Green Notebook from Jolly Cemetary

Yes, I know that’s not how you spell cemetery, but what can you do? That’s the way it is. Mr Dunkin didn’t know how to spell doughnuts, but that didn’t stop money being made. Planet Earth somehow manages to keep on turning despite bad spelling and stray apostrophes. Whoever created the sign for this particular boneyard (see below), maybe 150 years ago, was rather better at carving than he was at spelling.

Jolly Cemetary is so-named not because it is a happy place (except perhaps at Halloween) but rather because it is in a place called Jollyville. Now you might think that this would mean it ought to be called Jollyville Cemetary, but a little research revealed why this is not the case. I assumed that Jollyville was a scenic place with a name derived from the French language, as “jolie” means “pretty”, but I discovered that it is actually named after a former Confederate soldier from Tennessee named John Jolly.

He was looking for somewhere quiet to live after the war and found a large chunk of land in the middle of nowhere, away from humankind.  The land was next to a trail that headed north and there were some passers-by and so he built a general store and opened a forge. Later he gave some of his land to build a school and a graveyard which was named after him, while the settlement became known as Jollyville. The trail became the Jollyville Road and went on to become US Highway 183, although it went nowhere interesting through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska before stopping in a one horse town in South Dakota.

These days Jollyville has been swallowed up the voracious city of Austin but the greedy hoteliers in the city have forced anyone without a trust fund to leave town and seek refuge in over-priced dives in the suburbs.

Until the 1960s Jollyville was barely a village. It was quiet, a place with horse ranches and pecan plantations and plenty of old oak trees. Today it is very different and  developers have made piles of money building houses. The area boasts a rather odd area where the streets are name after English things: there is Heathrow Drive, Shakespearean Way, Sherwood Forest and I even found Downing Street.

The reason I know all this is because the dive in which we stayed backed on to Jollyville Road and the name sounded interesting. Readers of the Green Notebook will probably know that I love the United States, my son is actually a US citizen. I think of the States as an amazing country, but some of the people who live in this great place have very some strange views of the world. Having said that I believe that something like 38 percent of all Americans have never had a passport and another 26 percent no longer have a valid passport which means that around 210 million Americans either never travel or have not travelled recently. This means that their view of world is formed entirely by the media. I am not saying it is wrong not to travel if one is happy with one’s own country, but it does lead to some odd attitudes and behaviours because the more one travels, the more one learns and the more tolerant one is to new ideas and different cultures.

This unworldliness was highlighted on Thursday when we went to check into the aforementioned hotel and were told that the fact that we had paperwork indicating that there were two rooms booked, confirmed and guaranteed was irrelevant because there was only one available and if we did not like it there was nothing that they could or would do about it.

After many years of travelling, I have had a few adventures with booking problems. My favourite (if one can have a favourite nightmare) was when I turned up one year for a weekend at Monza to discover that I had been booked into a place for three nights. The problem was that it was a restaurant, not a hotel…

On another occasion something had gone wrong and so the hotel staff converted their boardroom into a bedroom. They were people who cared about doing the job properly. The receptionist in the Jollyville dive – let’s call her Brooke – was different. She said it was because there was an F1 race and there were few rooms available in town. Yes, we said, we are aware of this. It is why this booking confirmation was made many months ago. Not having a room was stressful, of course, but the worrying thing was that the only alternative would be to pay the going rate elsewhere – and that would be thousands of dollars. It is not unusual for unscrupulous hoteliers to cancel reservations in order to get more money, but you cannot cancel confirmed reservations that are guaranteed. Well, Brooke decided that she could. It was just tough. We should have come earlier. She accepted that the reservation did say that the rooms were confirmed, and guaranteed without pre-payment, but said these terms did not refer to the hotel. This was patent nonsense, of course.

It was clear that she had sold the room because someone else came along willing to pay more money and she figured that we could somehow be brow-beaten into accepting the situation. She even threatened to cancel the second room if I did not stop telling her that her behaviour was unprofessional. This, she said, was disrespectful. We pointed out that we too felt a lack of respect and made the point that two hard-bitten world travellers are not going to be bullied by some rank amateur and refused to accept such a situation. She had to fix it. At one point she slammed the door of the office in an act of frustration that we would not accept her diktats. She then decided to call the police, on the basis that we were being “rowdy”. Our response was: “You’re kidding!”

