Nov 17 2013

Formula One 2013: Circuit of the Americas

So, remember Ronnie Reagan?  You know, that senile old actor who sold missiles to our sworn enemies the terrorist sponsoring, embassy despoiling, nuclear developing state of Iran gift wrapped with a cake and a Bible and a perfectly high profile secret spilling hostage NSC head just so he could get a little off the books money so he could finance his own nun killing anti-communist secret terrorist army?

Neither do I.

Nor does Bernie apparently.

Bernie Ecclestone admits to memory loss over details of Formula One reign

Paul Weaver, The Guardian

Monday 11 November 2013 16.22 EST

Bernie Ecclestone told the high court in London on Monday: “I have a bit of a difficulty to remember what happened last week.” The Formula One chief executive, who was 83 last month, was facing his fourth day of questioning in the case brought by Constantin Medien.

The German media company claims that Ecclestone undervalued Formula One when it was sold to the private equity group CVC Capital Partners and that he colluded with the German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky – who was jailed last year for eight and a half years – to keep control of the sport. Ecclestone denies wrongdoing.

Earlier, when asked about CVC’s purchase of a controlling interest in Formula One in 2005, a hesitant Ecclestone replied: “By the look of this I – dates – I’m sorry, I can’t keep up with these days.”

Ecclestone also had difficulty remembering a meeting he allegedly had last year, at the time of the jailing of Gribkowksy. Ecclestone and three other parties are accused of paying $44m in bribes to Gribkowsky to undervalue F1 when it was sold to CVC.

But when asked about the meeting, Ecclestone, after a pause, replied: “I don’t remember what the meeting was for but, if you – I don’t remember the meeting but, if you said – I have hundreds of meetings a month but, if you said there was a meeting, there obviously was a meeting but I don’t remember what it was for.”

Asked whether the case is damaging for Formula One, Ecclestone said: “I don’t think so. It’s good because a lot of facts come out of it.”


And nothing to see here-

Lawyer of Bernie Ecclestone’s ex-wife briefly suspected F1 chief had orchestrated robbery at his home

By Tom Cary, The Telegraph

10:17PM GMT 15 Nov 2013

Stephen Mullens, a former legal advisor to the Ecclestone family trust, and his wife and children were subjected to a “horrific” robbery in 2009 that he suspected may have been orchestrated by Bernie Ecclestone himself, a court has been told.

Recounting the robbery on Thursday at the High Court, where Mullens and Ecclestone are co-defendants in a $140 million damages claim brought by German media firm Constantin Medien, Mullens said that he was ready to “change my life, give up my practice and leave the country”, so traumatised was he by the experience which happened in April 2009.

Ecclestone, Mullens and Bambino are defendants in Constantin Medien’s lawsuit, which claims that they paid a total of $44m in bribes to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky in order to steer the 2005 sale of Formula One to its current owners CVC Capital Partners.

Constantin claims that Formula One was purposefully undervalued by Gribkowsky, and that it lost out on a hefty commission as a result.

Ecclestone and Mullens deny the charges, claiming that they paid Gribkowsky to keep him quiet after he threatened to go to the UK tax authorities and make false claims regarding Ecclestone’s control of Bambino.

Bernie Ecclestone court case sees F1 deal-making under scrutiny

Richard Conway, BBC

The case stems from a claim for £90m in damages by Constantin Medien, a German media company that says it lost out because of a “corrupt bargain” when a stake in Formula 1 was sold in 2006.


But when a verdict finally comes in this case, it will not mark the end of Ecclestone’s legal issues.

A £400m civil case related to the 2006 sale is waiting to be heard in the United States.

And then early next year a German criminal court will decide whether Ecclestone should stand trial on bribery charges related to payments made to Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Gribkowsky, a German banker who was a central figure in the sale of the shares to CVC, is currently serving an eight-year jail term for being in receipt of corrupt payments.

Ecclestone denied in court this week that the £10m he personally provided to Gribkowsky was a bribe and said it was unrelated to the Formula 1 sale.

The job, it transpired, was to ensure Mr Gribkowsky didn’t “shake him down” by talking to the UK tax authorities about the structure of his family’s financial trust, Bambino.

The evidence heard in court so far has shone a light on how business and deals are conducted within Formula 1 – with everything from the Concorde agreement between the F1 teams and the sport’s governing body and commercial arm to the potential for a rival breakaway series under discussion.

Well, at least it’s not global thermonuclear war or anything like that in the hands of a senile old rich man.

Tires on offer are the Hards and Mediums (which show no particular speed advantage).  Top 10 will all start used Mediums.

Engine failures are a possibility as the track is fast and has considerable elevation changes that are not visible on TV.

Live coverage is on NBC main.

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