“I shouldn’t say it, but I don’t know, I was s***ting myself in the last few laps because here and there the thought was coming into my head, I was looking at the top of the chassis, and thinking ‘this is a red car, you’re about to win!’. And then I thought ‘stop thinking about it otherwise you’ll miss the next apex or something’. Real relief to cross the line in the end!” – Sebastian Vettel
11 Formula One teams are in Austin, Texas, where the penultimate round of this year’s 19-race championship will take place Sunday, it was not the domination of the German driver Sebastian Vettel, winner of 11 of this year’s races and a strong favorite in Austin, that spurred the most fevered talk among grand prix racing insiders.
Instead, it was about an old friend of mine Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old billionaire who is the ringmaster of Formula One. What a circus he has built. Ecclestone, faces in coming months two civil cases, in Munich and New York, and a possible criminal trial in Germany are also on the horizon, all related to allegations of fraud by Ecclestone in the 2006 sale of Formula One’s commercial rights.
A verdict in the London case is expected next spring. If it goes against Ecclestone, it could force a quick end to the iron-fisted control he has built since entering the sport as a team owner in the 1970s. That has alarmed those in Formula One who credit him with turning the sport into the globe-spanning financial bonanza it has become in the last 25 years.
Others have been encouraged by the sweeping changes they believe would be possible in a post-Ecclestone era, including new rules for profit-sharing by the teams that would end the era of cloistered, billion-dollar agreements and secret payments into Swiss bank accounts that have been exposed in the London court. Those deals have effectively stripped Formula One over the past decade of control of its own affairs, handing the sport’s ownership — and billions in profits — to outside investors, and enabling Ecclestone to accumulate a personal fortune of at least $4 billion. They have also left all but 4 of the 11 teams that will compete at Austin — Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and Red Bull — flirting with bankruptcy on a race-to-race basis.
One team, Lotus, has admitted that it has been unable to pay Kimi Raikkonen, a former world champion who is the team’s lead driver, any of the $15 million it owes him for the 17 races he has contested this year.
This is the mood set, and in the paddock let me tell you gossip runs hotter than some engines, all eyes, and ears are open so look out what you say and whom you say it to.
More Formula One visitors are expected to come to Austin from Mexico than from any other foreign country, said Steve Alberts, communications manager at the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau. Four charter flights from Mexico were set to arrive in Austin carrying about 500 fans, said Jim Halbrook, a spokesman for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and more Mexican fans are flying to other Texas cities.
Something President Obama already knew that United States of America is changing with growing Latin population. With Sergio Perez, in the race it get’s people from Mexico very excited.
At Circuit of the Americas, the first track purposely built for Formula One in the United States, spokeswoman Ali Putnam said that 110,000 tickets were sold and that 15 percent went to non-American buyers, many of them from Mexico.
David Cantu of Monterrey, Mexico told me he likes Perez because, “He’s Mexican.”
Any giving Sunday any thing can happen on the track in Grand Prix racing and it did today in Valencia, Spain.
Usually this is a boring race, but this years Grand Prix season is anything but boring. No one has won in Valencia coming from behind but like I said earlier today anything can happen too many components are at play, tires, alternators, driver errors, crashes, not to mention the heat, rain (which in this case no one was worried about) and today all this took place in Valencia.
If you can imagine what it is like in Spain right now after the Euro Cup win of last night the party spirit was everywhere. Fernando Alonso was not about to disappoint the crowd and they loved every minute of it, drinking it up in the baking sun of Spain.
Much was at play. Sebastian Vettel who was dominating from the start had his Red Bull racing car just die on him, Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren just could not keep the charge of the Ferrari at bay.
Fernando Alonso today became the first repeat winner of the 2012 Grand Prix season, coming all the way from eleventh place and what a finish it was.
Fernando Alonso today was the King of Spain. Never forget that any given Sunday anything can happen and that is what makes life and living so exciting.
Time for showtime in Barcelona. This Grand Prix season has been like a sexy affair, with each race presenting new challenges, and a variety of pole leaders leading off each race.
The early favorite’s while remaining in the spotlight face various issues that leaves them out of leading pole positions. Those who early in the season one had written off such as Ferrari with a dog of a car, seem to be finding their groove ( well in the case of Alonso certainly) and Williams racing team today with Maldonado have an excellent run.
The only common factor all share is the tire, soft, hard or medium. Like I said it’s like a sexy affair and the rubber is all important. Follow @mynameiskhancdn