The conclusion we reached while we waited for the police to arrive was that Brooke was completely out of her depth and not meant for a career in the hotel business. Officer Kim (number 6789) duly arrived and seemed a little astonished that rather than finding himself faced by gun-toting rednecks there were two calm and lucid international visitors, who explained in a coherent fashion that the hotel was in breach of a contract and was unwilling to solve the problem. Officer Kim was an intelligent fellow and tried to find a solution although clearly there was no solution possible. So we ended up sharing the one available room for that night with no guarantees that we have two rooms for the weekend.

In the morning, within a matter of minutes, without Brooke, the problem was solved and apologies made. We did not see her again and hopefully she is now working in a job to which she is better-suited. Shovelling manure in a stable might be a good career path… but if she wants a reference for any job I am very happy to give one, but she might not like what she gets.

This was all rather stressful and down at the Circuit of the Americas things were a little tiresome as well. The big story was the dull cost cap. Otherwise there was some vague interest when the Ferrari drivers put on cowboy hats, although it would have been fitting if other team members had been made to look like cowboys, given some of the team’s adventures in recent years.

Daniel Ricciardo rode a horse (complete with a pass in the name of Horsey McHorse) into the pit lane, before riding off into the sunset…

Zak Brown and Mario Andretti drove old McLarens around, the old boy showing Zak that owning cars and driving them quickly are two entirely different things. Zak may have been feeling a little bit uncomfortable, not because fitting into the car was probably a bit of a challenge, but rather because a legal letter had landed on his desk from Red Bull, which was of the opinion that an open letter Brown had written to the FIA President was a direct public accusation of cheating. There were a couple of things amiss with the letter. Firstly, the FIA President should not be involved in any way in the cost cap discussions, so Zak’s letter looked a lot like a PR stunt; and secondly defamation is not limited to literal and obvious meanings but includes inference which an ordinary, reasonable reader would draw from the words. In his subsequent remarks to the media he was rather more circumspect, saying that he did not know the facts of the case and that his letter was based on the idea that ‘if these types of things have happened’ it would not be right.

“I didn’t mention any teams. It was a general response,” he said.

Christian Horner was obviously not impressed, nor were Red Bull’s lawyers.

“It’s tremendously disappointing. For a fellow competitor to be accusing you of cheating, to accuse you of fraudulent activity, is shocking,” Horner said. “It’s absolutely shocking that another competitor, without the facts, without any knowledge of the details, can be making that kind of accusation.”

He made the point that Red Bull had been on trial by the media and that this had been stirred up deliberately by rival teams.

My view is simple: how can one have a sensible opinion if no-one actually knows the details? They are confidential. The whole affair has been spun into a whirlwind of controversy, more of a dust devil than a tornado, but a lot more than the sport needs. We all want the sport to be fair, rules to be respected and to see punishments that fit crimes, but in this case there has been far too much spinning and briefing going on, and it looks like a serious attempt to undermine and discredit Red Bull, in order to weaken their challenge in the future, rather than being a discussion about what is right and wrong. They are angry about this, and you can understand why.

Most of what you will have read is information that is being leaked to a hungry media by people with  agendas. Everyone sensible wants this issue to go away. It isn’t good for the sport and it is fairly normal that there might be a few “grey areas” when there is a new regulation that is quite vague in terms of details. Interpretations can be different and so the accusation that this is all deliberate is really not helpful. The FIA has already said that the team has been cooperating all along the way, it is just that they do not agree on interpretations that have emerged since the accounts were submitted.

The good news is that there will not be any back room deals, as we have seen before (allegedly) because FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem campaigned on the basis that “transparency is vital to good governance and accountability”. Most fans are really not interested in financial details: about differed corporation tax, how unused parts are categorised, argument over health benefits and catering costs. Dull stuff.

