”, what is wrong with another British business offering its condemnation? One of the redeeming features of recent Bahrain GP is that it has become a platform onto which political atrocities have been projected. Why can’t Sochi be the same? Yes, the IOC is right in trying to keep politics and sport apart, but as someone who did a degree in politics, I know that it is seldom possible to exude politics from any national event entirely, and in this case is that remotely desirable? When Russia has made such a homophobic statement in policy; policy that will most probably broaden as Russia’s political stance drifts ever further right? No. Inappropriate? I can’t imagine anything more appropriate.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th February 2014, 19:57

          Russia’s policies have been characterised as homophobic by nations with a progressive attitude to homosexuality – but they completely neglect the cultural element. Russia is a conservative country, which comes from the close relationship with the Orthodox Church. Russia’s law simply criminalises the discussion of homosexuality with minors – people who are under the legal age of consent.

          What this boils down to is people failing to realise or accept that other countries have different cultural values. It is not Lotus’ place to comment on them, and it is certainly not their place to go making statements that are deliberately inflammatory.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 10th February 2014, 15:18

            @prisoner-monkeys – That is not quite right. The Western concern with the policy is its a symbolic act of conservatism, an act that will surely herald further constraints on homosexuality as Putin drags the needle of Russia’s political compass ever further right. Putin is a pragmatist, and although he was a long time member of the Communist Party, his personal beliefs have always been firmly on the political right. Ever since he becomes the key orchestrator behind Russian politics his reforms has always been about strengthening market competition, the role of the Orthodox Church and governmental authoritarianism. The symbolic nature of essentially preferring that children weren’t homosexual, although the policy is both impossible to police and ultimately trivial, is hugely significant step in the development of Russian politics.

            You mistake the prominent role of religion with the automatic cultural justification of such a policy. Italy and Brazil have cultures that are even more religiously orientated, but even though both feature Catholicism, which clashes with homosexuality more than the Orthodox Church, neither nations feel compelled to put sanctions upon homosexuality. So why Russia?

            A subtle, but elegant and humorous reminder of the ultimately harmless nature of homosexuality was as from “deliberately inflammatory” as it is conceivable to imagine.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2014, 15:34

            they completely neglect the cultural element. Russia is a conservative country, which comes from the close relationship with the Orthodox Church

            Have you studied the history of Russia closely to say so @prisoner-monkeys?
            I am not familiar enough with it to say so for certain, but I challenge the notion that 80 years of Stalinist, communist regime propaganda did not change some notions of conservatism. The current “conservatism” then is more a function of modern propaganda – Putin and his friends cynically using the church as well as nationalism to create a situation that makes it easier to stay in power and “take their share” of what riches Russia offers than of cultural identity as such.

      • @prisoner-monkeys I disagree, the Olympics should be used with their huge global media coverage as a platform to provoke discussions on human rights violations, irrespective of the conservatism of the governing bodies.

        They do not have to associate directly with those who have the balls to speak out and I won’t respect them for that, but any public sanctions imposed by those governing bodies will have them absolutely torn apart by the media.

        • Diego (@ironcito) said on 9th February 2014, 16:51

          @vettel1 @william-brierty The deleted tweet was because of sponsors, not the IOC. But regarding this issue, using the Olympics for political statements can quickly become a slippery slope. Where do you put the limit? Would if be OK for the Olympics to advocate or decry abortion, for example? To call for the end of the Saudi royalty and its replacement with a democratic government? To legalize marihuana? They’re probably right to keep politics out altogether and save themselves a lot of headaches.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th February 2014, 20:02

          @vettel1 – There is nothing in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognises the choice of sexual orientation as a human right. There are a few articles that might apply with some interpretation, but these are all subjective.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 9th February 2014, 20:44

        @prisoner-monkeys

        I disagree. I don’t think it is a political statement in the way that they are banned by the Olympic Charter. It is simply a general statement pointing out there should be no discrimination as set out in the Olympic Charter: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

        A political statement would be a protest against Putin because of this issue. Sponsorship issues aside, I must therefore reject that it was an inappropriate tweet.

