Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Malyia trying to Force Lotuses hand?

Thought the intra-team squabbling was over now that the F1 season’s finished? Nope, as I believe that Formula 1 never sleeps, eh? As word comes now that Force India has gone on the offensive against the newly reconstituted Lotus F1 Team, claiming they appear to be using Wind Tunnel models extremely similar to the Force India designed chassis…

Hang on a moment here; let’s see. Force India sacked its Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne who designed the original VJM-01 chassis amongst other iterations of the team’s guises from Jordan to Midland F1 to Spyker and ultimately Force India…

Then Gascoyne filed a lawsuit against Vijay Malia claiming breach of contract for lost potential salary, having been fired before his contract expired in 2007.

Next Gascoyne set up his own Design Office (MGI) and went to work on what was to be the Lightspeed F1 project for 2010, which wasn’t selected by the FIA. And now Gascoyne has gone to work for the new Lotus concern which showed off an initial 2010 F1 Chassis for publicity, which in Formula One tradition, obviously wasn’t the final evolution as car design is a most highly guarded secret kept by all teams as long as possible; something akin to Mum’s ‘N first born children!

Yet the Lotus Team has taken up a collaboration with the AeroLab research facility which ironically was partnering Force India previously, which like prior speculation suggested over Malyia’s tendency to pay off his bills late to engine suppliers Ferrari and Mercedes Benz, has an outstanding balance owed to AeroLab which has now filed a lawsuit against Force India along with issuing a rare press statement over the Wind Tunnel model controversy, as it appears that perhaps Force India is using the issue to deflect attention?

In another Force India lawsuit, the Indian owned team won $4.6m in damages from Etihad Airways and Aldar Properties as compensation for bailing out early of their Sponsorship contracts with the Spyker F1 Team, upon its being sold to Vijay Malyia and rebadged Force India; opting to go with a rival Constructor known as the Scuderia, which obviously has a much higher potential for coveted television exposure since its usually farther up the grid then Malyia’s Boyz, albeit Force India has steadily improved this season, securing its very first Pole position and Grand Prix Constructor’s points.

But as I read somewhere, possibly from Mike Gascoyne(??) Why would the Lotus Team wanna copy the Force India which isn’t exactly known for its great handling prowess along with the fact that next year’s enlarged Petrol tanks will not only change the cars design but also change the all important weight distribution of said racecar.

Q & A with Mike Gascoyne
But hey, that’s Formula 1 for you, as they’re even more competitive in terms of litigation off the track as not only is every ounce of weight scrutinized, every available Euro is also fought over!