Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011

Vijay Mallya facing arrest warrant in India

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011In the round-up: Vijay Mallya is facing arrest in Hyderabad after failing to appear in court over unpaid cheques.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Arrest order for Force India’s Mallya (The Telegraph)

“An arrest warrant has been issued against Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines company has had its fleet grounded for the last two weeks with debts reported to be in the billions.”

Formula One?s 17-year run with Speed cable channel ending after this season (The Washington Post)

“The cable sports channel Speed will no longer air Formula One races after this season, ending a 17-year partnership.”

Difficult day at the office for Kimi (Sky Sports)

“I think that probably we expected a bit more than what we’ve seen so far but it’s too early to say.”

Button expects Red Bull to take pole (ESPN)

“They’ve got that 0.4s again in practice and I think they’re going to be very difficult to beat in qualifying; they seem to have that strength back.”

Di Resta expecting tough qualifying (Autosport)

“I think we can improve quite a bit and I think we chose to concentrate on Sunday quite a bit anyway.”

Heikki Kovalainen exclusive: Romain Grosjean seems to lack sixth sense (London Evening Standard)

“My Formula 1 career started pretty poorly. I had a lot of spins and accidents but thankfully they didn’t generally happen with other cars around so it was less of a big deal. That sixth sense, instinct comes with experience but then you can get on a bad run.”

Romain Grosjean advised to get an eye test (Daily Express)

Bernie Ecclestone: “He?s quick but he has been involved in a lot of problems at the start. I would definitely suggest he has his eyes tested because he has problems seeing what is happening around him.”


Comment of the day

@TheJudge13 asks if F1’s money is going to the right place:

CVC/Bernie Ecclestone announced they wish to do a ‘dividend recapitalisation’ [See October 4th round-up]. They have sold to various other ‘Investment funds’ over 30% of FOM this year for in excess of ??3bn mostly in cash. F1 already has a mortgage CVC placed on the business of ??2.45bn (2006) it was due for repayment 2011, but they managed to roll over until 2016 (minutes here).

This ‘dividend recapitalisation’ is simply a way of borrowing more money now against the next five years revenues due to them from the commercial F1 rights. While the rest of the world is realising they borrowed to much on credit and are trying to reduce debt, F1 is increasing its debt burden to the equivalent of several years income.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Randy Torres!

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

Michael Schumacher capped a crushingly dominant 2002 campaign with his 11th win in the Japanese Grand Prix ten years.

For the fifth race in a row Ferrari scored a one-two as Rubens Barrichello finished second. Kimi Raikkonen joined them on the podium.

Takuma Sato received a warm response from the crowd as he brought his Jordan-Honda home in fifth place.

Image ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team

69 comments on “Vijay Mallya facing arrest warrant in India”

  1. Broadcasting from a studio in Charlotte, the booth of Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs is considered by many fans to be the best in motorsports.

    This can’t possibly be true can it?

    1. It is indeed. Other than the occasional senile remark from David Hobbs, they’re incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and much as Murray Walker was in the UK, Varsha & Hobbs have been calling races for US broadcasters for decades, at ESPN before moving to SPEED. They can be heard in the Suzuka section of the Senna film. Steve Matchett strengthened that partnership with his incredible technical knowledge. I for one will be very disappointed if the whole team isn’t contracted by NBC Sports Network. Aside from that, I hope NBC at least keeps coverage at its current levels, if not increases it. It’d be a shame with two new US races on the calendar if they cut back the already sparse coverage.

    2. They may make a few mistakes in the air but they are a good duo cause they are very passionate about formula 1 thats why I want nbc to keep the current duo and buxton.

    3. I think it’s true for most Americans who don’t know what else is out there. I personal dislike SPEEDs coverage, as I’ve been spoiled by the BBC crew…and the lack of commercials!!!

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        13th October 2012, 1:11

        I watched the BBC feed a few times and found the BBC crew to be very sterile. Sure they may or may not have been more knowledgeable/accurate, but their broadcasts are rather dull and boring. At least with the Speed crew you’ve got a really good chance of catching a chuckle or two throughout the race. They’ve got much better chemistry than the BBC hosts.


