FIA completing push for more F1 revenue

The FIA is close to completing a successful push for a bigger slice of F1’s financial pie, according to a report by the expert financial source Bloomberg.

Citing ‘two people familiar with the situation’, the media report said the now Jean Todt-led Paris federation is set to boost its coffers to about $40 million per year. That represents a 40 per cent revenue increase, thanks to a new deal with F1’s owner CVC and much higher entry fees paid by successful teams like Red Bull.

Bloomberg said the reigning champion team, for example, will pay $3.3 million simply to enter the 2013 championship, which is ten times what it paid last year. Runners-up Ferrari’s 2013 entry bill is a reported $2.5 million.

“They (the FIA) are harvesting: they’re trying to make as much money as possible while it’s there,” said sports marketing strategy professor Simon Chadwick, of Coventry University.

One of the unnamed sources said the new CVC agreement will benefit the FIA to the tune of about $25 million. But former FIA president Max Mosley – Frenchman Todt’s predecessor – cast doubt on suggestions F1’s governing body is in dire need of more money.

He said the FIA has “always balanced the books”, and kept almost $40 million in the bank.

“The FIA isn’t in financial difficulty,” Mosley insisted.


Ecclestone offered money to make Mosley MP

A British politician has alleged Bernie Ecclestone offered money in exchange for his former F1 ally Max Mosley becoming a member of parliament.

David Davis, a conservative backbencher and former party chairman, said the F1 chief executive’s offer was made a decade ago ahead of the 2005 election, according to the Daily Mail newspaper. Ecclestone’s offer of money in exchange for a safe conservative seat for Mosley was reportedly made to Davis by Sir Alan Curtis, the former chairman of Lotus Cars.

“He (Curtis) said Mr Ecclestone wanted to help Mr Mosley obtain a safe conservative seat and that if we delivered, we could expect a serious contribution from Mr Ecclestone,” Davis said. “I told him, ‘We simply don’t do that sort of thing’. After that, I heard nothing from him.”

Former FIA president Mosley said: “It’s a lovely idea but it’s got no connection with the truth as far as I am concerned.”

Curtis, however, confirmed meetings took place “but I can’t believe I said he (Ecclestone) would (financially) support the party”.

Ecclestone also confirmed the meetings, but as for the offer of money, the 81-year-old insisted: “I don’t imagine that is what happened.

“We don’t know Mr Davis is saying the truth do we?”


MSV win F2 tender

MotorSport Vision, a company headed by former F1 driver and commentator Jonathan Palmer and which owns several British motor racing circuits including Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, has won the FIA’s tender to supply and promote the proposed new Formula Two series.

Williams will be assisting MSV with the chassis design for the F2 cars, with Audi providing the 1.8 litre turbo engine.

Max Mosley announced the proposed revival of the Formula Two brand in June and revealed that he hoped it would cost just 200,000 Euro per season for a team to compete in the series.

“The objective is to make a top-level international single-seater racing available to drivers who at present have difficulty in raising enough money to demonstrate their talent,” Mosley wrote in a statement announcing the tender winners.

“Formula One and other major championships will benefit by being able to draw on a far larger pool of drivers, while competitors from countries which do not yet have an established motor racing structure will find it easier to make progress. We hope to reveal talent that might otherwise never have emerged and we look forward to seeing drivers coming into Formula One with super licenses gained in Formula Two.”

Mosley admits mistakes were made in Belgium

209303McLaren’s conversation with race control put lives at risk, asserts Mosley.

FIA President Max Mosley has criticised the way Lewis Hamilton’s controversial pass on Kimi Raikkonen in Belgium was handled, hitting out at McLaren for seeking approval from race control during the incident.

When Hamilton cut the Bus Stop chicane during his duel with Raikkonen, McLaren chiefs immediately contacted race control’s Charlie Whiting to see if the Briton, who relinquished track position on the start/finish straight, was free to attack the Ferrari into the following corner. The team were twice told the move was ‘okay’, according to McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh.

Max Mosley has criticised McLaren for making the call, and Whiting for answering, arguing that race control are not in a position to offer a “considered opinion” in the heat of a race.

“McLaren should not have asked [race director] Charlie Whiting whether Lewis had done anything wrong and he should not have answered,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“When rain came down on one of the fastest circuits in the world, with most of the cars on dry tyres, it was a very dangerous situation.

“If there had been a spin and a collision between two cars, it would have been a nightmare. That is something none of our safety procedures can deal with.”

“Charlie was in one of the most highly pressured situations, so teams should not ask and he should not answer, because he is not in a position to give even the beginnings of a considered opinion. His responsibility was to see that nobody got killed.”

