Hamilton and Button head Britain’s sporting rich list

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: World champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button head the list of Britain’s richest sportsmen.


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Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton named Britain’s richest sportsman (The Independent)

“Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton has been named Britain’s wealthiest sportsman with a fortune of £68m.”

Test in Fiorano – Day two (Sauber)

“We made some changes to the set-up, which gave me the opportunity to get a feeling for those changes and learn how the car reacts to them. I can say that I already feel confident in the car, which is very positive.”

A Formula One Lap with Simona De Silvestro (Sauber via YouTube)

How The Bahrain Grand Prix Fuelled A 4.3% Fall In Formula One’s Revenue (Forbes)

“Like all aspects of the finances of F1, it is a frightfully complex system, especially for sports reporters who do not specialise in covering it. This is highlighted by recent flawed analysis from F1 blogger Joe Saward who claimed ‘it is true that the teams are taking about six percent more than they were getting in 2012, as a result of the new Concorde Agreement deals, but this cannot be blamed for the drop of 32 percent in the profits. The reality is that the company seems to have loaned most of its profits to other companies in the group as a way of reducing its tax burden.’ This is inaccurate on several fronts.”

Ecclestone’s humour has been one of his great weapons but it’s not jokes that can save him now (Daily Mail)

“It is best for him that he will not be giving evidence directly in Munich, but only through his lawyers. For once, it’s not jokes that can save Bernie.”


Comment of the day

Following Juan Pablo Montoya’s criticism of DRS, Peter suggests it simply isn’t needed any more:

I think a lot of fans think that with the rule changes to aero and tyres, and particularly with this years engines, that the need for DRS has gone.

There have been many passes between team mates outside the DRS zones, wheel to wheel for consecutive corners, and despite the option one has to wait for DRS.

If there is any complaint I have it is the FIA not removing their old sticking plaster solutions when they become outdated: DRS, top ten running on qualifying tyres, and mandatory pit stop (the prime and option tyre rule).

I’d love to see them run at Suzuka without any DRS zones this year and see how it works. Even better let them also just use the best tyre for their car and leave complete strategy freedom.
Peter (@Boylep6)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Russell G., Varun, Muz, Krtekf1 and Muz!

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

Niki Lauda scored the first victory of his Formula One career 40 years ago today at Jarama. He led home team mate and points leader Clay Regazzoni to score Ferrari’s first win in two years, with Emerson Fittipaldi taking his first podium finish as a McLaren driver.

Here’s footage from the race:

Image © McLaren/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Hamilton and Button head Britain’s sporting rich list”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th April 2014, 0:24

    Wow that video in Fiorano is great! That cam should be mandatory in races!!!

    1. @omarr-pepper it does seem far better than the previous helmet cameras that they trialled a few years ago, much smoother

      1. Its probably a gopro

  2. Interesting to see that revenues in F1 have managed to fall despite the inordinate amounts of cash that they charge for broadcasters and venues.

    1. I think it’s not really surprising. Putting everything behind paywalls is what turned most of my friends away from the sport, who were casual viewers. And double points, DRS and a few other things have even disgruntled a few of the long-term fans I know. It’s not representative in any way but I could see that others think in a similar way.
      With less competition in 2014 they will also attract less new viewers, so I think falling revenues will be a trend for the next few years.

  3. You can say what you want about today’s safety measures but my dear that footage from 1974 was scary, especially the crowd and the pits! People just walking everywhere!

    1. @meander The mob scenes in the pits back in those days were absolutely nuts! An incredibly dangerous environment. That said, I can’t recall anyone ever getting fatally injured in the F1 pit lane. Am I wrong? Not saying they should go back to the old ways, of course.

      1. In 1973 at the Indy 500 a pit crew member was killed by a safety vehicle hurrying to the Swede Savage crash. I don’t recall any in F1 either, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were.

      2. There was a fatality at Zolder in ’81 during practice and then I think at the start of the race a guy got stuck out on the track and sandwiched between a couple cars.

