This week is a bumper PITS week for Bernie Ecclestone! Read on for all the juicy gossip courtesy of Podium or Pits…
Calm down everyone! Hold your horses! There is a very good reason why POP has elected to put the cancellation of the Bahrain grand prix on the ‘Podium’ this week: the Bahrain grand prix is pants. You know it’s true. Of course, it’s devastating to have to wait an extra two weeks for the beginning of our beloved F1 season. But POP would happily wait even longer so as to avoid the yearly disappointment of the ‘Borehrain’ season opener. Nothing makes potential new F1 fans or returning fans switch off the TV more than the sight of the insipid curves of the Tilke-designed Sakhir circuit.
Remember how good Australia is? Some things are worth waiting for.
Formula One Group – Blimey. The Formula One Group of companies isn’t having a good month. First bribery scandal, then the Bahrain grand prix being cancelled (and Bernie decided not to charge them a cancellation fee), and now a long-running court case goes against them! Since 2004 (in case you hadn’t noticed, Bernie and co are supreme grudge holders) FOG and Racing-Live have been arguing over the trademark to ‘F1’. The General Court in Luxembourg has ruled that FOG cannot have exclusive rights to ‘F1’ as a trademark, and that they cannot stop Racing-Live from registering the trademark ‘F1 LIVE’.
We here at Badger generally prefer not to incur the wrath of FOG and Bernie, so as a precaution we switched to the much better ‘BadgerGP’, and everyone’s happy!
BBC Commentary Team – Martin Brundle is a relative newbie to the world of Twitter, but he’s already whole-heartedly embracing the format, “DC is very good so I need to be sharp” Brundle tweeted recently. Without raking up too many Legard memories, POP would like to point out that Legard simply didn’t challenge Brundle enough to raise his game, and for the last two seasons Brundle has sounded deflated and weary alongside Legard. So it’s brilliant to hear that Brundle feels the need to raise the bar.
It’s all about the Commentator-Chemistry factor! POP eagerly anticipates their forthcoming commentary duet at the Australian grand prix.
Bernie Ecclestone – POP can hear Bernie firing his entire PR team now. Yep, that’s the sound of the office door being flung violently shut behind them! Dear, oh, dear, it’s not been a good week for Bernard. Aside from the specifically F1-related PR disasters, Bernie has been faced with airing a lot of his dirty laundry in a ‘tell-all’ book on the F1 supremo called “No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone” by Tom Bower. Among the juiciest details are:
- Bernie and Flavio call Lewis Hamilton by the nickname “Jumbo”. POP apologises for any harm this knowledge may have caused.
- He doesn’t read books.
- Although he did have to read a Croatian-English phrase book in order to communicate with his ex-wife Slavica when they first became lovers in the early 80s.
- Slavica reportedly gave him a black eye for being seen with a beautiful model.
- HD was ready for broadcasting in 2006. That’s half a decade of fuzzy viewing!
- Ron Dennis backs up POP’s opinion of Bernie’s grudges: “Bernie carries a grudge and waits for the moment to strike”. Much like a serpent perhaps?
Fernando Alonso – POP’s given up trying to be impartial when it comes to the subject of Fernando Alonso. There is no doubt in POP’s mind that he’s a bad apple, no matter how well he can drive. We all knew he was involved in the 2007 ‘Spygate’ scandal between Ferrari and McLaren (though Hamilton was not) – but the Ecclestone ‘No Angel’ biography has shed new light on the affair.
According to the book, Alonso informed previous employer Flavio Briatore of the contents of some incriminating emails central to the scandal. Flavio, with his squeaky-clean highly dubious reputation, duly told both Bernie and the then FIA President Max Mosley. Poor old Ron Dennis, the then McLaren boss, didn’t have a clue for another fortnight! Fernando apparently used the material to “threaten” Ron. Nice.
However, the Hamilton/Alonso Mercedes advert is a stroke of sheer (albeit ironic) genius…