Vodafone set to leave Formula 1?

Hamilton signs with Mercedes for 2013  by Les Speed – via F1QA – September 28th, 2012

With Lewis Hamilton jumping the good-ship McLaren Mercedes and Mexican Sergio Perez quickly brought on-board as his replacement, can Vodafone be far behind?

Celebrity Life Image by JohnONolan via Flickr

Reports had confirmed that McLaren were offering Lewis quite a bit less then his previous deal, which possibly with Jenson Button as team-mate and the fact that Lewis hasn't won a World Championship for some time might have been justified. That argument could go both ways, as with co-number one drivers and a slightly unrealiable car, how could Lewis have won a World Championship anyway?

Nonetheless, in the last four years since Lewis did win his one and only World Championship, everything has gone up in price; gas, food, travel, etc. So to be offered a lower salary as reward for the years of service, probably didn't sit right with the Flash of Stevenage, OBE and of whom, with the firing of his greatest mentor, his father Anthony, is obviously a man of few sentiments and of many ambitions.

Enter, stage right, Mercedes, who have known and somewhat nurtured Lewis' career over the years, to throw one of their own overboard and scoop the disorientated Flash while the scooping was good. After-all, the team needed a good reason to get the board in Struttgart to continue funding their addictions.

That in itself warrants a report of its own – as does, how McLaren is actually faring after launching a $200,000 Supercar in the midst of a Global recession.

Yet, with Telmex backed Perez in at McLaren, what does that say, in addition to the lower pay-packet offer, about Vodafone's committment to the future? Especially, now with the dynamic-British-duo no more. And to the rumours of Coca-Cola as a 2013 McLaren sponsor?

Are they the Real-Thing, after-all?

If you do recall Schweppes was a McLaren sponsor for years, so the Woking outfit knows how to service a drinks company and current sponsor, Lucozade, a potential clasher with Coca-Cola, has recently taken to promoting its MaxiMuscle brand on the rear wing. Plenty of intrigue and B2B potential ahead, no doubt.

Enjoy the show!

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Adam Parr’s departure was profitable for Williams

F1 business good for Williams after Ecclestone payment

By: Adam Cooper via Autoweek. SPEED TV on September 11, 2012

Williams Grand Prix Holdings has announced an improved financial performance for the first six months of 2012.
Pastor maldonado antes de chocar en los prĂ³ceres Image by anyulled via Flickr
The company says turnover on its core Formula One business has increased by 57 percent to $117 million, while net profits are up from $13.6 million.

Williams is one of 12 F1 teams, and is listed on the German stock exchange.

The team makes no secret of the fact that its performance has been boosted by a “sweetener”payment from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone related to the new Concorde Agreement.

It said in a statement: “The notable increases in half-year turnover and profit are largely due to our diversification strategy,as well as the recent receipt of a one-off payment following a new commercial agreement for our continued commitment to Formula One.”

Sir Frank Williams said: “Williams is at a very exciting stage in its history, and these promising results are indicative of this. We have made good progress on track this year, thanks in part to a new technical team, which has seen us pick up our first win in eight years. Our diversification strategy is also gaining momentum, positioning us as a leader in the development of cutting edge technology in areas such as sustainability and safety.”

CEO Alex Burns emphasized the company’s diversification strategy: “These results also validate our long-term business plan of adapting technology and know-how developed in Formula One for commercial application in energy efficiency, safety and education. Our core business is now generating strong revenue figures from projects outside of Grand Prix racing.

“For example, our partnership with Jaguar, to develop the ground breaking C-X75 hybrid supercar, is making good progress, and other Formula One teams are also using our technology, including a new deal with Marussia that will see them use our KERS technology next year.”

On the track, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela won the Spanish Grand Prix in May to give the team its lone win of 2012. Maldonado is 15th place in the driver standings, one spot ahead of teammate Bruno Senna.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120911/f1/120919969#ixzz26Dqt1KJS


Where’s Bernie??


Nurburgring 'not annoyed' by Ecclestone snub

Nurburgring officials might be forgiven for feeling “annoyed” after being stood up at the weekend by Bernie Ecclestone.

Bernie Ecclestone  Image by RyanBayona via Flickr

Despite the Nurburgring entering an insolvency process, bosses Jorg Lindner and Kai Richter took the time and expense to travel to Hockenheim, specifically to meet with Ecclestone and discuss their circuit's crisis.

“They waited and waited, but Bernie did not come,” revealed the Suddeutschenewspaper.

Media reports speculated that the F1 chief executive stayed away for fear German prosecutors would order his arrest as they push forward with a bribery investigation.

“We are not annoyed,” a spokesman for the Nurburgring told DPA news agency.

“We are in contact in other ways (with Ecclestone) regarding formula one at the Nurburgring in 2013.”

Already convicted and jailed for receiving Ecclestone's bribes is the former F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, whose lawyer Daniel Amelung says 81-year-old Briton Ecclestone cannot hide forever.

“I wonder how in the future he can fulfil his duties in Germany, in Europe, indeed in the entire world if the prosecutor should apply for an international arrest warrant,” he told Bild newspaper.

Ecclestone has been unavailable for comment.


F1 Boss Back In Spotlight

Banker Admits Taking Bribes From Bernie: F1 Boss Back In Spotlight  


Bernie Ecclestone's bruised face featured in Hublot ad

Bernie Ecclestone's bruised face featured in Hublot ad  

Despite being the ultra-rich boss of Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone hasn't had an easy couple of years. Back in December 2010, he was beaten and robbed of his Hublot watch. Then he had to buy the most expensive house in America for his daughter. Last year, allegations of $44 million in bribes paid to a BayernLB banker surfaced. This year, the banker is back, admitting he accepted the bribes.

The report, via the AFP (via Google) out of Munich, Germany, says Gerhard Gribkovsky has finally admitted to taking the bribes from Ecclestone, stating that the charges against him in the matter were “essentially true.” As a result of the bribery allegations, Gribkovsky faces 7-10 years in prison for charges of corruption, tax evasion, and embezzlement. Eccelstone hasn't been charged, and denies any wrongdoing.

Gribkovksy says he accepted the money in 2006 and 2007 while chief risk officer for the state-owned BayernLB bank. BayernLB had acquired the rights to F1 back in 2002, but the bribes were given, according to the BBC, to smooth over Eccelestone's own financial troubles through a complex arrangement of commissions and trust payments.

That may change, however, as the AFP article quotes Gribkovsky as saying Ecclestone told him, a year before making the first payments, that the way F1 works is “you scratch my back and I scratch yours.”…More at Banker Admits Taking Bribes From Bernie: F1 Boss Back In Spotlight – Motor Authority