F1 Fanatic - F1
The identity Top Gear mystery host ‘The Stig’ has finally been revealed. The backstory to this is that Stig is about to release an autobiography, and lawyered up in an attempt to reveal his identity so that he can cash in on his fame as a host of Top Gear. He filed a lawsuit which detailed the complaint, stating that the other hosts of the series have been able to earn large sums of money through their fame on the show, while he has been excluded from the same commercial opportunities due to a non-disclosure agreement he signed with the BBC.
The BBC attempted vigorously to protect the identity of The Stig, but court documents show that it is former F3 and Indy Lights driver Ben Collins – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Collins_(racing_driver) .
Stupid move. You can’t sign an NDA then turn round and base your legal objections on “But I really want to disclose”.
Excellent summation by Top Gear producer here:
btw I know this story is a week old now, but I couldn’t find a mention of it on the forums here. Here is the story from The Telegraph:
An interesting conflict of interest is that Collins was a test and development driver for the Ascari A10, which was featured on Top Gear (and set a quick time on the track). It would have been funny if Top Gear declared the conflict of interest when testing the A10, as it would have narrowed down the identity of The Stig. I don’t doubt that the A10 would have had an unfair advantage around the track, since Collins was the development driver, and the car would have suited his driving style, plus he would have had a lot more time with the car.
On the contrary, using the same driver for every car means every car is on an equal footing, since one variable (the driver’s ability on the track) is removed. So if anything, it is the cars driven by the old stig (who was slower) that deserve another trip round the track.
@hairs I was referring to Stig (ie. Ben Collins) being the development and test driver for Ascari. He actually worked for the company in developing the car, so when it came time for the A10 to appear on the show, The Stig was already very farmiliar with it since he had a role in developing and testing the car. Since he was the test driver, I would assume that the A10 would have been tuned, setup and developed to suit the driving style of Collins (ie. The Stig).
If you look at Collins’ Wikipedia page, you can see the various roles he has performed, and being employed by Ascari is mentioned. He has also appeared as his real self on Top Gear numerous times, and in the report for Hammonds accident, it mentions that Collins was a ‘consultant’ to him prior to him taking off and crashing the rocket car (that would also suggest that he is The Stig).
The amount of tuning you could reasonably do on a road car (even one like the Ascari) to adapt it to a driver’s style isn’t going to make a significant difference on a track as short as the Top Gear one. So realistically, while Ascari may have known more about how the stig drives one particular track, that’s not a massive benefit compared to the input of a good test driver on the car’s overall characteristics.
i thought stig was a number of people ranging from perry mccarthy, damon hill etc, must be wrong!
The Stig was known to probably be Ben Collins about 5 years ago…
As sbl on tour says though It’s not always him, sometime’s just someone in his overalls. Heikki and Schumacher have been the Stig at one point.
Noone has ever actually be confirmed though it was all speculation.
I’m with Hairs on this one and the link he posts is a great read too. Before you sign an agreement you have to think about every situation and then if you do sign it you stick to it. So Ben Collins is the Stig then and a damn good driver but he shows little integrity by selling out.
Update: BBC have lost the court case, so it has been confirmed that Ben Collins is/was The Stig:
I wonder if the white Stig is going to meet with an unfortunate accident.
Bring on the red Stig.
Yeah it’s time for a new Stig, Red Stig tis he. How will white stig die?
I think he’ll be arrested and imprisoned on Alcatraz after being caught trying to murder Rubens Barrichello
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