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 9th February 2014, 1:51

      The article explains why. Some of Lotus’ sponsors do business in Russia, and the tweet made things uncomfortable.

      • Google are not in the position where if they lose their Russian sponsors, they’ll cease to exist. Google can do whatever the hell they want.

  2. Chad (@chaddy) said on 9th February 2014, 0:44

    I wish Vettel would post some training pics. Probably just him walking around with a baby bjorn on or waking up at 3am a lot.

  3. Yaya Ishaq (@ferrari_412t) said on 9th February 2014, 1:00

    I’m getting a bit tired of the negative COTD’s lately. I know people are allowed to express their views but the negativity has gone on for too long I think. Lighten up guys!

  4. Thanks very much for my rant being selected as comment of the day @keithcollantine! Much appreciated :)

  5. Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 9th February 2014, 1:41

    Bet it doesn’t happen? How much and who did you pay to make sure of that one?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th February 2014, 4:40

      Billionaires are just luckier than ordinary people.

    • That’s disgusting. No other word.

      First, I did not want to react to the “Ecclestone’s affair” but he really is devaluating our sport and ethic.

      It could turn F1 into disgrace: a world where the richest can bribe the poorest to make the rules they can profit.
      A world where you freely could act illegally, even when everybody knows it.
      A world where one could bet that justice won’t be given, and could brag about it on every media.
      A world where you can discredit 18 out of 19 races, just for a bit more money.

      F1 has turned into a non-funny circus for a long time now. Before it was from year to year, now it’s from day to day.
      There is too many discrepancies in the highest levels of the sport. Can we still describe it as a sport? I ain’t that sure…

      It looks like only the fans can run F1 properly, with long-term vision and no money profit involved, Maybe together with some teams, we are the only one still vibrating when watching an F1 start.

      Let’s create a FOFA (Formula One Fans’ Association) and get rid of those commercial men.

  6. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 9th February 2014, 1:47

    Very interesting the article regarding RBS and GS even having any comments to make about an inquiry that has been described as “there are no real discussions with Liberty and nothing is imminent anyway”. Then, why comment at all? Funny how nearly all parties are defining positions and declaring what could happen or not happen just in case. My question after this latest round of non-event preparations is what would happen if the potential came in and not only bought a stake but as a condition of doing so also purchased the debt from RBS? A potential buyer that has already bought an estimated $30bn of European media assets would likely have the ability to do so. How bad does Malone want F1 and the broadcasting rights that go with it?This could be fascinating to watch unfold, if it happens.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th February 2014, 10:43

      Note who wrote that story though @bullmello, and it leads you to a partial answer. Indeed, while the banks could block it, and the FIA could block it (typical that that aspect is NOT raised by bernies pet journo), there is no reason for them to do so unless they see an increased risk of the sport defaulting in the future. And sure enough the only thing it means is that a buyer has to take refinancing the loans in account, as you mention.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 9th February 2014, 18:29

        @bascb

        (typical that that aspect is NOT raised by bernies pet journo)

        Thanks for that, it all makes more sense now. It certainly does seem more than coincidental that Malone is interested while Bernie has had to step down and could be perceived to be in a weaker position.

  7. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 9th February 2014, 1:50

    That is … if the potential buyer came in…

  8. Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 3:58

    I don’t know if Keith will post this, but I support Lotus taking that tweet down. I think Russia’s law banning the exposure of youth to homosexual propaganda is a good thing, and I fully support it.

    • Alex Ward said on 9th February 2014, 4:34

      Alot of people would agree with you, but i think most f1 followers are quite worldly and educated and thus not afraid of their children being converted by a couple of bokes kissing.

      • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 15:27

        What is fascinating is how the majority of people on this site hold a worldview that they do not seem to realize is a minority view in the world. Secular progressivism is limited to, primarily, wealthy, white, European persons in the west. It is not an ascendent view anywhere else in the world. It is this view of the world which seeks, above all else, to eliminate conflict and division by making everyone and everything the same – ignoring real differences that are not only naturally-recognized, but good as well. It also suffers from the delusion that through enough political will, money, education, and government might, utopia can be achieved. If we can only throw off the shackles of [insert latest cause here], we’ll finally have it right. Yesterday it was religion. Today its sexual morality and the natural law. Tomorrow it will be something else. This worldview spawned eugenics, national socialism, totalitarianism, and the destruction of the family. We reject this worldview as false, and we actually are the majority of the world.

        You look upon us as backward and ignorant. We look upon you as simply wrong. We view same sex attraction as a disorder, no different than an unusual attachment to alcohol, drugs, or some other destructive behavior. We see things as having purposes and as being created thusly. You reject any notion of purpose or creation.

        You see, we will not agree on these things. You can say we are wrong, but we are only wrong from your worldview (which you cannot see beyond). We do not hold your view. We do not accept your goals for society. We reject your values because they are anti-values to us.

        • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 9th February 2014, 16:21

          We look upon you as simply wrong. We view same sex attraction as a disorder

          .
          Who does it hurt, Bruce? Alcohol abuse, drugs and other “destructive behaviours”, as you call them have victims. But who is the victim in emancipating homosexuals?
          No one persuaded me to be homosexual, no one ‘indoctrinated’ me or coerced me. I knew what I was and I was frightened and ashamed. Slowly, bit by bit, I gained confidence and society unwound itself just enough to allow me to live my life in the way I wanted. Not having to feign an interest in women, not feeling that I had to get married or spend my life lonely – and not breaking the heart of some girl who I married and then sexually betrayed has been a real liberation.
          Don’t set society back hundred’s of years and force millions to live in misery because of your dislike of our orientation.

        • Pink Peril (@pink-peril) said on 9th February 2014, 22:00

          @Bruce, your comments would have a lot more weight if you ever used the term ‘I’ in espousing your beliefs. The constant use of the term ‘we’, in my view, confirms you are just spouting an organisation’s official dogma, a form of propaganda in it’s own right, no?

          “the actual activity leads to some of the highest rates of disease, depression, violence, and suicide”. I’d say its not the actual activity but the discrimination and homophobia gay people are subjected to leads to the instances of depression and suicide.

          • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 22:13

            What I think matters not, since I am merely one of an entire body who have the same worldview.

            As for your assertion regarding the horrific rates of depression, abuse, and suicide among active homosexuals, the data comes from nations who not only are highly accepting of such acts, they also promote them.

            What you are supporting is a mere strawman.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th February 2014, 4:44

      Rule # 1 ! Right Bruce? Actually Bruce is a popular Scottish name.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 9th February 2014, 5:49

      @Bruce I’m truly curious as to why you support it? Have you not seen any of the Russian violence against homosexuality there?

      • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 15:06

        The law does not call for violence. Violence occurs everywhere and always will. No amount of laws or government coercion will ever cure humanity of its fallen nature. None.

        Persons such as myself support laws which promote healthy family life, real marriage, and the rights of children to be born and raised by their biological mother and father, or at least an adoptive father and mother. This, of course, is simply natural law for human beings, and social research supports the fact that children do best when raised in an intact family with their biological mother and father locked in a low-conflict marriage. This is the standard for human beings and Russia simply seeks to hold up that standard and protect it through laws. In the west, we have a propensity to seek the lowest common denominator. Laws should seek to promote good behavior and condemn bad behavior. We also know that while homosexuality itself is no crime or sin, the actual activity leads to some of the highest rates of disease, depression, violence, and suicide. Throwing children into this mix is the last thing a society seeking to protect the family should do. That is what they have decided. Mind you, this law follows decades of laws promote the dissolution of the family and state control over all aspects of human life. They are seeking to get back to what is naturally best for human beings and for their nation.

        To quote Pope Francis, “who am I to judge” what is best for Russia? Should that not be left up to the Russians, especially when this law is made on the back of natural law?

