Start, Monaco, 2006

F1 owners ordered to hand over sale documents

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Start, Monaco, 2006In the round-up: Formula One owners CVC are ordered to hand over hundreds of documents in a court case concerning whether the sport was undervalued when they bought it in 2006.


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

Setback for Ecclestone over F1 sale case (FT, registration required)

“Among the documents the judge ordered CVC to disclose are due diligence reports on F1 at the time of the sale and the refinancing; appendages to the disclosure letter from Mr Ecclestone to CVC at the time of the transaction relating to F1 revenue streams; CVC’s loan application to RBS relating to its purchase; investment committee minutes; financial models it relied upon for its offer; and a Deloitte tax report prepared for CVC at the time of refinancing.”

The Finishing Line – with Marussia?s Jules Bianchi (F1)

“The last time I lost something was…
JB: In Montreal – my F1 pass!”


Comment of the day

@Force-Maikel agrees with Luca di Montezemolo’s criticism of the FIA’s punishment for Mercedes:

Mercedes got away virtually scot free.

Yes, the other teams has the chance to test the new tyres but in all fairness they almost constantly had to use the rookies. It?s not like they are going to be able to tell the difference because most of them didn?t even drive the old version tyre.

The teams that did use their own race drivers were massively restricted in what they could do that day. Remember Kimi Raikkonen not driving that Friday? And in the end Mercedes even got the data from Pirelli.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katy and Paul Gawne!

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

Jackie Stewart took his final career victory 40 years ago today on the track he dubbed the ‘Green Hell’: the Nurburgirng Nordschleife.

It was a Tyrrell one-two with Francois Cevert in second place. Nordschleife specialist Jacky Ickx was third – the Ferrari factory driver had been released to drive for McLaren as the struggling Scuderia stayed away from the race.

Here’s Stewart looking back on that race:

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  • 68 comments on “F1 owners ordered to hand over sale documents”

    1. Hopefully Mark Webber’s lap around Top Gear has dispelled the notion that they are a credible form guide for the drivers in their F1 cars!

      1. Traverse (@)
        5th August 2013, 0:39

        I don’t believe that anyone with a modicum of common sense would’ve given Top Gear’s fastest lap chart any credit whatsoever…or indeed give the show Top Gear any credit in general!

        1. Hey, I like Top Gear – they may be completely counterproductive in most instances but they can put on quite the show (that ending scene for the series was spectacular)!

          1. Traverse (@)
            5th August 2013, 0:55

            I used to absolutely love Top Gear but the last few series have fallen off big time. It’s so scripted nowadays that I can’t fully commit to it. I mean, when was the last time they actually gave a car an authentic and practical review? I would like reviews that real motorist can relate to and glean knowledge from, not just crazy escapades!

            1. @hellotraverse indeed they’ve deviated too much from the actually duty of testing cars but there’s been some good moments this season (Duggie Lampkin riding through the BBC Television Centre, the Hovervan – not the driving of it, just the engineering that went into it, the lapttime of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and the British car industry tribute). My favourites still have to be the Reliant Robin and the P45 though for the sheer comedy: even though it is crude, they have been of the few things to make me properly laugh out loud to the extent where I’m struggling to breathe!

            2. Top Gear is aimed to entertain… If you want car reviews, watch Fifth Gear, their reviews are fantastic IMO.

            3. I mean, when was the last time they actually gave a car an authentic and practical review?

              I think that’s what the TG mag is for nowadays. The TV show is just for an hour’s light entertainment to round off the week.

            4. Top Gear isn’t a car show, it’s a show with cars. It’s not supposed to be serious and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The problem isn’t the show, it’s that people have the wrong expectations of it. Like Scottie said, if you want a proper car show, watch Fifth Gear.

            5. Traverse (@)
              5th August 2013, 16:15

              It’s not that I don’t appreciate the farce, I do, but it has reached a point where it has veered too far from its origins (at least for me anyway). It’s an enjoyable ‘show’, I just miss the more substance filled seasons.

              You’re right, Fifth Gear doesn’t get enough credit IMO.

            6. I personally just don’t like Fifth Gear as it is too serious a car show – it’s interesting but I find it to be quite like watching a Whatcar review wish I would only do if I were actually contemplating buying one of the cars.

            7. Chris Harris on cars is very good.
              Unfortunately, the videos are only on YouTube and not a television series

            8. Joanna Bessey (@bernie-ecclescake)
              5th August 2013, 18:49

              How about Vroom Vroom? Is that still on?

