Archive for October, 2011

How Pitpass writes its awful business articles…

In my opinion, F1 website Pitpass don’t half write some rubbish. They have recently outdone themselves though, with an article criticising Joe Saward, a journalist who travels to and reports from every F1 race on the calendar.

I’m not even sure that Pitpass attends races?

Pitpass is carving out a bit of a niche for itself writing pathetic excuses for ‘business’ articles about F1. They have a ‘Business Editor’ who’s only claim to fame appears to be something called…. no, it’s gone, but I think it was some sort of FOTA for sponsors, until it was made absolutely clear, presumably for legal reasons, that it wasn’t.

Anyway, they rented a conference room in a Hilton, so as you can imagine it was pretty big stuff – because when you rent a room in a Hilton it means Hilton endorse what you’re doing, doesn’t it?

So I decided to see whether I can write a Pitpass business article. And strike a light, I can:.


The F1 Vole’s Business Editor Chris D has obtained a fascinating insight into the inner workings of Force India F1 Team, which casts derision on the pathetic ramblings of so called bloggers in the F1 world who attend races and interview people.

Whilst imagining what it might be like to share a sandwich and a cup of coffee with none other than Bernie Ecclestone himself, it emerged via a quick search on Companies House’s website that Force India is more properly known as company number 03660294.

Furthermore it appears that company number 03660294 has traded under a series of different names since it was incorporated in 28/10/1998.

The intrigue doesn’t stop there however, for according to Chris D, that name has changed no less than four times before settling on its current moniker, and that far from being Indian as the name Force India might suggest, it is actually based in Dadford Road, Silverstone.

Coincidentally this same Dadford Road address was formerly the home of an organisation known as Jordan Grand Prix Holdings Limited which, in an unbelievable coincidence of the type one reads about on Pitpass, is actually none other than a former alias of 03660294, suggesting that there may be links between the two organisations that would be obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of Formula 1.

Girding his loins for more revelations, Chris D cut and pasted the following bombshell into the article: Next Accounts Due: 30/09/2011 OVERDUE. Yes, it seems that far from the accounts, which sources close to the author confirm were in fact due in September of this year, being provided on time, they were, in fact. Not.

This overdue accounts business can lead, according to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Companies House website, (and Mr Ecclestone himself, I should think, if you asked him) to a fine. We asked the Companies House FAQ to comment* and it said – Yes, irrespective of their size, status or whether they are trading or not. This includes dormant, flat management and charitable companies.

But the F1 Vole can exclusively reveal that [that’s enough Pitpass style articles – Ed]


Please Remember

Dan Wheldon has died in a crash at the Las Vegas IndyCar race. May he rest in peace. God bless his family.

He was doing what he loved. Living the life he had always wished for, a multiple Indy 500 winner. Life can be cruel, we must live it to the full.

Motorsport is dangerous, it is also the passion of all those who go racing every weekend, drivers, crew, officials, marshals, fans.

It is incumbent upon those who officiate motorsport series to work constantly to improve safety.

Dan Wheldon worked hard this year to test and refine the 2012 IndyCar, which will bring to open wheel racing countless safety improvements including wheel-over-wheel guards to prevent cars launching, enhanced safety cell and greater impact protection.

I am crying as I hear what has happened, and can only imagine how it has affected those involved.

We will learn. And we will not forget.

Mokpo vs Vegas – A Tale of Two Races

This weekend is a busy one for open wheel racing. Just a week after the F1 world championship was decided in Japan, the F1 circus moves to Mokpo, South Korea for the second Korean Grand Prix.

Also this weekend, IndyCar is hosting its season finale and championship decider at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This Vegas event is being lauded as one of the most heavily promoted races in recent US motorsports history. It’s creating a modest amount of buzz for a series that was dead in the water a couple of years back.

We’ve heard a lot about Las Vegas $5m challenge – designed to attract series outsiders (ideally someone from NASCAR) to try for a win against series regulars. That plan didn’t quite pan out but we still have something similar involving Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon for the press to write about.

There are also multiple events in and around Vegas in the build up to the race. Considering the fact that IndyCar is still in its rebuilding phase this is a great job well done by series boss Randy Bernard.

It’s all the more impressive because all the showmanship represents a pretty stark contrast to the unrelentingly depressing Korean round of the F1 championship – a contrast that is worth pondering for a few minutes. IndyCar also have the luxury of the fact the the championship is still undecided – if only F1 still had that!

The Korean round of the series has every ingredient of ‘bad F1’ writ large:

It’s remote – on reclaimed land in a distant and industrial outpost of South Korea that even most Koreans care little for.

It’s vaguely pointless – the circuit is purpose-built in the middle of mudflats, which should by now be a thriving little city of enterprise and excitement – but of course it’s not – it’s just a sort of barren cathedral to the folly of trusting Bernie Ecclestone’s sales pitch.

All in all this pointless ‘event by the numbers’ is uninspiring to fans, journalists and teams alike.

I’d like Bernie to consider introducing a ‘What if every round was like xxxxx’ test when considering new races. Because if every round was like Korea – F1 would be dead.

On the other hand for IndyCar – if every round was like Vegas, they’d be speeding up the comeback trail.

Good luck to them!

Korea International Circuit – Where the streets have no name

Tune in this weekend to see the Korean Grand Prix. The course is quite unusual, because half of the Grand Prix track is purpose built and the other half winds through city streets past gleaming skyscrapers, a marina, seafront hotels, and luxury apartments.

In order to achieve this feat temporary concrete walls and catch fencing mark out the circuit, separating the track from the streets. Just hours after each race these barriers can be dismantled to allow traffic to flow once more.

Except they’re not dismantled, and the traffic doesn’t flow. There isn’t any, because the city doesn’t exist.

So we have an interesting situation – for the second successive year – of a street circuit without any streets. All the safety compromises and risks associated with concrete barriers alongside a race track, without any city.

It’s pointless.

Korea have this race for 7 years. A development on the scale suggested by CGI shots like this one will take longer than that in today’s funding climate.

So for now the team members and journalists will continue to complain about love hotels – and South Korea has spent all this money for that kind of questionable PR.