        1. Second man lived I think, but was seriously injured.

    2. The marshal during the Canadian Grand Prix last year: I believe the recovery vehicle ran him over in the pit lane.

  4. Is it me or there’s a huge pressure to pu a women in the F1?

    1. johnny stick
      28th April 2014, 1:19

      Women in the sport? I think Bernie is really pushing this. Maybe he finally discovered what NASCAR discovered many decades ago, women control most of the family spending in America and Latin countries.

      1. My wife is a huge racing fan and is against women driving in F1 or any motor sport. She considers it a man’s game. Likewise, despite playing basketball for much of her life, she has no interest in women’s college hoops or the WNBA, preferring to watch the NBA instead.

        I find that the push for women drivers is mostly made by men, not women. I don’t really know why.

        1. I disagree with that. I think the push to involve women in a certain sport comes from women who have a passion and a desire to compete in that sport. Not so long ago women were not permitted to participate in long-distance running but those who did want to take part ‘found ways’ of entering races. The push to have women involved in marathons certainly didn’t come from the male organisers, as the treatment of Kathrine Switzer bore out.

          More recently women have began competing in pole vaulting and ski jumping, again after campaigns by the female athletes themselves.

          I don’t see why it would be a surprise that there are women who want to compete in motor racing.

          1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
            29th April 2014, 0:24

            the sports you mention have a cathegory for women only! so yes: make a F1 just for women (and nobody will see it…)

        2. ”A man’s game”…..ahahahahahahahahahahah….is your wife from the 1800s?

          1. No, we’re both under 35.

        3. I find that the push for women drivers is mostly made by men, not women.

          That’s what you find, is it? So is that “finding” pretty much just based on the opinion of your wife?

          1. Well, she is quite a bit smarter than I and better looking to boot. I tend to value her opinion. I have not met any other women who like F1 in the US besides her.

    2. Not that much, otherwise we’d probably see more than 2 names being tied to F1. Pressure from where exactly?

    3. I honestly believe Simona is there for her talent. She was an awesome IndyCar driver and with little backing in comparison with other guys. And if you ask me, way better than Danica Patrick. I hope to see her in a decent seat soon, though Sirotkin will get a drive before her.

      1. +1. Simona deserves a shot on merit, & not because she’s a woman. I think most who criticize her probably haven’t seen her race. She certainly won’t be any worse than the usual crop of pay drivers.

      2. I thought Sirotkin’s prospects look dimmer now, with funding somehow affected by the US sanctions against Russia. So you never know.

        1. A line-up of Sirotkin and De Silvestro looks like the blind leading the blind. It’s maybe got the advantage of being a bigger draw for the spectators than their current line-up, which is very ‘meh’.

  5. Maybe I’m just bitter, but it would be nice if we stopped referring to tax exiles as British. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

    1. Good point. What I didn’t understand about the list was including a Canadian, Steve Nash at 4, as British. Commonwealth?

    2. Well, I have lived outside of Britain for 26 years (4 of them to further my career in a place which happens to be a tax haven) but I’m still very proudly British. I’m Scottish too, which will be problematic if a few too many 16 years olds decide to watch Braveheart the night before the referendum vote! ;) My fiancé is Welsh and in a similar boat. It isn’t always as clear cut as you would think. I’m not even going to go down the road of discussing sports stars like Kevin Pietersen, Manu Tuilagi or Jonathan Trott because that opens a whole other can of worms.

      To make this a bit F1 relevant: I wonder what Monaco resident, son of a Finn and German passport holder would make of all this! ;)

    3. And when one of them becomes World Champion, you’ll suddenly have no problem with them being British.

    4. You can’t have your cake and eat it

      Unfortunately if you’re a high earner living in the UK you can’t have your cake at all, you have to pay for it but someone else gets to eat it, which is why Britain encourages so many people to become tax exiles (the poor weather doesn’t help either). Living somewhere else means that you can get to keep your own cake. And I don’t understand why this has anything to do with nationality, you don’t stop becoming British because you moved house.

  6. C.Sylt has provided more detail of FOMs income and tax manipulations chiding Joe Saward for inaccuracy regarding the internal debts and assetts situation, however, no matter which of those entities is the debtor and which is the creditor the effect is the same, hundreds of millions of dollars paid as dividends while a similar amount is declared a loss for tax purposes.