Hamilton was dealt a 25 second penalty for his actions which gifted race victory to his title rival Felipe Massa. McLaren have appealed against the ruling and will be heard on 22 September, after this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Nurburgring’s F1 future in doubt

The future of the Nurburgring on the F1 calendar is in doubt. Currently, the circuit is controlled by the ADAC-controlled Deutscher Motor Sport Bund E.V. (DMSB) however according to several reports, the FIA may well strip the DMSB of their position at the next extraordinary general meeting of the FIA on October 7th.

In wake of the sex-scandal surrounding Max Mosley earlier in the year, the ADAC were scathing about the FIA president and following his vote of confidence in June, the German automobile body said they would no longer cooperate with the FIA as long as Mosley was in power. It is understood that the Automobil von Deutschland (AvD) the current promoters of Hockenheim are hoping to be named as the DMSB s successor.

Ecclestone urges F1 to get behind Mosley

BernieBernie Ecclestone insists that it is time to put the Max Mosley scandal to bed and welcome the FIA president back to Formula One.

After surviving a vote of confidence and winning his privacy case against the News of the World earlier this year, FIA president Max Mosley has kept a low profile.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone was among those to call for his resignation when the scandal first broke, but this appeared to be out of personal concern for Mosley’s well-being, rather than for political gain.

While Ecclestone’s Formula One Group and the FIA are still wrangling over a new commercial agreement for Formula One, the pair were united in their decision to give the British Grand Prix to Donington, and they are both in agreement that Formula One needs to be more sustainable.

And now Ecclestone has publicly urged the sport to welcome Mosley back to the paddock: “People have come to the conclusion that whatever happened with Max was Max and it has nothing to do with anything else,” he told BBC Five Live’s Sportsweek.

“I don’t think they care any more, people forget all these things. At the time it was a shock, if it had happened to other people it probably wouldn’t have been a shock.

“For a short period I said he should resign because I had so much pressure from people to say he should resign. In a lot of ways, at the time I wished he had done. Now I don’t see why he should. Max works and does the best he can for the sport, 100 per cent.”

Ecclestone will meet Mosley again at the Italian Grand Prix in September and hopes to establish a normal working relationship.

“I’ll see him in Monza,” he said. “I’ll welcome him back. He should come back and carry on like he normally carries on.”

Ecclestone also hinted that it would not be inconceivable that Mosley could be persuaded to stay on as FIA President, despite announcing his intention to stand down when his term runs out next year.

“He said he would stand down before and he hasn’t,” he added. “If we look at it selfishly and look at the sport, it’s difficult to see who would replace him and do the things he does. That is what the difficulty is.”

CVC deny plans to sell F1

209303Formula One’s commercial rights holder CVC Capital Partners has dismissed speculation, triggered by comments from FIA president Max Mosley, that it is about to sell the sport and replace Bernie Ecclestone.

Rumours have been doing the rounds for several weeks now that the investment company, which owns around 70% of the Formula One Group, is looking to sell-off its shareholding of the sport.

Max Mosley fuelled the speculation further this week when he told journalists in Monaco that CVC could sell-up if they received an offer from a “sovereign wealth fund”. Mosley also contemplated the ramifications of such a move on the future of Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group.

“They [CVC Capital Partners] tell me that they are in no hurry,” disclosed Mosley. “They haven’t got any plan to sell, and last time I spoke to them I said, what if a sovereign wealth fund came along with a huge amount of money? They said they would be tempted but they say they don’t have any plans to sell it.”

“They want to stabilise it. And I don’t know this, but I suspect, that part of it will be where Bernie has been replaced. If someone wanted to buy it at the moment then the whole business depends on a man who is 78 years ago…”

The speculation has prompted CVC to issue a statement rebuffing the rumours that they are about to relinquish control of the Formula One Group.

“Following recent press speculation CVC is pleased to clarify a number of matters,” said the private equity company. “We have no plans to sell our stake in Formula 1. We see our investment as long term and we are pleased with its performance to date.”

And in response to claims that they were about to replace Bernie Ecclestone CVC added: “The Formula One Group continues to be led by Bernie Ecclestone, there are no plans to replace him and we are delighted with the results of the business under his management.

“The Formula One Group has an agreement in place for 2008 – 2012 which governs the division of income generated by the sport, by way of prize fund.”

Mosley downplays KERS incidents

Max Mosley is adamant the new Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) which are set to be introduced into Formula One next season are safe, despite several incidents over the past few weeks.

Some have questioned the safety of KERS after two separate incidents. Red Bull Racing were forced to evacuate their factory when a fire alarm was activated after a battery experiment went wrong. A few days later a BMW-Sauber mechanic was given an electric shock during a test session after he touched one of the cars which had been fitted with a KERS device.

Despite these troubles, Mosley has downplayed the incidents and insisted KERS is an exciting new technology.