            9. I don’t think so – vroom vroom was fairly terrible anyway!

      2. David not Coulthard (@)
        5th August 2013, 4:44

        What @scottie said, and I think the presenters over a 5th gear are the ones who were presenters for Top Gear a bit over a decade ago.

        It gives you better reviews, and is pretty entertaining, but it is less entertaining than Top Gear (no, there aren’t any P45s in 5th gear. Perhaps they might be able to bring the P34 to 5th gear sometime in the future, but not the P45, and not to that library).

        They’re 2 completely different shows, and I won’t mind watching both (if only my cable TV provider also showed Top Gear…).

      3. Doesn’t the fact that they’re all driving the same car make it a pretty good form guide?

        Oh yes, I get it… he beat Vettel’s time, didn’t he!

        1. @optimaximal that’s the point: clearly Vettel is a faster driver than Webber in a Formula one car! ;)

          At the most it’d be a half-hearted form guide for touring cars, so as it stands it’s purely for bragging rights as @tmf42 said.

          On that comment actually, I did notice the jabs towards him (albeit ones which he was slightly led into as @philereid has correctly pointed out) but I think it’s a characteristic Webber has; I haven’t recently heard Seb say anything bad about Webber (please do correct me there though – post-Turkey is what I’m defining as “recent”).

          1. I would say the remarks after Malaysia about Webber having done exactly the same in Brazil 2012 could be seen as a bit of a jab though @vettel1.

            But I would say it was all pretty much scripted that they would get Webber to say something like “I won’t be missing Seb, ha ha”, much the same with wanting to beat him in the nissan. I think he managed that one ok, without any overly harsh words, and I really liked what he said about wanting to punch Vettel – he was very clear that punching is not a solution to anything (although adding that his father told him not to beat kids …)

            1. @bascb maybe but I’ve never seem him to be one to take a fight off the track is all! ;)

              Yea I imagine it was as it seems popular in Britain to support the underdog (which inextricably leads to them to make an enemy of the “white horse” to make an antonym of dark horse), so obviously they were just playing for the crowd!

              For some reason also Vettel isn’t a very popular figure in Britain despite his like for British culture.

      4. it’s nice competition for bragging rights not a form guide :)

        but what bothered me a bit about Mark’s interview was his jabs towards zhe German – they were funny but also sounded bitter. Seb never goes there in interviews.

        1. That’s kind of unfair, as Webber was actually asked about it and as he’s an open guy, he’s not exactly going to lie about it.

          1. Wasn’t the first time he was asked this and previous answers were different, still blunt but not cheap. Most likely I’m taking this way too serious or maybe he is hanging out with ALO :) too much. It’s just that I like him and it would be sad to see him become the next Barrichello.

      5. @vettel1 I think you’re just mad because someone has beat vettel…

        1. @beejis60 no, I’m actually happy for Webber: he’s finally beaten Vettel at something :P

          1. Err,BritishGP,MonacoGP,several pole positions !?

            1. @hohum I figured that comment would eventually appear: yes, I was being slightly sarcastic hence the “:P” face

      6. I’ve noticed that, in general, times for the Liana and the C’eed got quicker over time.

        I have often wondered if the BBC has required TG to upgrade the safety equipment in all of the guest cars. Since safety equipment (racing seats, roll cages, etc.) is also designed to lighten weight and improve performance, it might explain how times have improved over the last few seasons in both the Liana and, until this current season, the C’eed.

        1. @pandaslap I would also think it could be due to the track resurfacing that Webber mentioned and perhaps that they have replaced components of the car/the car itself, as I imagine they’d get pretty knackered whine subject to that much abuse beyond their design intention!

    2. Sir Jackie and Sir Hobbs made an excellent commentary team, and they were just warming up! I hadn’t seen this gem before. Thanks for another great post on this great site.

    3. Note On this day in 1973 Ferrari felt they were so uncompetitive that they stayed away from the Nurburgring race. I point this out, not to mock the Tifosi but to put into context Ferraris current form for those who started watching F1 during Ferraris all dominant Schumaker/Brawn years. After every period of success Ferrari reverts to its promotion from within all Italian strategy and suffers from a surfiet of passion,ego, and internal politics, I hope they can overcome their current problems and start winning again (but not all the time).