        I agree with it. Marriage and family – real marriage and family life – needs to be promoted, not further eroded and destroyed as it has been in the west.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th February 2014, 15:38

          You are quite clearly a Catholic, which I fully respect, but I fail to see how you can translate the word of God into homophobia. In Russia millions of people are waking up each day knowing that persecution awaits them. Do you think these people deserve punishment for an orientation that they didn’t even choose? Why must you specify the nature of love, when it is merely love itself that is the important thing? What I find most scary about your statement is that you are trying to pitifully support your pathetic conclusion with fake claims of social research and a need to maintain family life. Are there truly those that cover their eyes and sing when they see happy gay couples with adopted children? Those that choose to ignore a changing world and hold back the tide? Your inadequacies aside, can I just clear something up? You would persecute millions just to preserve a world that doesn’t even exist anymore?

          This is a site for educated individuals, individuals that celebrate love, not worry about the nature of that love, and whilst you are entitled to your opinions please preserve our sanity by keeping them to the social backwater of your local pub. In essence, you won’t find your blatant homophobia reciprocated here.

          • @william-brierty I would advise taking to more mainstream social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, which appear to harbour a thriving community of discriminating imbeciles. F1Fanatic members are rather more civilised, which I am thankful for and I have a feeling is resultant from F1 itself being an inherently complex sport, hence attracting the more educated individuals in our society.

            Should that not be left up to the Russians, especially when this law is made on the back of natural law?

            No, it should not be left up to the Russians. By extrapolation, would you decree that Stalin’s brutal policies and direct violations of the most basic human rights should have been accepted simply because Russia declared such to be acceptable? Of course not. So I fail to understand why you are advocating such now.

            or at least an adoptive father and mother.

            Why not an adoptive father and father, or mother and mother? What is the distinction, besides the obvious differences in sex of the parents? In fact, I would argue that often gay foster parents were much better than traditional, biological parents as there is an almost certainty that they are fully committed to their choice in raising a child – contrary to the unplanned pregnancies which often lead to children being put up for adoption in the first place.

            Back on task now though, shall we? I will applaud any F1 Fan who wears the rainbow during the 2014 Russian GP, in protest to Putin’s propaganda efforts trying to enforce dated values on a modern Russia.

          • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 9th February 2014, 16:23

            Well said @william-brierty.

        • matt90 said on 9th February 2014, 18:19

          If the pope isnt anybody to judge morality, exactly what use is he?

          • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 18:48

            Ah, but the Pope, as well as we Catholics, do judge morality. We do not judge persons. We separate acts from persons. That is why we fight against capital punishment, for a person who commits murder is not defined by that act. He is guilty of it, but still a person, and his life has worth and dignity. It is also why we fight against abortion, for an unborn human being is still a human being, despite the fact that he cannot “do” anything.

            Doing and being are two separate things.

        • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 9th February 2014, 19:00

          We also know that while homosexuality itself is no crime or sin, the actual activity leads to some of the highest rates of disease, depression, violence, and suicide.

          No, bigotry like yours leads to violence, depression, disease (such as denying access to HIV treatments) and suicides. If you want to save humanity then be a decent human being.

    • sparkus88 (@sparkus88) said on 9th February 2014, 5:50

      Fair enough, but the law is so vague that a gay couple holding hands in viewed as “exposure of youth to homosexual propaganda”. Is this ok? Probably the wrong place for this debate, but it needs to be said.

      • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 15:29

        To us, it is evidence of a problem and a cause for us to truly love and care for these persons by telling them the truth and helping them with their problem.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th February 2014, 15:44

          Homosexuality as a disease? How innovative…

          • Bruce said on 10th February 2014, 2:30

            Again, your thinking only within your view of what is persecution and what is not. The Russians don’t think so. I don’t think so. We simply see it different than you, and since it is their country and not yours, what business is it of yours?

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 10th February 2014, 14:47

            Isn’t humanity about compassion? When I have evidence of persecution, of which there is plenty, it becomes my business as a fellow human to help. Or is the compassion your God talks of reserved only for the heterosexual?