    The single most important fact to remember is that none of that Investment or the resultant debts ever went to improve F1 or to the teams, it all went to the trust fund that pays Bernie $100 million pa and keeps his daughters in several of the most expensive homes in the world.

    1. Sylt is basically Bernie’s PR.

      1. trotter, you will get Keith into trouble with such monstrous accusations, it only appears that way, apparently.

        1. Yup, just like Bernie only appears to be greedy and corrupt. He might sue me for defamation.

        2. GB (@bgp001ruled)
          28th April 2014, 6:47

          why Keith? what has he have to do with the comment?

          1. @bgp001ruled,(why not just @gb) Keith is the publisher of this blog.

          2. @hohum – It doesn’t matter who the publisher is, comments are solely the property of their author

          3. No, comments are not necessarily the property of the author. It’s a grey area, and depends on a number of factors. But if you think of it in terms of a newspaper, if they commit libel, it is the newspaper that can be sued, not the original author of the comment.

            Basically, if the site has active moderation, they can be deemed responsible. If they don’t moderate, then they can argue that they have no responsibility.

        3. @hohum As you can see by some of the replies, not all are capable of recognizing sarcasm. Let God help them on the internet. :)

    2. Indeed @hohum, the issue is the money not staying in the sport, regardless of whether the company who gets it is able to set it off as cost or income (although arguably income means paying taxes which is better for most of us then when it goes to where it ends up now.)

  7. Someone dares criticize the mighty, all knowing, infallible Joe Saward! He will probably end up write a blog post in which he clarifies why he is (and for that matter, always is) correct, will end up calling the writer of the Forbes article a “hack with no F1 accreditation and poor sources” and will go off in a huff.

    That said, Saward’s stuff is usually good, he just doesn’t react to criticism very well.

    1. @geemac, Joe may or may not have been precisely correct but as a simple illustrative explanation it was adequate for those of us without a degree in accountancy and the end result was the same whether your name is Joe or Chris.

      1. True, but the fact remains that Saward reacts catastrophically badly to criticism.

        1. @geemac,Sylt is not that good at absorbing criticism either, just ask @bascb,

          1. Ah I see, so they are similar types of people. This makes a lot more sense now!

          2. exactly @geemac. Nothing like a good feud to fuel that kind of relationship over the years!

    2. Off course the biggest message, highlighted by Joe for being bad, and more or less presented as a good thing from the owners point of view by Sylt (the negative in that view being its going down) is the huge part that ends up not getting invested back into the sport @hohum, @geemac.

      I agree that its likely we will see another Joe post like the one you mentioned.

  8. So silly question. Do the different tire manufacturers continue to do limited run of their different tires? SdS had on new slicks, they must get them from somewhere. We often see older cars running for exhibitions or filming days, etc. and they would need to have tires. For instance when they pull out Senna’s old McLaren from ’89, it must have the spec tires from the year, or compatible tires? Or an RB6 with Bridgestone. Does Bridgestone run off small batches for teams at different times?

    Just curious if anyone knows.

    1. @uan I think it depends what period. There are classic F1 nostalgia races, where you’ll even see six-wheeled Tyrells racing (a car who’s demise came about due to a lack of tyre development), so I’d expect they’re still in limited production. McLaren famously keep loads of old gear to keep their cars running (old laptops, etc) so they probably have some way of storing tyres without them perishing. More recently, I’m not sure, but if there’s a market for it, they’re probably selling them.

      1. thanks @splittimes

        Ferrari also keeps all their old cars, not just F1 either. The thing with tires is that they do have a shelf life. Road tires tend to harden/dry out, etc after 10+ years. I imagine it’s the same for racing tires as well (and I think Pirelli, for instance, destroys unused tires that have been mounted, after each race). Hate to go around on a 30 year old set of slicks at 300 kph or around corners pulling multiple g’s.

        I know Google’s my friend, so I’ll probably dig a bit more into this.

        1. Not so much harden/dry out (they don’t contain water :P), more degrade due to UV light and exposure to oxygen/ozone.
          This seems to be a good article on how vulcanised rubber ages.