      1. @hohum

        Nicholas Tombazis (current designer, Nationality – Greek)
        Pat Fry (Technical Director, now Head of Engineering, Nationality – British)
        James Allison (Chassis Technical Director, Nationaltiy – British)
        Fernando Alonso (driver, Nationality – Spanish)
        Felipe Massa (driver, Nationality – Brazilian)
        Stefano Domenicali (Team Principal, Nationality – Italian)

        Ratio of Italians to Non Italians in major positions- 1:6

        Hmm yea I see your point about the obvious “Italianess” of the team!

        1. +1 you were just reading my mind , another non Italian top engineers :
          Rory Byrne, Loic Bigois, Martin Bester , Steve Clark , Hirohide Hamashima
          and Eddie Cue apple’s senior vice president has joined the Ferrari board of directors and people still saying that Ferrari are not winning because the team is Italian
          BTW in 2011 Ferrari has fired Aldo Costa (Italian) which was their technical director

          1. Aldo Costa wasn’t actually sacked. It was mutual consent to leave, and as he turned up at Mercedes pretty quickly, I think he was probably leaving for the “silver dollar”(1).
            Also, this years (Mercedes) car is the first car Aldo was lead designer for, although there are a number of disciplines at Mercedes, the heads of which seem to get much more input into the overall design than some other teams.
            Interestingly, for some I guess, Rory Byrne, who preceeded Aldo Costa has been working “full steam” on the 2014 car since February 2013. I wonder, if they haven’t used this year as a platform to test the development model and aero-track correlation at the expense of points this year, hoping to have a new run of form in 2014.

            (1. Silver Dollar: TM Paul Barrass. Related to the spending and hiring policies of the Mercedes PETRONAS AMG team in Formula One in the years from 2010 to 2013 onwards.)
            (Please note. I am actually all for this spending, as in reality it seems to be more of a case that they were simply creating equilibrium between themselves, Ferrari and Red Bull, and maybe, maybe McLaren.)

            1. ‘Mutual consent’…so yeah, sacked. That’s always the bs they say in public but I doubt he was the real reason. Besides 2007 (but the McLaren was a much better car anyway), Aldo Costa’s cars weren’t championship winners. It’s obvious that it wasn’t mutual

            2. @damleda
              It took me 10 minutes to search for this article in the archive of Autosprint because their search engine is crap
              These are the words of Aldo Costa : “I was feeling bad for the lack of stile & professionalism ” from Ferrari of course “They have accused me with things that i & all the F1 world knew that it was not true”
              Aldo was actually sacked if it was a “Mutual consent” he would have left at the end of the year but instead he was sacked after the disastrous 2011 Spanish GP when it was obvious for the team that the car was off the pace on the hard compound
              I hope i was good when translating his words

        2. Antonio (@antoniocorleone)
          5th August 2013, 5:27

          How about Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Michael Schumacher, Eddie Irvine, Mika Salo, Pedro de la Rosa…

        3. hohum makes a good point though – Todt was able to handle internal politics and LDM. Stefano sits on the short end of the lever

        4. Obviously having gone from total dominance to struggling for podiums for 5 years they have been bringing in outside talent, not even an organisation as illustrious as Ferrari can totally ignore history.

      2. If what you’re saying is true, then Ferrari should almost certainly start winning titles again from 2014. That’s because if Ferrari suffers in the aerodynamics and internal politics departments, they’re still a force to be reckoned with in the engine department, and next year engines will be a major factor in the car’s performance, much more so than they’ve been in recent years. The engine department headed by Luca Marmorini is still predominantly Italian, and Italians/Ferrari have historically been master engine builders (let’s not forget that the internal combustion engine was invented by an Italian). Electronics (KERS) is also an area in which Italy has no shortage of talent. So as much as I despise the new engine formula, I’m glad it’s coming because it could spell the end of the soft drink farting diffuser era and a return to normality where engines rule the seas. Then again, the new engine rules are so restrictive that we may see hardly any difference at all in performance between the different engine makers.

        1. I’ve always loved Ferrari for their engine 1st. philosophy.

        2. Ehm, sorry to rock your boat, but unless you mean the Romans tooling experiments for sawmills, I would not say it was an Italian who invented the internal combustion engine @marciare-o-marcire.

          Funny enough while Ferrari has always put great emphasis on the engine coming first, it seems that Mercedes (and Renault) are believed to are better prepared with their engines for next yeer.

    4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      5th August 2013, 3:55

      What about Alonso’s caption competition?