        • matt90 said on 9th February 2014, 18:16

          Yeah, cos the law is all about helping gays. Not persecuting them. Of course not.

        • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 10th February 2014, 13:12

          @Bruce if it isn’t our business to comment on Russia’s law, what business of yours is it to push your bigotry onto LGBT people?

    • Maciek said on 9th February 2014, 6:58

      Well in all fairness they really should crack down all the heterosexual propaganda too, it really irks my sense of good solid family values

    • McJamweasel said on 9th February 2014, 8:27

      In that case I’m sure you’re of the opinion that heterosexual ‘propaganda’ should be banned as well then? As homosexuality is no more of a ‘lifestyle choice’ than heterosexuality is then surely a photo of a man & woman kissing is just as damaging to the young?
      Maybe we should start banning everything else that we disagree with as well. And once everything is banned we can lock up anyone who disagrees with the ban, just think of all those camps we could build for all the gays, liberals, environmentalists, anti-fraud prosectuters etc. How exciting!

    • Or, Bruce, allow the youth to make their own free choices. Outlandish idea, I know, but y’know free rights for all? And the right to peacefully protest without being beaten? Do you not think they should be preserved?

      • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 20:35

        Do you allow the “youth” to break or steal your things? Those would be free choices as well. But are they free to make any choice? To lie, cheat, steal, and murder?

        Or are you mixing up the concept of freedom with license?

        • They would affect other people. Being gay does not affect anyone, unless you really are a vile person.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 22:05

            Which of course is the worst irony – members of the LGBT community simply want to live their lives happily together, whereas those who are supposedly trying to protect others from being ‘harmed’ by their existence, are in most cases causing considerably more harm to others. I cite, by way of example, a personal hero – Alan Turing. Codebreaker, pioneer of modern computing, war hero. Suffered the humiliation of being forced to undergo chemical castration for the ‘crime’ of having consensual sex with another man. Later, took his own life, unable to live with the stigma which society had placed upon him. A man who had saved countless lives and without whom the computer age would have been very much delayed.

            Homosexuals don’t choose to be homosexuals. They may have a choice in some people’s eyes between acting on their sexuality or repressing it, but the latter is incredibly harmful. It seems incomprehensible that in the name of promoting a happier society, people would advocate the repression of a totally natural sexual orientation, and instead be forced to live an unhappy lie. Any child conceived in such a negative environment would almost certainly suffer as a result.

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 8:54

      This kind of attitude comes from a fundamental misunderstanding about what homosexuality is. It’s not something which is learned or adopted by choice. You can’t change someone’s sexuality with propaganda, or any other means. Goodness knows there have been enough horrific and unsuccessful attempts at doing so in the past, and still ongoing today. It’s barbaric, and hopefully within our lifetimes this kind of attitude will be all but eradicated.

      Sexuality is not learned, so cannot be unlearned. Unlike bigotry and homophobia, which can be removed through education.

    • I agree Bruce, it’s not the russian law that it is wrong here, what’s wrong in this whole situation in Russia is the way things were dealt with, establishing the impression that the russian authorities are against gay people. What caused the first problems was how russian society deals with homophobia and then the activists “partied” and things got turned against the russian government, all was aided by the exposure over the winter olympics. This issue is a much as fault of the unhappy gays and the unruly rulers.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 9:11

        No, you’re wrong. The problem is that the Russian authorities (and I’m assuming by extension a significant number of the Russian public) believe that homosexuality is some kind of learned behavioural disorder which will be picked up by children if they have an awareness of what homosexuality is. Which is not correct. I do agree that to some extent this has been hijacked by the media and turned into some kind of all-encompassing anti-gay law, which isn’t the case, but it’s still barbaric and archaic and has no place in the modern world. And if reports are to be believed, the law has been used to justify acts of homophobic brutality.

        The law is wrong. Anyone who believes it is right, is wrong. It merely perpetuates the misconception that homosexuality is some kind of undesirable lifestyle choice, from which people must be protected.

        • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 15:08

          “The law is wrong. Anyone who believes it is right, is wrong.”

