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Press still cant forget Monaco 2006 : bug Michael Schumacher over 2006 Monaco GP Qualifying

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Michael Schumacher

In what some British sections of the press would call an interesting press conference, it was the same old witch-hunt from the press at the Monaco Grand Prix that would certainly get McLaren fanboys into a tizzy (and it has with moral lectures all over the internet).

Michael Schumacher was asked questions about the qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 in which it was alleged that he braked and parked his Ferrari to prevent others from setting a faster time and that he did it deliberately. The stewards at that time had found him guilty of the charges and a punishment was given to Schumacher who had to start the race from the back of the grid.

But certain sections of the press needed to rile up the issue again to increase their circulations and F1 websites too to earn more hits and comments 😛 (us too, but we are on Michael Schumacher’s side), Just look at the barrage of questions being thrown at Michael Schumacher during the Monaco press conference :

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First Schumacher was asked if he had any regrets about Monaco 2006, he replied :

“I guess it didn’t, but it doesn’t change as well if we got back into it, because we’re now in 2010″

On more prodding, He further said

“I had great fun in the race, I have to say. Coming from last, and going through the field, I think I finished fifth. That was good fun.”

And then when someone pointed out that Saturday was a low point in his career, he said

“You made it – some of you guys,” he said. “I mean, let’s look forward and not backwards.”

Then BBC reporter David Croft jumps in with the final whammy and asked Michael Schumacher if he would do it again and Michael Schumacher responded by calling him boring.

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Even if we neglect the third degree over here, the press does seem to be pretty motivated to make an issue out of the non issue again and make him admit his guilt over here by hook or by crook.

We don’t see Ronn Dennis, Lewis Hamilton being grilled with the same ferocity over spy gate or liar gate ? or should we collectively call those as McLaren-gate ? Needless to say, I plan to rile up all the McLaren cheating attempts (there have really been too many) throughout the season.

Even journalists who swore on their lives that McLaren was innocent during the spygate do not see the hypocrisy of their actions in criticizing Schumacher for this incident in 2006. Columns are filled asking Michael Schumacher to ‘own up’ to the incident forgetting that McLaren and Hamilton didn’t own up but were caught and there was enough evidence to be presented in a full fledged trial.

Michael Schumacher is clearly doing the right thing by telling the press to look ahead as its friggin’ 2010 now and not 2006, but journalism is a very dirty business isn’t it. News at any cost is the mantra and hey if it bashes the other side, then its even better. What’s the point in making him admit that he did it, do courts force the accused to admit guilt after being sentenced ? , they don’t because its a waste of time and effort, the punishment is delivered according to the evidence and its time to move on.

Written by Formula One Addict

May 12th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Ferrari removes alleged subliminal advertising barcodes from F1 livery

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The Ferrari F1 team facing flak and criticism from all quarters and also facing proof in the form of the same barcode on Ducati cars announced that it will modify its livery in order to put to rest all concerns and criticism about its livery and tobacco advertising. In a statement released on the website , the team seemed angry about the whole incident and described the rumours and allegations as ridiculous :

Together with Philip Morris International we have decided to modify the livery of our cars starting with the Barcelona Grand Prix.

This decision was taken in order to remove all speculation concerning the so-called “bar code” which was never intended to be a reference to a tobacco brand.

By this we want to put an end to this ridiculous story and concentrate on more important things than on such groundless allegations.

I don’t understand why they needed to consult with Philip Morris (makers of Marlboro). Anyway, all charges of subliminal advertising should go now. Earlier this week the Ferrari F1 team was acting defiant and had refused to remove the alleged subliminal tobacco advertising.

The new livery can be seen below, the barcode is replaced by solid red colour (scarlet). Anyway, the tobacco companies should be happy I think, since they did get so much press for free courtesy the anti tobacco lobby and loons 🙂

 Ferrari New Livery without barcodes

The non barcoded livery form Ferrari, cannot be laser scanned on supermarket cash registers. One can also see a faint TATA logo on the sponsors. A little Indian-ness there on the Ferrari livery.

Image : Ferrari Spa Media

Written by Formula One Addict

May 6th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Ferrari responds to subliminal advertising allegations

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Fernando Alonso in Bahrain Ferrari F1

The Ferrari formula one team has not taken too kindly to media and blog reports which suggest that the barcode is subliminal advertising for the Philip Morris brand of Marlboro , one of the biggest sponsors of the Ferrari F1 team for a long time. Various formula 1 news sites and formula one blogs had reported that the team is using the barcode to advertise Marlboro and could be penalised by EU.

Ferrari’s response is pretty sharp and to the point. They have asked for proof to relate the livery to Philip Morris and have made very direct attacks on the people who are making such accusations. The Times (British newspaper) had reported a story that doctors are demanding action against the Italian outfit for breaking EU laws.