      1. David not Coulthard (@)
        5th August 2013, 4:47

        This weekend, from what I read.

    5. These people are serious about this case, old Bernie is toasted.

      1. I’m pretty sure Bernie is done. there was another major scandal around the chairman of the Bayern Landesbank which became a political hot potato. So the courts have no leeway, making plea bargains of any sort virtually impossible.

    6. I don’t think I agree with your COTD @force-maikel, at least not with the reasoning. The only reason why most teams had the young drivers in the car, was because the FIA told the teams their race drivers can only do tyre testing, no car development.

      I do think that the punishment for Mercedes became a tad more than just being a nominal penalty when that test became a tyre test as well. But the harshness of the penalty reflects how unclear the FIA was over the whole matter.

      1. @bascb I slightly agree, because the reason most teams reverted back to the young drivers was because there was a “clarification” that they could only run the senior drivers for a day I do believe and they weren’t allowed to make any set-up changes (which of course wasn’t the case in the Mercedes test).

        Also, does anybody know whether the other teams had access to Mercedes’ data? If not, that’s another advantage…

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          5th August 2013, 16:24

          Were Mercedes allowed to make setup changes? I haven’t seen anything to suggest they were but I may have missed it. My understanding was that they were under the same rules the other teams ran with at the YDT.

          When the other teams discovered these conditions, they quickly reverted to wanting to use their young drivers so that they could play around with their car. That sort of says to me that full testing with inexperienced drivers is more useful than tyre testing with current ones.

          1. @petebaldwin I’m guessing that they must have, as there were no FIA delegates present and I’m assuming the data would be more useful for Pirelli if they could optimise the set-up.

            Basically, there was nothing stopping them whereas there was during the YDT.

    7. Interesting to see that the current owners of the “Constatin Group” had enough arguments to convince a judge to request documents being handed over. When I first heard of that case, I thought they got the rights to the company on a speculative basis – grab what you can.

      It will be hard to make a good case for how much the price should have been at the time. On the one hand we have the value estimates a year after, the claim by ex-kirch companies and from Gribowsky that Bernie paid to sell to CVC because it was allowing him to stay in control, and maybe now keep the price low so as not to have to pay to what is now the Constantin group.
      On the other hand, F1 at the time was in bit of turmoil after all the sales and bancruptcy of the banks that had held it, and they did want to get rid of it fast. At the time, I am not sure anyone was willing to pay much more in Cash. And replacing Bernie is something I doubt anyone who knows what they were getting would do – he still runs the show almost single handedly!

    8. There’s also the full live broadcast of the 1973 German Gp at the Nordschleife in the recommended videos section down the side of the video-

    9. Maybe the reason for Monti feeling he has to cut Alonso’s wings a bit is that he is assuming a role Luca did not envision – <a href="

    10. Thanks @keithcollantine for my first COTD, I’ve been a proud member of this website since 2009 so it had to come one day. However I have a question. Why were some parts of my comment left out? Because they weren’t relevant to the subject at matter? I’m not picking a fight or something, I’m just curios why.

      1. @force-maikel to keep it concise I suppose – otherwise people may not read it in it’s entirety!

      2. @force-maikel Just edited for brevity.

        1. Ok thanks for the reply @keithcollantine

    11. That opinion from the quote of the day is getting old. What some people seem to overlook is that Merc got permission from the FIA. They did NOT actually break any rules. Pushing the envelop perhaps, but every team does that e.g. Redbull with their not legal, not illegal parts which had to be taken off the car. And don’t get me started on the 2 big daddies of them all, Macca & Ferrari. Their misdemeanours are too many too list right now coz I’m too tired so I’m gonna leave it at that!

      1. Well, they did break the rules hence why they were punished! It is illegal (expressly so) under the current sporting regulations to test during the season with a car “that substantially conforms to the current technical regulations” – Mercedes did just that, which without the permission of the FIA (not Charlie Whiting) can only result in a penalty.

        So really it’s just a question of what advantage they gained to answer the question of whether the punishment was sufficient and honestly I don’t think enough details have become open to us to make a qualified judgment on that, so for now it is purely speculatory.

        1. @vettel1, if a policeman gives you permission to cross double yellow lines you do not expect to be charged for doing so because you did not get prmission from the Chief Constable.

          1. @hohum true, but I will propose an alternative anecdote: if you are looking to throw a party as a child, you do not take the word of your friend as consent to throw it – you ask the permission of the parents or prepare to expect punishment afterwards.

