What a difference a week makes in F1
Who would have thought that January could hold so many surprises and changes in Formula 1, and we are not talking about the changes to the engines, aerodynamics, or possible new teams.
With January always being considered as a quiet month, changes right at the top of F1, and internal coups within McLaren have really caught the attention of F1 fans worldwide.
Bernie Ecclestone has stepped down from the F1 board because of bribery charges filed in Germany. The 83 year old, is due to go on trial to face allegations that he bribed a banker in Germany. The banker is already serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment, but Ecclestone has said that although he did pay the banker, the payment was not a bribe.
Although he has stepped down from the F1 board he has admitted that he will continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis.
Ecclestone has been accused of giving the banker £27.5 million to ensure that F1 was sold to a private equity group of his choosing. Although Ecclestone admits to making the payment, he claims that he was being blackmailed by the banker. Ecclestone claims that the banker threatened to reveal false details about his tax affairs.
If Ecclestone is found guilty of committing bribery there is no way that he can continue in his role in F1. With the German courts having already imprisoned the German banker this trial could be a real game changer for F1, and for Bernie.
There has also been a big shake up within McLaren after Ron Dennis took back control of the team by replacing Martin Whitmarsh as CEO.
Dennis stood down as McLaren team principle back in 2009, but now that he has been appointed chief executive officer, this means that there is a very good chance that Whitmarsh will be replaced.
It has been reported that Dennis has been in dispute with Whitmarsh for the last couple of years, and with the McLaren’s 2013 season being their worst for 30 years it cannot be surprising that changes may take place for 2014.
Although there is no official report from McLaren, as yet, no one has been sacked or made redundant, but with Dennis saying “there will be change” and “we will win again”, and McLaren stating that the team principle will be announced next month, I am predicting that we will see a new team principle at McLaren for the 2014 season.
Who the new team principle will be is anyone guess, but the inside information is suggesting that a certain Ross Brawn will be one of the front runners.
One thing is for sure, February could be a very interesting month within F1 at all levels, and here at Pillow Motor Sports we will keep you up to date with changes and news from F1 and other motor sports event in our weekly blog.