        1. I prefer the commentary on Speed, but it goes to commercial so often I usually stick with the BBC after the first break.

          1. I agree about the commercials but no where near the chemistry. Also NBC has been just as bad with commercials in their past nascar broadcasting. Now if they do something with coverage still going while commercials show, I wouldn’t have issue.

            The team though must stay or it will become very boring. For example Bahrain is crap, most of us agree on this when they go to race there, but the Speed crew makes a bad race an okay one. Without that people me just pop in and out and hurt the image of F1 in a part of the world that isn’t as big as Asia or Europe about it.

        2. +1. Agreed. When they’re at the mercy of the F1 feed they can be quick on the feet reacting with commentary and the regular humor thrown in. The three of them plus Buxton’s antics makes for entertaining viewing during lulls in the race.

    4. @eastman, Hobbs was driving F1 when your grandfather was a fan and Matchett was a drivers engineer in top teams until recently so their breadth of knowledge is probably the best out there, Varsha filled in the gaps when there was nothing to talk about. RIP SpeedTV.

      1. I hope NBC hires away speed’s commentators. But NBC can scarcely do a worse job with the production itself than speed. If they’re going to pay for the broadcasts, they might as well show the podium ceremony and post-race press conferance, instead of cutting away at the hour to apre-pre-race show at some empty nascar track, and rebroadcast the east asian races for the non-insomnicacs. Who knows, maybe NBC will even spring for airfare to fly the commentators to Montreal. Or maybe they’ll just find new ways to screw it up.

        1. Hobbs, Matchett & Buxton are basically Independent Contractors who work for SPEED on a Year-by-Year only on the F1 stuff (well and Hobbs does LM24/Daytona 24 but don’t remember if Matchett does or not), anyway those 3 should be free to go to NBC but I believe that Varsha (F1, LM24/D24, Barrett-Jackson auctions) is actually a signed employee of NewsCorps (or whatever branch of that company that the SPEED employees are signed too) so I don’t know if he’ll be able to get out of it.

          Leigh Diffey who fills in for Bob when he does the auction stuff I believe is an Independent Contractor too so he may be free to go but that IMHO would severely hurt the SPEED Grand-Am coverage, though I guess Varsha would then step-in to that role.

          Looking further ahead this does bring up the possibility of a Unified Booth Crew for Indycar & F1, which if done right could draw fans of 1 series to be fans of both. Looking at the 2013 schedules…
          5 Indycar races that are on NBCSN happen on the same day as F1 races.
          8 Indycar races that are on NBCSN happen on the same weekend as F1 races

          F1 = Indycar
          Malaysia = St Pete
          Bahrain = Long Beach
          New Jersey = Milwaukee (Saturday)
          Germany = Toronto (Saturday & Sunday Double Header)
          Spa = Sears Point
          Korea = Houston (Saturday & Sunday Double Header)

          Assuming they do F1 from a studio like SPEED does all of those double weekends are doable by the same Booth Crew (they’d just have to call the F1 race from a production truck/studio @ the Indycar track). I’m guessing they’d want to be at NJ which means they’d either have to fly from Milwaukee after the race or have the “B-Team” do the Indycar race.

          I suspect a similar layout broadcast wise to what SPEED/FOX have with the 4 races being on the big network (NBC in this case), and I think those 4 races will be…
          New Jersey

          Now the Monaco one is a difficult one as I really want to see that race above all stay live and hopefully it would be shown live on NBCSN too. However NBC has made it known that they are still mad that ABC outbid them for the Indy 500 and what better way to try and take a chunk out the 500 audience then to show the most prestigious F1 race (and a race that’s near as old as the Indy 500) head to head with the 500.

          In most markets around the country the NBC station is right around the ABC station that’ll be showing the Indy 500 so if they show a REPLAY (and I can’t stress that word enough) of that mornings Monaco GP against the 500 they may attract channel-surfers who’ll then tune in for more of their coverage.

          At the end of the day it’s currently just a “wait & see” thing… It’s either going to be better or it’s going to be worse but you can be sure it ain’t gonna be the same.

          1. bravo. not a traveling f1 crew, but i’ll take it.