          That would be, of course, an opinion and not a statement of fact.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th February 2014, 15:59

            And of course anyone stating that homosexuality is a disease and is the scourge of familial life that would be, of course, an opinion and not a statement of fact. Although saying that, there is research on both accounts to suggest otherwise, so in instance you may just be plain wrong…

          • The immorality of the law is as assured as a scientific theory: of course, also debatable. Be at your own peril for disputing such a perspective, though.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 16:41

            No, it definitely IS wrong. Because the law is based on an assumption that homosexuality is a learned behaviour which is demonstrably NOT the case. You may believe it to be so, but you are wrong. That’s the absolute fact of the matter.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th February 2014, 10:52

        establishing the impression that the russian authorities are against gay people

        That impression was very clearly given by official Russian propaganda, by court rulings about the matter from russian courts, by the behaviour of police and the justice system against both gay people and supporters of human rights on the one hand (crushing down on them) and in contrast not prosecuting, or even being supportive, of thugs who molest gay people and can promote doing so largely unlimitedly in Russia @peartree.

        The “unhappy gays” are mostly ordinary people who want to just live their lives unbothered and without having to fear for their safety. Russian society deals with these things the way it does because the “unruly rulers” – the people in power – propagate an aggressive anti-gay stance and are not shy of using state propaganda and biased justice to do so.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th February 2014, 10:02

      One would have to be very naive – or more likely a raging homophobe – to believe in Putin’s notion of ‘gay propaganda’. It’s a tissue paper-thin pretext for state-sanctioned brutality towards Russia’s gay community. If I were gay I would have serious reservations about attending their upcoming grand prix, particularly as the mayor of Sochi appears to be as much a throwback as Putin in his attitude towards homosexuals (of which he says there are none in his city).

      • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 9th February 2014, 11:49

        @keithcollantine as a bi woman I can tell you that Russia is one of the last places I’d want to go, but I also wouldn’t attend the Malaysian GP where there is just as much hatred against LGBT people or UAE where I could, by law, be put to death.

      • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 9th February 2014, 13:24

        Not getting into the subject of my sexuality but let’s just say I wouldn’t be the most eager person to visit Russia.

        It just makes me really sad that still in 2014 innocent people receive bullying and utter disrespect of their own being on state level. It makes just as much sense as it would to judge left-handed people from the public use of their stronger hand. You don’t see attempts to ban left-handed propaganda so why homosexuality?

        Lotus’ apology is obviously PR but is it really necessary apologize for two men kissing?

    • Steph (@stephanief1990) said on 9th February 2014, 11:47

      @Bruce there’s no such thing as “homosexual propaganda”

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 9th February 2014, 16:49

        @stephanief1990
        Absolutely agree.
        Actually I’ve been sitting here giggling for the past few minutes, trying to work out what “homosexual propaganda” could possibly look like. All I can imagine is a sort of Kenny Everett-esque descent into complete campery!

    • mark p said on 9th February 2014, 12:05

      Do you think for the Russian GP some of the noses will change on the cars as they could seem to be propoganda for male homosexuals? (Joking of course, everyone getting very angry on this subject)

    • matt90 said on 9th February 2014, 18:01

      Why?

      • Robbie said on 10th February 2014, 21:40

        If that ‘why’ was directed at me, it is because I agree with them, and disagree with Bruce. Homosexuality is something one is born with, as is heterosexuality, as are those absolutely convinced from their earliest memories that they are truly of a gender opposite to what they biologically were born with.

        I think any ‘propaganda’ that tries to shelter youth from the reality of homosexuality is always going to fail, and will likely only cause an uprising, just as we have seen with this becoming a global topic given that Russia is holding the Olympics. I think the protests and the very holding of the Olympics in Sochi, and the resultant harmlessness Russians will experience in having gay athletes compete in their country without ‘infecting’ them, should help educate those in the dark to the concept of ‘to each their own.’