Far too much of the ongoing process has been conducted in public, when these are supposed to be confidential matters. What is important is to discover how other teams got to know what was in Red Bull’s submissions. Somebody, somewhere has been leaking information. This is wrong. Similarly, using such information to create bad impressions is very dubious behaviour, particularly as the “facts” are very woolly. So there is work needed on getting the Cost Cap process properly defined and executed, although I am confident that things will be better in the future. Regulations often need tweaking.

This was a point that the FIA made in what was a very good report into the happenings at Suzuka, where no punches were pulled and good explanations given about what went wrong, who was at fault and how things can be fixed. Hopefully, this will become the norm in the future.

The big news was that Brad Pitt was wandering around. He looks good for a 58-year-old and if Tom Cruise (60) can play a Super Hornet F/A 18F pilot and Daniel Craig can still be James Bond a 54, there is no reason that Pitt cannot be a fictional F1 driver at his age, although it will make Fernando Alonso look like a spring chicken.

Brad and some of his crew met with F1 team bosses and others to explain their movie plans, which will feature Pitt as an old driver struggling against a young charger. The filming is due to start next year with the three US races likely to be heavily featured.

A successful F1 movie would, of course, be of enormous value to the sport as it gets cooler and cooler to US viewers. F1 is now so cool that I spotted Liberty Media boss Greg Maffei wearing an F1-branded shirt, which is something I’ve not seen before, as he likes to be incognito. The problem with movie-making is that sometimes films are not the hits that Hollywood folk think they will be and F1 really needs to avoid a Sylvester Stallone-like disaster 20-odd years ago when he produced an IndyCar film called “Drivel” – Oops, sorry, I meant “Driven”. That film was truly awful although IndyCar has done better since then, notably with “Turbo”, an animated feature about a radioactive snail who wants to win the Indy 500.

I know that sounds like a dead cert disaster, but for kids under the age of eight, radioactive snails are clearly very interesting, as “Turbo” has been a big hit.

I did hear an interesting story that Pitt was in town not only to chat and do some subtle promotion, but also because he is rather keen on Liberty Media kicking in some investment money for the movie. Given that Liberty recently spent $240 million to buy a plot of land in Les Vegas, on which to build a pit lane and paddock area for future Grands Prix, this is a pretty sensible thing to do, as F1 wants the movie to be made and they are never averse to a little profit if such a film becomes a success.

Pitt is big star, but one got the impression that F1’s new mega-star Gunther Steiner is nearly as big these days. Everyone wants a selfie with the bemused Steiner, who is still trying figure out how he became a sex symbol. The Haas team produced some Gunther Steiner teeshirts for the weekend – the first team principal merchandising in the history of the sport, so they believe – and the website blew up as squillions of fans scrambled to get their hands on one…

The paddock was awash with money, with billionaires two-a-penny and mere millionaires being the new working class. There are reckoned to be more than 3,000 billionaires in the world today and while I’m not a great celebrity watcher, nor indeed a Hello magazine reader, I would guess that there were dozens of them present in Texas. At one point I did see the bizarre sight of John Elkann, the chairman of Stellantis (the merged Fiat-Peugeot) and Ferrari, doing a selfie (below) with someone I didn’t recognise.

I asked around and no-one seemed to know, but after a few moments I asked a passing billionaire who this person might be and was told that he was none other than Andrea Casiraghi, the son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and fourth in line to the throne (or whatever it is that Princes sit on) of Monaco. That was the kind of paddock Austin was with loads of rich people, some tubby social influencers with silly hats on, lots of school leaver-age people wearing shirts that said “F1 Experiences Expert Host” and a sprinkling of scruffy media types. I am not quite sure how one qualifies to be an “F1 Experiences Expert Host” but if there’s money in it, I might have to offer my services…

There does seem to be piles of US money being spent in F1 these days and the new ESPN TV deal is a nice one for F1, as it is rumoured to be worth 16 times more than the current deal. The new deal will bring in around $4 million per Grand Prix with an average live US viewership at the moment of about 1.2 million. This is rising all the time while NASCAR’S numbers are sliding downwards from year to year. These days the American stock car series averages around 2.9 million live views a race, for which it earns in the region of $22 million per event. This is an interesting comparison because there is clearly potential for another massive hike when the new ESPN deal ends in 2025. Just suppose, if F1 earned half of what NASCAR does per race, the revenue from F1’s US TV rights in 2026 could be $246 million a year…

This is why the deal is for only three years.