“For us there are two main areas,” he explained to Autosport. “There’s what we call the health and safety area, which is in the factory and basic precautions of the car, and then there’s the operating it – does it cause a danger to the drivers, the marshals, the mechanics and so on? And we’re interested in the operating it bit.”

“What happened with BMW was, on the face of it, very surprising because you would think they would either insulate the electrical system or they would earth the car. I don’t know what went wrong, so I can’t comment on it but these are very elementary problems.”

“With road cars I think a Toyota Lexus has a 600-volt system, but you don’t get a shock from it.”

“I haven’t seen a report [on the Red Bull incident], but what I suspect happened was they pushing the boundaries of the units to see what happened. Anyone who has ever been childish enough to operate a model plane that runs with lithium iron batteries will know that if you overcharge them you get better performance, but they also get very hot and start to bulge, and they’re only small, so you have to be careful.”

Some have suggested that teams are deliberately scaremongering to stop the introduction of the technology into F1, but Mosley does not believe this to be the case of BMW, who have always been very positive about the KERS devices.

“There is opposition to it, but BMW have always been very enthusiastic,” Mosley continued. “They put out a very positive press release saying it had directly fed into the road cars.”

“To me, the crucial thing about KERS is that its inconceivable that in 50 years time, when you put the brakes on in your car, the energy will just burn off in heat. That won’t happen.”

“But the first thing we need is a system that’s capable of absorbing all the energy when you put the brakes on. The next generation of Formula 1 cars will be like that. They’ll probably be able to absorb, we’re talking 300 kilowatts, and giving out 200 kilowatts. That’s a two-tonne car braking at 1G. F1 will make that very small and very light, and the things that will fit in next year, in ten year’s time, will look very primitive. But that’s Formula One.”

“We’ve seen it so often in areas, and those devices will be crucial for the roads because if a KERS system is really light and can absorb all the energy, with super capacitors or flywheels, whatever its going to be, that’s really for the road, and if we advance it by several years, then that’s extremely useful and that alone can justify Formula One, because it will make such a huge contribution to the motor industry.”

“If you imagine you could have a super-efficient KERS system, five to 10 years sooner than you would otherwise get it, then multiply it by the number of cars in the world, then Formula One (costs) will be a drop in the ocean.”

Mosley wins privacy court case

MaxFIA president Max Mosley has won his privacy action against British newspaper the News of the World. Mosley has been awarded £60,000 in damages and costs of what is believed to be in the region of £1 million.

Mosley s action was centered on allegations over his sex life the News of the World ran a story earlier in the year showing Mosley involved in an orgy with prostitutes, and alleged that the session had Nazi overtones. However Mosley denied these claims and took legal action against the newspaper for a breach of privacy.

After the prostitute who filmed the session and sold the tape to the newspaper failed to turn up to court, the NOTW s case collapsed.

Mosley is said to be delighted with the outcome of the case and in a statement issued by his lawyers, he has said that he hopes the verdict will act as a warning to others who are considering running similar exposes in the future.

This judgment has nailed the Nazi lie upon which the News of the World sought to justify their disgraceful intrusion into my private life,” Mosley s statement read.

“By law we are all entitled to have our privacy respected. The News of the World invaded my privacy, dreamt-up the most offensive headline possible, and decided that I should not be contacted before publication to prevent me asking the Court for the injunction I would have been entitled to. They and their lawyers have then conducted this case so as to cause maximum embarrassment in the hope that I would be discouraged from continuing.

“I needed a strong judgment to make it absolutely clear that what the News of the World did was wrong. Obtaining that in the full glare of the media has been extremely difficult but I am delighted that we have achieved what we set out to do.I hope my case will help deter newspapers in the UK from pursuing this type of invasive and salacious journalism. I have learnt first hand how devastating an invasion of privacy can be and how readily papers like the News of the World will destroy lives in the knowledge that few of their victims will dare sue them. I want to encourage a change in that practice.

“As I promised at the outset, the damages will go to the FIA Foundation to further their work for road safety and the environment. Finally, I would like to thank all those who have supported me during this difficult period.”

Mosley case adjourned until Monday

FIA president Max MosleyFIA president Max Mosley s case against British newspaper the News of the World has been adjourned until Monday because a key defence witness failed to appear. The NOTW had hoped that an unidentified prostitute – known only as Woman E – would testify that there were Nazi undertones to the sex session that Mosley was involved in and the newspaper subsequently revealed.

Mark Warby QC, who is representing the News of the World, said that they had taken a late decision not to call her because of her emotional state.

“It had been my intention to call Woman E, as I told the court last night,” Warby explained to British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. “This morning, at about ten to eight, I received information which has later been elaborated on which leads those instructing me and my clients to take the view that her emotional and mental state is such that it would not be fair or reasonable to call her to give evidence.”