        If someone wants to claim that homosexuality is a learned behavior, and therefore can be unlearned, please provide the evidence that that is the case. Show me one gay person that has been ‘taught straight’ that isn’t just acting straight to save his or her own life that is.

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 9th February 2014, 19:04

      I am well aware there are those in the world who harbor absurd and bigoted views. Even nations where are laws are passed specifically designed to persecute and discriminate against certain groups. What has surprised me is that a few fans of F1 – which I’ve always felt requires a certain level of intellect to follow properly – support these abhorrent ideas. And perhaps worse, aren’t ashamed enough of their disgusting view to not share it in public.

      To those who don’t feel the Russian (and many other) states treatment of LGBT groups isn’t an offence against human decency, wake up – it’s now the 21st century and you are (thankfully) a dying breed.

  9. Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th February 2014, 7:15

    Bernie’s comment on Christian Horner’s photo was hilarious. Old man barely has a pulse but still has a sense of humour

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 8:57

      It’s hilarious until you remember that he’s the commercial rights holder for F1. He’s the man responsible for promoting F1 and virtually everything he has said publicly lately has been about how much he hates it. He seems to be doing his utmost to discredit F1 at every turn, by convincing people that the new cars are ugly and sound bad and that the technology is no good. He made the teams turn up to an open test at Jarez, in full view of the media, and then called it a farce when the experimental technology (much of which had received zero runtime in an actual car) inevitably had teething problems.

      Personally I won’t be enjoying a chuckle every time he sticks the knife into the sport which I love.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 9th February 2014, 9:13

        The little man moves in mysterious ways…

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 9th February 2014, 9:50

        @todfod

        Wow. You got all that from his joke on Red Bull’s 2014 challenger?!?

        You need to lighten up

      • Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 9th February 2014, 11:54

        @mazdachris He does this all the time, it’s nothing new. Not that I agree with the way he talks about F1, but you need a strange sense of humour when reading about the guy.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 9th February 2014, 12:49

          The problem is that he’s the sport’s promoter. For instance, right now he’s making a push to have F1 secured behind a paywall in as many places as possible. It hurt the viewership in the UK, and has been disasterous in France. So at the same time as him effectively telling people he expects them to pay for the coverage if they want access, he’s also on some kind of mission to convince the world that F1 from 2014 onwards is not as good as it has been previously. I appreciate that people feel that Ecclestone is some kind of Machiavellian puppetmaster, pulling strings and manipulating things at his will, but I can’t see how on earth this could ever be a winning strategy. It seems more likely that Ecclestone is simply upset at the idea that teams have to pay more money for something from which he is unable to take a cut. What I would love to see is a promoter who actually promoted the sport, rather than his own financial interests.

          Taken in isolation from a random person, the comment would be funny. But when you know it’s from Ecclestone what you’re seeing is him once again kicking the sport we all love, and seemingly doing his best to ruin it for everyone.

          • Robbie said on 9th February 2014, 14:33

            @mazdachris I agree with your BE beef and how curious it is for the biggest promoter to be taking this tack, so it makes me wonder what his alterior motive is. I just wonder if he thinks viewers are so disappointed with F1 that he will gain support by sounding like he is siding with the everyday fan, all the while being the one who orchestrating it.

            He wants RBR’s reign ended. He wants to help Ferrari by offering up double points, like it will potentially only help Ferrari somehow. He bemoans quite engines on a testing day early on in the pre-season when the last thing we would ever have expected was a grid full of cars on the track going full song. He wants/needs the season to be decided in the final race.

            I think BE is strategizing that if the product sucks he can say ‘see I told you so’ and appear to be on the fans’ side and it will be ‘now maybe you’ll listen to me more next time’, and if the product is a success and ratings climb, he’ll take credit for it by saying he resisted some of the changes but settled for compromises that in the end combined and made the product a success.

            It’s almost like he is playing the victim here…decisions have been made that he wouldn’t have made and that were out of his control so he’s instigated double points to try to ‘rescue’ F1 from itself, or at least appear to, and if we don’t like it then he can say he doesn’t either. At some point I envision him saying he doesn’t like double points either but the teams voted for it and besides it is up to them to compete such that double points measures should not be necessary ( all the while sweeping under the carpet the fact that the technical regs should have been enough to shake things up and the fans actually overwhelmingly hate double points).