The other big announcement in Austin was Haas’s new title sponsor for the next three years, MoneyGram International Inc, a money-transfer company which is in competition with similar firms such as PayPal, Western Union, Wise, Green Dot, WorldRemit, Remitly Global and Skrill. It’s a tough market with plenty of competition. The F1 sponsorship is a major push from Moneygram following its acquisition earlier this year by a private equity firm called Madison Dearborn Partners for $1.8 billion. This included paying off MoneyGram’s debt of $800 million and taking it off the NASDAQ stock exchange, to allow the firm freedom to grow and not waste its energy on pleasing investors and reducing regulatory, governance and accounting rules and costs. How much of this was down to the Haas brand? And how much was thanks to the Gunther brand?

Dear God, we’ll have Steiner-branded underwear and loo seat covers next…

There were various other smaller announcements including a McLaren deal with a company called Seamless Digital, which will introduce a system that will allow branding to change on parts of the cars DURING races. This is a clever idea which has been around since it was developed by the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 20 years ago. It has never been used on F1 cars because of the weight of the film of “electronic paper” which can change where “electronic ink” appears. With the in-car cameras of today McLaren is going to use it in very small areas, such as helmets and haloes, to get sponsorship that can change from one shot to another. It is still only available in black, white and shades of grey, but there are hopes that one day the concept will be able to change multi-coloured images.

Elsewhere, there are suggestions that F1 will come up with a scheme to replace the W Series in an effort to help develop young female racers. F1 is not keen on the idea of segregating women in their own championship, believing that it is better for them to sink or swim in the mainstream. It was offered the W Series several times, but declined to buy it for this reason. However, the sport does not want to be accused of not doing anything in this respect, as happened the other day when Lewis Hamilton started talking about how some of the money being generated by F1 should be used to “help out in that space”. Rather than using the existing cars, the word is that F1 could make it compulsory for existing Formula 2 and Formula 3 teams to each run a pair of Formula 4 cars in order to create a championship that would run concurrently with F1 events. This would include an age restriction to avoid the problems that the W Series has of older drivers dominating but not being good enough to move on. This will provide women with track time when they need it most and potential role models for girls to be inspired by. Formula 1 people generally have a very open view on the subject and believe that if a women with the right skill-set comes along and is quick enough she will be welcomed in F1 with open arms. The problem is finding the right girl(s). The idea being floated seems to be a cost-effective way to continue the search.

The Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing, which has been taking place in the last few days, saw a very clear statement that the Chinese government is going to continue with its zero-COVID policy. This means that it is almost inconceivable for there to be a race in Shanghai in 2023 because of restrictions on spectators and, more importantly, the quarantine requirements that the F1 circus would face, which are currently impossible to fulfil. If the government makes an exception for F1 it will stir up discontent in the population, which the leaders want to avoid. In short, until the government eases off on restrictions it is unlikely that a race will happen. If it drops from the calendar in 2023, China will not be replaced.

And while it was a sad weekend for Red Bull, with the death of Dietrich Mateschitz, who has been a key member of the F1 world for many years, this all overshadowed the death of another man who had a similar impact in the sport half a century ago. Aleardo Buzzi, who died at the age of 92 was the man who called the tune at Marlboro from the very first stickers on Jo Siffert’s March in 1970, to the successful times with McLaren and Ferrari, not to mention the funding dozens of young drivers, many who made it into F1. Buzzi retired from Marlboro in 1992.

People forget very quickly.

I guess if you want your name to live on after you go, the best thing to do is to have a cemetery named after you.

A Jolly good idea.

59 thoughts on “Green Notebook from Jolly Cemetary

  1. Re the Brad Pitt F1 film, is this the same one as Lewis was talking about, as having a direct involvement? Though as a driver or and investor was not clear.