            1. @vettel
              Charlie Whiting??

              He is a “parent”

              Flawed analogy…. but you knew that…

            2. @tvm I think your missing the point: Charlie isn’t the be all and end all for giving permission to the teams to bend or break the rules. The analogy is not perfect (I acknowledge that myself) but you’re picking at the wrong details.

      2. @blackmamba My opinion is most definitely not getting old, the FIA nor Charlie Whiting gave any permission, they gave an advice which we all know is pretty much useless. Upon that advice Mercedes acted, illegally and therefor they most pay the price. Mercedes has had the opportunity to test without the other teams breathing down their necks, whil at the YDT the teams didn’t even get any fair options to do any proper testing like Mercedes been able to do. I’m not saying their race pace should have suffered but a DSQ form the Constructors would have been a far more effective punishment.

        I’m still shocked Whiting hasn’t been given the sack yet.

        1. the FIA nor Charlie Whiting gave any permission, they gave an advice which we all know is pretty much useless.

          yeah, sure @force-maikel, its useless advice. But its the procedure teams have followed for a long time now, including Ferrari running their testing with Pirelli through Whiting too, and its been accepted as standard procedure. The fact that Whiting even got a FIA legal council to state that they would likely accept the test supports that.

          Yes, the FIA deemed it illegal, but because it was not completely clear cut, the Tribunal did have all parties involved (the FIA, Mercedes and Pirelli) share the cost of the procedure, something done only when a judge sees shared responsibility.

          And the teams did get as much of an opportunity. They ran to the Pirelli program when they had their regular drivers in the car. But because all of them also wanted to test new bits and pieces, they decided to have the YD in their cars more of the time, because its more beneficial for them.

          1. I strongly disagree @bascb. If the tribunal saw shared responsibility why wasn’t the FIA given a strong reprimand for misinforming a team? Sharing the cost of this tribunal is peanuts for the parties involved so that’s hardly a punishment. But I agree that was sensible decision

            Mercedes drove 3 days with both race drivers on a closed down track with Pirelli. Do you really believe Pirelli offered the same program to the team when they were only allowed to do one day with race driver and no new bits on the car? Do you actually believe Mercedes didn’t put something ‘new’ on their car during their private test? If you want to believe such nonsense go ahead but I’m not buying that. No one was looking, hell yes they put new stuff on that car. Pirelli only offered stupid restrictions during the YDT because now everyone was breathing right down their neck. Yes the rookies were more beneficial when it came to testing new parts but not getting a feel for the new tyres. That’s where the race drivers come in and not everyone were able to use them as they wanted. They couldn’t even do set up changes on that car or switch front wings for crying out loud how ridiculous is that!

            Mercedes has been given a major advantage over the other and that is just not fair. But the tribunal has past and a judgement was given, and even though I and Luca di Montezemolo strongly disagree with its outcome, we are going to have to live with it and it’s not like Ferrari and di Montezemolo are saints either.


            1. If the tribunal saw shared responsibility why wasn’t the FIA given a strong reprimand for misinforming a team

              You think they weren’t?

              The fact that Mercedes got only a nominal penalty (even when it got a tad more severe with the tyre change), and the FIA was ordered to pay a third of the cost itself is a very clear sign that their case was far from clear cut.

              As for the Pirelli test and how it went, first of all, we still know only what came out of the hearing, so we have no details. But to give Pirelli a good base to get data, the best way to test is have the car the same, only changing ride height for inters/wet tyres (if they ran any) and that kind of things.
              Your accusation that they must have changed all sorts of parts, is as baseless as stating that the car was not changed at all. We simply do not know either way.
              The silverstone test was not limited because everyone was breathing down Pirelli’s neck, but because teams were clearly going away from giving YD a chance to have some seat time, instead wanting to turn it into a fully fledged test with both tyres and new bits, and the FIA stepped in to prevent this (so as not to go against the idea of not having testing during the season except for this safety issue).

        2. @force-maike
          “they gave an advice which we all know is pretty much useless”

          You just invented that? I mean that advice is useless?
          So you never took your parents advice when growing up, never take you mechanics advice when he as an expert are advising some repairs that will save you down the road?
          Not to go swimming when the red flag is up? Not to go outside in a hurricane…

          This was a manager in the organization stating the rules that the test would be fine for crying out loud.

          Talk about twisting for an agenda.

          Button line is that Mercedes took their punishment. <- period. <-again

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