      2. They’re watching the same feed and the same live timing I am. I’m not putting them down as men or as their contributions to the sport’s history as broadcasters. They drew me into the sport to begin with. I have however found their schtick (and that’s what it is at this point schtick… Matchett: C’mon right now Push Racer X!, Hobbs making mouth engine Noises, Varsha pimping the next Barett-Jackson event) staler and staler over the last two seasons.

    5. The Radio Le Mans crew (probably the best in the business) called the Speed F1 guys the best in the F1 world. They specifically pointed out the Monaco GP from 2011 where they were the only commentator team to point out 10-15 laps in advance that we were going to see a battle of degrading tires. I have found that by far and large the Speed guys do the best job of long term race analysis. It’s easy to miss though due to them announcing in a country where F1 is relatively unknown and any new viewers will be completely lost.

  2. Suddenly they are all punching Grosjean as if he was the latest serial killer. They are now saying that he’s always been like that in GP2. I’m not sure, because I don’t follow GP2 that much… but…

    Whose fault is that? GP2 drivers always make silly mistakes, same with GP3 drivers and all the lower formulas. If you allow them to get away with it, and crash everywhere, everytime without banning, or penalizing them, well, the drivers are not at fault. At least, it’s not ALL their fault.

    Wouldn’t it be better if the regulation bodies punished them early in their careers, so they don’t get to learn everything about racing in F1? Or maybe it’s also because of the lack of testing. Back in the day, drivers had hundreds of km of running during practice sessions, or at official testings with many cars on track at the same time. Sure, that’s not racing, but it’s one less thing to lear.

    Or maybe it’s because this is how people behave on track lately. Forcing others off the track, blocking them and so on. Being over-agressive, basically. Not just Grosjean, it used to be Maldonado… even Hamilton at one point.

    1. Suddenly they are all punching Grosjean as if he was the latest serial killer.

      You should know that the “you’re only as good as your last race” effect comes into play here. They were very much saying the same about Maldonado after Silverstone or Hungary but that’s cooled down now.

      That being said I believe both Romain and Pastor have a lot of talent and potential, only problem is that right now they are too erratic. But that will come to a fix, eventually.

      1. Personally I think there’s a huge difference between their questionable moves though. Grosjean has certainly made some bonehead moves, but I’ve never gotten the impression they were solely in the interest of intimidating another driver. Almost all of Maldonado’s moves have been. Of the two I find him to be the far more dangerous driver.

    2. Will Buxton wrote about exactly that after the gnarly GP3 crash in Monaco. I tend to agree, that drivers in the lower formulae should be held to the same, if not an even stricter standard than F1. How else should they be expected to respect their fellow drivers?

    3. F1 Fun-attic!
      13th October 2012, 6:03

      different drivers, different attitudes

      Grosjean – Greedy(just cuts across, or late-brakes, without an iota of calculation, known offender in gp2).
      Maldonado – Takes everything personally(thinks nothing about consequences).
      Alonso – lick your wounds and live to fight another day.
      Massa – fish out of water
      Button – every race a walk in the park
      Hamilton – brainwashed to believe he has a birthright to win, but gradually adjusting his attitude since 2010.
      Raikkonen – Dont give a rat’s!
      schumacher – attitude very similar to pre-2010 hamilton, except never cared to improve.
      Rosberg – Fast, but not passionate enough
      Vettel – pampered cry baby, but fast. Only smiles when he wins.
      Webber – Indian Monsoon. Either in full force or none at all!

      1. That’s… um, like… your opinion, man !

  3. I hope nbc will make better coverage of the racing cause in speed their are to many commercials.

    1. Don’t count on it. They do split screens for Indycar though, so maybe they’ll do that for F1 as well.

      1. I thought I remember reading that SPEED wanted to do side-by-side coverage for F1 but the FOM wouldn’t allow it. I could be wrong, but I thought I remembered that being the excuse.

        1. SPEED wanted to do it but it was supposedly one of their advertisers (rumor is Mercedes) that would not agree to it.

        2. Michael Brown (@)
          13th October 2012, 14:35

          I watch TSN’s coverage of F1 and they allow split screen commercial, but there’s no Mercedes commercial

      2. Is gonna be interesting to see what they do, in order to cover the practices and qualy is probably that the broadcast will be on NBC Sport, no NBC.