  10. Klaas (@klaas) said on 9th February 2014, 7:39

    Nice tweet from Ericsson. If he keeps doing it he might surpass the current World Champion in popularity.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th February 2014, 9:09

    Watching the Winter Olympics’ answer to Formula 1, the alpine downhill. Absolute madness. The FIA should hire the guy who built the course to design a Formula 1 circuit.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th February 2014, 14:36

      and make it a hillclimb!

    • Robbie said on 9th February 2014, 14:42

      Lol…ya…just trying to envision a grid worth of cars lined up at the T-bar to get a lift back to the start/finish line. Maybe that’s when they’d go to commercial. Sure would be cool to see some cars catching air though…like back in the day when F1 cars actually did take flight over some rises.

  12. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 9th February 2014, 10:22

    I honestly wonder when CVC finally will pull the plug on Ecclestone. I know, he is seen as a irreplaceable person, managing F1. But for the past year or so, Ecclestone is in the news for all the wrong reasons. For long, i have disliked the guy, but respected him for his obvious skills. This is no longer the case. I think he has lost it and has made a mess of F1. All these weird, illogical rule-changes .. the F1-financial crisis, it’s not all his fault only, but Ecclestone has done nothing good lately. I think it’s time for him to be replaced. If not by one single person, make it a group of people. But something has to change, starting right at the top.

  13. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 9th February 2014, 10:25

    I like Horner’s picture. I made a very similar one of a kangaroo sticking its head through a fence towards the camera.

    I also liked Ecclestone’s comment.

  14. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 9th February 2014, 17:18

    Well, unfortunately I didn’t see the original Lotus tweet and I didn’t see the comment stream here on the site until I logged on a short while ago, but it all looks a bit strange to me.
    I don’t blame Lotus at all. If some of their business dealings or sponsorship could be compromised or merely embarrassed by their stance, I don’t blame them at all. It’s going to be a tough season all round and for Lotus particularly, so don’t bite the hand that feeds.
    But that doesn’t mean the problem should be brushed under the carpet.
    I’m really heartened by the majority of the comments about the principal at the heart of the matter; the treatment of homosexuality in certain countries. I feel relieved by the tolerance shown by many posters here in this testosterone dominated sport. I’m not even offended by some of the opposing posters as their arguments come across as repressive and fundamentally silly. Homosexual propaganda indeed!
    Steph makes a necessary point. It is worthwhile considering how many countries in the world are still legally repressing homosexuals. The total stands at something like 83 – and that’s not including India (Supreme Court enforcement of old law) or Russia (see above). And it’s not confined to specific areas of the world: did you know that laid-back Barbados has the most repressive anti-homosexuality laws in the western hemisphere with penalties up to life imprisonment? Look it up.
    Enough soap-boxing. Keith, delete this if it’s over the top.

    • Bruce said on 9th February 2014, 19:46

      You’re only shocked by it because you cannot see beyond the worldview you have been raised in. You do not seem to realize that many of us, a majority that is, have been raised and truly believe in a completely different reality than you. We may breath the same air, but the similarities between our view of the world and life end there. We are radically opposed to one another on such matters. It is only shocking if you’ve never considered the possibility that others may think your view of life and existence is wrong.

      • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 9th February 2014, 20:32

        Of course he knows that others, like you, think differently. The problem is that these other people are – scientifically proven – wrong! People are born with their brains wired as heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere inbetween. I believe this is actually decided during a relatively early fetal stage. To then treat people differently because of the way they are born and knowing that they can’t change, is simply backwards and against all generally recognised human rights. Those that continue to defend this backwards thinking despite knowing of the scientific evidence should be ashamed of themselves.

        @timothykatz @Bruce

  15. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 9th February 2014, 17:28

    Is it true Lotus only did one lap during their filming day? :s

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