Quotes from the time story :

John Britton, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and director of its tobacco advisory group, said: “The bar code looks like the bottom half of a packet of Marlboro cigarettes. I was stunned when I saw it. This is pushing at the limits. If you look at how the bar code has evolved over the last four years, it looks like creeping branding.”

Gerard Hastings, director of the Centre for Tobacco Control Research, said: “I think this is advertising. Why a bar code? What is their explanation?”

Ferrari formula 1’s response to the allegations :

Scuderia Ferrari and Philip Morris International Sponsorship

Maranello, 29 April – Today and in recent weeks, articles have been published relating to the partnership contract between Scuderia Ferrari and Philip Morris International, questioning its legality. These reports are based on two suppositions: that part of the graphics featured on the Formula 1 cars are reminiscent of the Marlboro logo and even that the red colour which is a traditional feature of our cars is a form of tobacco publicity.

Neither of these arguments have any scientific basis, as they rely on some alleged studies which have never been published in academic journals. But more importantly, they do not correspond to the truth. The so called barcode is an integral part of the livery of the car and of all images coordinated by the Scuderia, as can be seen from the fact it is modified every year and, occasionally even during the season. Furthermore, if it was a case of advertising branding, Philip Morris would have to own a legal copyright on it.

The partnership between Ferrari and Philip Morris is now only exploited in certain initiatives, such as factory visits, meetings with the drivers, merchandising products, all carried out fully within the laws of the various countries where these activities take place. There has been no logo or branding on the race cars since 2007, even in countries where local laws would still have permitted it.

The premise that simply looking at a red Ferrari can be a more effective means of publicity than a cigarette advertisement seems incredible: how should one assess the choice made by other Formula 1 teams to race a car with a predominantly red livery or to link the image of a driver to a sports car of the same colour? Maybe these companies also want to advertise smoking! It should be pointed out that red has been the recognised colour for Italian racing cars since the very beginning of motor sport, at the start of the twentieth century: if there is an immediate association to be made, it is with our company rather than with our partner.

Written by Formula One Addict

April 30th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Rumour: Flavio Briatore set to make Formula One return in 2013

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If rumourville is to be believed Flavio Britatore is said to make a formula one return in 2013 and reportedly he is pitting for Bernie Ecclestone job.

for those of you who may be caught a little off guard here, Flavio Briatore was accused of asking Nelsinho Piquet to crash his Renault formula one car deliberately. The FIA then proceeded to ban Flavio Briatore for his life. Briatore appealed and his appeal was found correct and sustained and the lifeban dissolved.

So now the rumour is that he has agreed to stay off the F1 circuits till 2013 when he will return to the stage of formula one as a commercial director. The deal will ofcourse save the FIA a lot of legal formalities and hurdles but will put into dark the justice that its supposed to have done for the millions of formula one fans around the world.

The Italian Briatore was found to be guilty by Renault also and not only the FIA, so how much is this deal justified ? Our view is that its not, its another place where money and power have ruled over good sense and sportsmanship. In the past few years numerous cheating scandals have emerged with the FIA failing to take concrete action each time and the one time it did was in the case of Briatore and now even that action is reversed.

There is an interesting perspective on the whole thing by Tom Cary, all the parties involved , Pat Symonds, Flavio Briatore, Nelsinho Piquet and the FIA itself will be going scot free from this incident.

It seems the crashgate will be just like the Stepneygate scandal, just fodder for the media and no concrete results of the scandal being exposed.

Written by Formula One Addict

April 13th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

FIA to appeal Flavio Briatore ban reversal by TGI Paris

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FIA Logo

The FIA will be appealing the decision of the TGI court at Paris which overturned the lifetime ban on Flavio Briatore. We had reported last week on how Briatore was acquitted by the court mainly on the grounds that FIA rules did not apply to him since he was a third party. The court had further questioned the intentions of Max Mosely in the whole episode and hinted that he might have had a personal agenda against Flavio Briatore.

Apart from appealing the decision of the court which had asked the FIA to publish advertisements in French Dailies of Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore’s choosing, the FIA also intends to strengthen its own laws and statutes.

It seems the sport of formula one is more about controversies than the sport itself. Consider the Stepney-gate Scandal, this Crash-gate scandal and other scandals which have involved the McLaren formula one team. It seems the money kind of justifies the cheating by the teams. The stakes are so high that the teams aren’t afraid to bend rules and in some cases even break them. And with laws proving inadequate to curb this menace, the FIA needs to further strengthen its laws, rules and statutes.

Written by Formula One Addict

January 12th, 2010 at 9:23 am

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