        1. Bulk of the season will likely be on NBC Sports Network while a handful of races will be show on NBC.

          NBC doesn’t have any NFL or MLB conflicts like FOX has during the later part of the season (the reason why the US GP this year isn’t on FOX) so if they stay at the 4 races schedule like FOX has used for years then it’ll likely be all 3 North American races (live) along with some other race on a delay.

          1. I totally agree that this is the likely situation next year, thought I really hope they do a live race + replay instead of delay only. My big fear is the IndyCar crew taking over. They are serviceable for IndyCar, but I want my F1 crew to knowledgeable and not so….American (yes, I’m American). I hope they get some veterans in there. And keep the broadcasts LIVE!

          2. @hays33d I completely agree. The Indycar crew taking over F1 coverage is my biggest fear as well. I hope they have the sense to at least hire Matchett & Buxton. Varsha is apparently a SPEED employee, and wouldn’t be able to move. Hobbs, while he does add great color, is getting older, and I could imagine him choosing to retire at this point. Matchett really is indispensable, and no one can match Will Buxton’s on screen enthusiasm. If they could at least bring those two along, and maybe add Peter Windsor in the mix, who US audiences are very familiar with, I’d be pretty happy.

    2. I doubt it. NBC will get even bigger sponsors to milk for their broadcast. I’m guess it has at least something partially to do with the Texas GP this year and the New Jersey GP next year. They see dollar potential, that is all. Lets just hope the retain the Speed crew, keep it live and with practice and qualifying. Otherwise it will be a mess.

      And, I hate that split screen stuff for Indycar. I don’t watch Indy that often but when I do I have found it irritating.

      1. @us_peter I agree with Hobbs possibly retiring, even the way he worded his two tweets about SPEED not having F1 next season made it seem like he was going to retire after this season. I’m thinking maybe NBC could pull Eddie Cheever away from ABC to replace Hobbs as he had a pretty decent F1 career & one that was more closer to the modern era then Hobbs.

  4. I can’t imagine that the FIA or FOM would be happy with an arrest warrant being issued for a team principal. If Mallya goes to India, he will likely be arrested. If he skips it, Interpol will probably issue a red notice for him. Europol did the same thing for Vladimir Antonov, the Russian banker who owned the WRC promoter and bankrolled Genii’s takeover of Renault in 2010. If that happens, Mallya will likely lose control of the team because he would never be able to go to a Grand Prix again. But if he gets picked up by the Indians, the FIA could kick Force India out of Formula 1 for bringing the sport into disrepute. They did it to Andrea Sassetti in 1991 when the Italian authorities went after him for fraud.

  5. Grosjean bashing doesn’t seem to stop even after 7 days. Hopefull it stops and gives the guy enough confidence to recover.

    1. @icemangrins, I don’t think a lack of confidence is his problem.

  6. Re COTD, excellent choice @keithcollantine, The Judge provides the detail behind the scenes at FOM. This is an incredibly important subject because it is the root cause of the teams financial problems, the reason there have been no advances in engine design or power, the reason we have gearbox related grid penalties and the reason good drivers lose out to pay-drivers, it is a lot more important than personalities or female drivers.

    1. Bernie and FOM have no control over engine development or enforcing the sporting regulations.

      1. Simply by stripping the money out of F1 they cause “budgetary constraints” which necessitate restricting development. Simple cause and effect.

  7. I’d have to agree with Button. Vettel looks a safe bet for another pole.

    Off topic, but I think that, judging from his free practice runs, Felipe Massa looks ‘on it’ this weekend. Maybe his 36 race duck for a podium being broken has reinvigorated him and the old Felipe is back. I’m not talking about the 2006-2009 Felipe Massa, capable of great qualifying laps and sometimes dominant wins, but the Massa of early 2010 where he was much, much closer to Alonso then he has been over the last two seasons and was regularly mixing it with the Red Bulls and McLarens and was able to grab the odd podium. Here’s hoping.

  8. I don’t like Button’s declaration. I remeber him, when he was at Honda(2005-2006), being more fighter. Mclaren spirit changed him.