    2. For more modern cars, Pirelli does produce a limited number of what are called “show tyres”, which are tyres made specifically for demonstrations, unofficial test sessions and other public events. Those tyres have a quite different construction to ensure that teams cannot subvert the normal restrictions on in season testing by eliminating the possibility of the transfer of data from the test run to the team.

      As for historic cars, there are a limited number of tyre manufacturers (e.g. Avon) who produce replica historic compounds for historic racing championships. Avon publicly promotes their tyres, but I imagine that some of the larger manufacturers would probably produce limited runs of replica historic tyres for special events or for more important clients (such as Ferrari’s Corsi Clienti program).

  9. Good to see Joe Seward getting called out, the guy spouts crap like his mouth is his ass. I’m banned from commenting on his blog for pointing out inaccurate information on a story that was 3 days old when he ‘broke’ it. Glad others are spotting his shortcomings.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      28th April 2014, 10:04

      Indeed. More often than not he writes opinion pieces, rather than reporting factual unbiased news.

    2. Disagree completely with you. It is normal to expect that Joe gets some flak as he really asks the questions nobody is bothered to ask. I am more wary of what Forbes has to say than what Joe writes on his blog. Even if there are some inaccuracies here and there his major points and the principles are absolutely correct. He is pretty much the only high profile F1 journalists who criticize the ridiculousness of the current commercial structure of F1 (rightly so) and brakes down the more complex aspects of it to the average reader. This is very brave of him, as you know media pit access is granted by FOM. That has not stopped him to call out Bernie, FOM and CVC on all their disgraceful wheeling and dealing to the detriment of the sport as a whole. I wish more F1 journalists would be as vocal as Joe Saward, it is deeply unfair, petty and juvenile to brand him as a “guy spouts crap like his mouth is his ass”, but hey this is the internet isn’t it. If this website, and others, (James Allen for instance) were as vocal as Saward about finding solutions and alternatives to the current absurd commercial arrangements in F1 maybe that would create more awareness among the fans and more pressure for real change which is needed urgently as all but 3 teams in F1 face financial challenges.

      1. I know very little about the complexities of F1’s finance, or about Forbes trustworthiness vs. Saward’s, but I would be surprised if it was the job of this site, or James Allen’s, or Saward, to come up with solutions and alternatives to F1’s commercial arrangements, nor would awareness amongst fans nor ‘pressure’ change something that is way more out of our realm than, for example, double points which is universally disliked yet is happening anyway.

        1. @robbie, so we should just shut up and pretend it’s not rotten ?

          1. @hohum No not at all. Discussion is good. I just don’t see how, when it comes to this issue, we would even begin to know all the complexities to provide anything useful for F1’s commercial community, nor why they would even care or listen.

            I think the likes of ourselves on this site, or the likes of James Allen and Joe Saward could affect things more from the actual .how-do-we-like-the-product side of things which we can see and react to, than something that is in the hands of financiers and lawyers and we couldn’t possibly know everything about let alone affect.

      2. +1 for the legend.

    3. Yeah, I followed his little blog for a while too, but it was more about dreary descriptions of how he travels over the place and what kind of meet and greet events he organized. When he did actually write about F1 now and then, it was often so far off base that it was painful to read. Pointing out flaws would be pointless since he’d simply delete the comments.

  10. The Sauber in that livery reminds me a bit of the 1995/96 Minardi.

  11. Great video from Simona’s car. Really enjoyed it. Would be incredible to use that cam in real races!

    Great video from the Spain race in 74! Back then, they would say: “Safety? What is that? Let them race! God will make them safe…”

    And I have to make this note to “The Independent” article: “Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton…” Really? Ham is a legend? Where? In Great Britain perhaps. And mostly, why? Because, if he his – and I believe he is a great racer, but not a legend yet, as he can become one – then there are many, many F1 legends, and in that stand to be a legend is not so difficult or great.

  12. @Boylep6 Re CoTD

    I’m going to stick my head above the parapet and put up a bit of a defence for DRS. I accept that in some cases it has been overly effective, and it’s frustrating to watch a car sail past another on a straight with no chance for the leading car to defend. But is that so much more frustrating than watching cars sit one behind another with no chance to overtake? At least with DRS the finishing order is not decided very early in the race or purely via pitstops windows.