  9. I wonder if Fox Sports will also loose broadcasting rights in the rest of America

    1. That’s kind of the funny thing in this. FOXSports Latin-America as well as the Latin America feed of SPEED are the broadcasters of F1 in several Central & South American countries. And Sky (which is FOX with a different name) just spent tons of money not only to secure broadcast rights for the UK but to create an entire channel dedicated to F1, not to mention Sky is the broadcaster in 2 or 3 other parts of Europe. And earlier this year I had even seen a rumor that NewsCorps was looking at trying to get the F1 races on either the Australia SPEED Channel or on one of their other numerous channels they have there.

      On a few different forums since the idea of SPEED changing to FOXSports 1 came up I was always one of the people harping on how F1 was likely to stay because of the connection to NewsCorp that the FOM has as it’s broadcaster in I think 15 or 16 countries. So this just doesn’t make sense to me.

  10. Chickens come home to roost. Apparently the wife of a Kingfisher staff member committed suicide last week due to financial pressure from her husband not being paid for 6 months.

    Flights been grounded for 2 weeks – a summary court hearing today re: unpaid cheques and the company couldn’t be bothered sending anyone. This has resulted in a personal arrest warrant for Vijay and it is without bail – so presumably if he submits to the court – he will be put in a cell.

    just as in Premier League football it must be time for the FIA to sanction undesirable owners and throw them out of the sport.

    1. Typical F1 mainstream froth reporting will chase the Lewis twitter tale and ignore this. Andrew Benson for the BBC was just questioned on twitter why he’s not reported this, he tweeted (GMT 01:51) “Because Mallya’s business problems fall under remit of News not Sport”. that old chestnut cf Bahrain

      1. There might be a warrant out for Mallya’s arrest, but there are no immediate consequences for the sport – not until Formula 1 goes to India.

    2. Seeing this, Vijay Mallya’s departure from F1 wouldn’t be such a tragedy.

      1. Mallya’s problem isn’t that he’s a shady character. His problem is that he isn’t very good at managing money. When Kingfisher ran into trouble, he borrowed money from the banks. He then took out another loan to pay off the first loan. Then he took a third loan out to pay off the second, and so on and so forth. It’s a very risky strategic – especially the longer it goes on – but if manage it, you can keep on top of it.

        The warrant for Mallya’s arrest is on charges of fraud. The prosecutor will claim that he knew those cheques would bounce when he authorised them. He probably did, but I doubt it was malicious – he was betting that in the time between his authorising the cheques and the airport cashing them, money would appear in the account. That obviously didn’t happen, which at the very least makes Mallya negligent. But if the prosecutor can prove that Mallya knew there was a reasonable chance that there would not be any money available when the cheques were cashed, it’s fraud.

        I don’t think he’s an unsavoury character – just an opportunist who took advantage of a burgeoning economy, but over-extended himself because he assumed that the market could and would catch up with the growth he was trying to force, and when it didn’t, he got caught under the weight of the difference.

    3. @hohum @prisoner-monkeys @scuderiavincero @thejudge13

      Mallya is a powerful man here. He will use his contacts to get himself out of the “arrest” trouble. He may appeal to a higher court.

      Mallya isnt completely bankrupt. Only Kingfisher Airlines is. Every entity of his group is separate. So, entire group isnt affected as badly as his airline.

      Kingfisher Beer, his flagship brand continues to earn good profits. It won’t be difficult for him to raise money to pay off his airline debt, but he refuses to sell his properties.

      KFA, a 5star airline, was once the best airline in India, but they never turned profits due to excess focus
      on quality.

      Absence of a bankruptcy law in India+Mallya’s influence in the govt has kept KFA flying. Ofcourse, the airline is grounded now as employees haven’t been paid for months.
      In a recent paper report, it was seen tht KFA CEO Sanjay Agarwal got a pay rise this yr. Took home a massive Rs 4 Crores(Rs 40 million) up from Rs 2.12 Crores the previous year!

      Such a large companies has never shutdown due to bankruptcy in India, so it is unlikely that the UB Group will disappear

      1. It is unfair that the CEO of the airline takes home a large amount while employees are unpaid

      2. I never said he was bankrupt. Bankruptcy isn’t the problem here. Mallya’s management of his companies is. He authorised cheques that bounced. Not because he was bankrupt, but because he was betting that he could arrange financing before those cheques could be cashed, and failed. He did nothing to prevent those cheques being cashed when he knew they would bounce – he has never admitted to serious financial problems before – which is fraud. And while he might have the contacts to escape a conviction, the arrest warrant and the refusal of bail shows that the prosecutor is pretty serious about going after him. Mallya might use up a lot of goodwill escaping a conviction, which in turn would make it harder for him to arrange financing for Kingfisher in the future. He’s in a very difficult position here, and I can’t imagine that Formula 1 would want a team principal accused of fraud staying in the sport for long. Even when the French civil courts overturned Flavio Briatore’s lifetime ban from the sport, Flav has not been able to get back into the paddock. Whatever happens to Mallya in the courts, Force India might be one of the first casualties, even if he escapes conviction.

  11. Unfortunate situation for the team at Force India, under VJs patronage it has made steady progress and is now very competitive, I hope a new well-funded owner can be found before the assets and momentum are lost. Maybe one of Bernies daughters could sell one the houses they are not using and use the proceeds to buy the team and run it for a couple of years until a manufacturer can be tempted back.

    1. You regularly accuse Bernie of having a conflict of interests, but now you suggest he goes ahead and do something that will be a conflict of interests?

  12. i’ve made no secret of my dislike of the speed channel. hopefully, nbc will hire varsha, hobbs, matchette and buxton for an improved version of their indy coverage.

    also, i can’t imagine speed honestly thinks their dog-food production measures up to other broadcasters, or that fans are satisfied with it. i would have picked nbc regardless of bidding price, just to present the thing halfway decently to the public :/

  13. All I can hope for with NBC’s coverage is that they adopt some of the show designs used by the BBC, Sky, along with football and NASCAR over here and have some involvement with pre and post race. Speed never even had a camera crew at the track, so you got none of the atmosphere, none of the enjoyment that I get when I see all the featurettes done by BBC/Sky.

    1. SPEED has a camera crew at the track weekly, however their contract with the FOM dictated that they could not show footage from their camera during any on-track session, only during the pre/post race/session stuff.

      Personally I’d like to see the following.
      FP2, Qualy & Race live on TV.
      FP1 & FP3 Streaming (with or without announcers doesn’t matter) with the exception of the 3 North American rounds where they should be on TV.
      1hr Pre-Race + 30min Post Race
      F1 Debrief style show maybe expanded to 90min to include a roughly 30min segment on the Tech of the sport (always loved the RPM segments)

      There was also a show that SPEED used to broadcast, it was a European produced show, I forget the name but it was a few years ago and it was heavily tied in with Williams/Nico Rosberg/Allianz. SPEED took it off the air but I know it was made for atleast a year after that because I remember watching it online, though I can’t for the life of me remember what the name of it was. It was kind of one of those Magazine style news shows about F1, I would love for something like that to come back.

      One also has to wonder what becomes of the GP2 coverage in the USA as well as the possibility of gaining GP3 coverage.

      1. My NBC-Speed wishlist is for:
        Live race and qualification,
        Sunday rebroadcasts at a regular time of the Asian races that take place overnight,
        Stored streams of the races and qualification (using the system NBC set up for the olympics), (really really want this),
        A respectable post-race show (pre-race show doesn’t matter, i set my alarm clock for 5 minutes before the start)
        And to send the broadcast crew to a couple races a year. This should be easier with more races in North America.

        1. AND…
          – Split screen race coverage during commercials. I’d rather have no commercials, but this is an option I could try to get used to.
          – In-car footage streamed during the races (as in Europe, these are separate FOM feeds).
          – More time for the at-track reporter to actually speak during the race.
          NO NBC Olympics-style background stories on the drivers. ‘Jenson was from a poor Somerset family but he always knew he’s be World Champion’. Shudder.
          – New shoes for Matchett.

      2. I recall a Buxton post stating he didn’t have a camera operator, so he was having to get an FOM cameraman to do his pre/post coverage. Maybe I’m wrong or that was a one off though. Either way it was tragically lackluster.