    Taking Bahrain as an example, i’m sure there would have been great racing between 3rd and 8th places with or without DRS, just because of the nature of the cars, circuit, and strategy in how that race played out. But i very much doubt there would have been any serious racing between the two Mercerdes cars up front – in this case DRS did exactly what it was intended to do, provided a faster car (Rosberg) an opportunity to overtake, but no more than that. It allowed him to get alongside into turn 1, but did not give so much speed that he was past before reaching the corner. The result was some great racing that i doubt would have occurred without DRS. The problem, as most will point out, is that the balance is often not there – often it is too effective.

    I also wouldn’t put too much stock in the engine differences this year providing the same effect in speed differentials as i expect that gap to narrow rapidly over the years, to the point where there is little difference between engine (power unit) packages in 2-3 years. However, DRS can be made to look a bit silly when the Mercedes cars can have up to 20km/h speed advantage even without it (but in that case they would likely make an easy pass anyway).

    It’s not a perfect solution, but there have been races where overtakes are still pretty rare and i question whether it’s removal right now would make the races more entertaining. I think we all have a tendency to view things with rose tinted spectacles so should be a bit careful what we wish for. The upcoming Spain GP might be a good example of whether DRS is still needed (for some tracks at least) as i seem to remember quite a bit of processional racing here last year, despite DRS.

    1. As you might imagine I respectfully disagree and think it is worth an experiment
      on a track such as Suzuka, or Interlagos going without DRS.

      The aero is really different now, and the engines are pushing the race into
      energy limited mode. As in the old days with turbo boost games, you can’t defend all the time or you run out of fuel.

      What we saw between Ham and Ros was interesting because Ham’s crew had a view of what Ros was doing and vice versa. The team claims it was really a game of chess.

      If this hadn’t between team mates there wouldn’t have been that visibility, and wow.. the games that might unfold between teams once Renault sort themselves with playing the rich fuel and/or hybrid aspects is mouthwatering.

      All this will be denied us if they only have to wait for the
      long straight and hit DRS…

      What I particularly dislike about DRS versus richness options is that only the attacker has the weapon.

  13. Formula 1 Legend before Lewis Hamilton…..


  14. With the issues regarding weight at the moment, will we see a situation where female drivers are, by virtue of their physiques, given a competitive edge?

  15. I really like Lewis Hamilton as a driver.
    But to call him “Formula One legend”… C’mon!!!!!!!
    That one made me chuckle.

  16. That footage from Jarama is just fantastic. I started folllowing F1 two years before, en 1972, in an awe with Emerson Fittipaldi and the Lotus. That white Brabham #7 (with the Martini colours) was Carlos Reutemann, and what a driver he was. And there he was the Irish John Watson, another amazing, amazing driver.
    But what struck me was the surroundings. OK, Jarama was a awful place to have a F1 race. You can see that there are no stands, the cars are parked less that 100 meters from the track and, beyond the craziness of the pit lane, you can see people everywhere. Footage from other races in those years show a similar scenario: lots and lots of people near the cars.
    Compare that to F1 today. The pit lane is clearly a safer area, almost clinical. But the people, the racing fans, are nowhere to be seen anymore. The area between the cars and the spectators is just huge. Sometimes you get a glimpse of the fans, in particular when is raining and the TV shows them trying to cover.
    To me, this shows very clearly how we moved from races to be seen and enjoyed in person to spectacles organized and planned for TV cameras. The “idea” of a race, the “representation” of a race is now the real stuff; at the track, if the stands are empty we won’t probably notice. I can say the same from the Olympics Games. As a reporter I covered several Games and when I sat in front of TV to watch the Chinese Games en 2008 I immediately noticed that the real stuff is nothing like that. London 2012 took the tendency even further. People see a planned representation of something, and most believe that what they see is the real thing.
    Now we can see on the screen the amount of petrol each car is consuming, the amount of stored kinetic energy and the G forces acting on the driver’s neck. But I really ask myself if some of the magic is lost.

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