        I do remember that magazine-style show. They had Nico draw the tracks blind. It’s a bit depressing that that was really as close to pre-race coverage as Speed ever got, considering they dedicate, what, 3 hours to pre-race coverage for a NASCAR race they don’t even broadcast?

        1. @scalextric I wonder if the FOM/FIA (and I guess teams themselves) would allow for an F1 version of that “Indycar 36” show.

          @darak I believe the camera man may be FOM employed but is contracted out to SPEED. Ok after doing some searching his name is Jean-Michel Tibi he is employed by the FOM however has been contracted out to SPEED yearly since the Peter Windsor days.

          1. Still, one guy who has another job (presumably with precedence) meant that Speed had to do short badly timed bursts. They might as well have had Buxton in front of a green screen compared to what the English media gives.

  14. Ah, On this day in F1…. I think the 2002 Japanese GP might be the dullest race ever. Do you remember what happened in that race? Yup, absolutely nothing.

  15. I know this is a UK-based site and many don’t know of SPEED’s race coverage. It’s not perfect, but it’s what we, the US, have to see motor sports around the world. SPEED/FOX is about to go “all sports” and this is bad for us fans. SPEED is NASCAR dominated, but it shows all kinds of motor racing from F1 to WRC to a great 24 Hours of LeMans broadcast. The F1 loss is the first step in a radical change in US motor sports broadcasting and you will be hearing, I’m sure, of more series to come that will be dropped. I think the next few years will be rough and I’m not looking forward to it. But I am optimistic that someone will fill the niche and produce great racing coverage again…hopefully sooner than later.

    1. Yeah, I don’t think there’s anyone right now who would pick up WRC, much less the smaller series, or give over most of a day to Le Mans. But it’s seemed like Speed hasn’t been putting much effort at all into its programming for the last year or two. Looking at the schedule for today (it’s still Friday here) there’s only a couple of hours of car-racing-related content, the rest is cheep reality shows and infomercials.

    2. NBC SportsNet actually has been picking up more & more Motorsports over the past few years.
      Tour de France (ok not Motorsports but still)
      Pirelli World Challenge
      Indycar / Indylights
      Dodge(SRT?) Viper Cup/Challenge (whatever it’s called)
      Short-Course Off-Road Racing (not sure if LOORRS or TORC or both)
      Best in the Desert Off-Road Racing (highlight show of each event)
      Formula D (think it’s a highly delayed/edited highlight show thing)
      RacerTV (ATV/MX/UTV Motocross/GNCC racing)
      Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour (tons of different Series/Races that Lucas Oil sponsors)
      Red Bull Signature Series (sometimes shows Freestyle MX)
      Robby Gordon SST (starting 2013) which is the rebirth of the Mickey Thompson Stadium Trucks
      F1 (2013) which hopefully also includes GP2/GP3

      So the channel is definitely Motorsports Friendly. They’re trying to get in on the new NASCAR contract (rumor is they’d take the Truck Series & some of the Regional stuff), and I’ve gotta think that they’re gonna bid of the 2014 Grand-Am/ALMS (whatever it’s gonna be called) TV Rights as well which would hopefully also include the rights to the LM24.

      1. They also picked up the AMA Motorcross Series this year and are looking to get the AMA Supercross Series whenever that contract runs out with SPEED. I believe they also show AMA Flat-Track racing.

  16. Michael Schumacher capped a crushingly dominant 2002 campaign with his 11th win in the Japanese Grand Prix ten years.

    Missing word: ago.

    1. No, it was an endurance race, they were trying to upstage the Le Mans 24 hours :D
      (It also meant that it was the only GP of the season where there was a possibility of a mechanical failure on Schumacher’s car!)

  17. Really unfortunate to see Speed lose it. As the article says, Hobbs, Matchett and Varsha were a great team, and I always preferred watching them over the UK guys until I stopped being able to catch the Speed broadcast.

  18. I really don’t get this rubbish about Grosjean needing an eye test so I hope it’s tongue-in-cheek. The guy clearly has lots of success behind him, which you need to get into F1 (usually). It’s not like he’s just been parachuted into F1 where he hasn’t had chance to assess all his relevant senses and I seriously doubt he has just developed serious vision problems since March. Stupid excuse.

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