  2. Once gain as on so many previous occasions with the regs, the way the F1 Financial rules are written are open to interpretation. The penalties are given as a possible range, but with no actual clear punishment for each type of infringement.

  3. U have to agree Joe the amount of energy spent on this I feel that teams like always in F1 are using this as a weapon against Red Bull as they fear with Newey at the helm that this era of F1 will be dominated by them.

  4. Cracking notebook again Joe. Not had a chance to read the latest GP+ yet sadly, but am looking forward to it.
    Following the confirmation of the Audi/Sauber deal this morning, what are your thoughts on the recent reporting by Ziggo Sport that I have seen mentioned around, of Porsche now completing negotiations with Dorilton to acquire 50% of Williams. I know you discussed it a while back as a mooted possibility….

  5. Joe – if RBR had only spent the allowed maximum, they would have had less to spend on car performance. That much is obvious.

  6. As far as I’m aware there are no “Joe Saward” branded hoodies, mugs and notebooks. That’s a business opportunity ready for development.

  7. You’re not wrong about Aleardo Buzzi being overshadowed, Joe. I could only find one English language obituary and even that appeared to be a slightly ropey translation.

  8. While China’s situation is unsurprising, the last words in the relevant paragraph are interesting. I’ve thought Circuit Paul Ricard & Algarve would be possible replacement options, but not after all.
    Therefore, a gap as long as the summer break, i.e., three consecutive non-race weekends would/will arise unless Baku, Miami, Imola, Monaco, & Montmelo got shuffled around to fill the gap, which I doubt would happen anyway.

  9. Great notebook again Joe! I had my own accom problem in Monza where the place I booked wouldn’t allow check ins after 6pm, then cancelled the reservation, and I had to book somewhere else for €1,200. At least I got a refund on the first one from Booking.com.

    But something I’d been meaning to ask – earlier in the year you (and I think Dieter) wrote at length about logistical/freight worries for the end of the year. It all seems – from the outside – to be going OK now, but do you know if there are close calls with freight getting to places on time?

    1. There were lots of worries but I’ve not heard of any crises yet. They work hard to make things happen, particularly with the freight markets as they are

  10. Thanks Joe a great read as usual, glad to hear some commonsense reporting on the cost cap breach pretty much over all the hysterical carry on from others. I have lost a lot off respect for Toto and his band.

        1. I’m a US-based fan, and prefer to use F1TV Pro. It’s a really great service now that it works reliably, and is clearly the best option for fans. No idea how many in the US are choosing, like me, to watch on that way rather than on normal TV.

  11. Thanks for the reply Joe

    Another thing I meant t ask:
    Regards the tedium of the Red Bull “overspend”, I was of the understanding, possibly from a recent appearance of yours on MAP, that the relevant boundaries and limitations of the Cost Cap could be loosely described as “anything that which makes the car go faster”. My query is if that is the case, how does event catering qualify as making the car go faster?
    I get the spent parts bit, and even possibly the tax write-off part, but catering???
    Cheers
    G

  12. How much of the other teams’ putting the boot in on Red Bull over the cost cap is down to their lingering resentment over Honda’s gambit of announcing their withdrawal a year in advance in order to use up all their PU development tokens in one go (exploiting a loophole sloppily left in the regs by the FIA, as far as I can tell) and major, yet veiled, role in supplying this year’s engines? There seems to be a faint whiff of nailing Al Capone for tax evasion to the whole affair…

  13. I have, sorry to say, semi given up on following F1 on a regular basis, with the increasing number of race weekends. But as a keen traveller, your notebooks are still something that I read every time, and look forward to. Truly great travel writing, and I’ll take the F1 bits that go with it. Thank you.

  14. At one point I worked for a UK company selling ski holidays in the US. We discovered that Colorado had an interesting twist on the law of contracts with hotels – if someone who was due to check out chose not to and the hotel was full, by law he could stay and the person due to check in for that room had to walk.

  15. Joe, your assessment of the US from the perspective of passport holders underestimates the scale of the problem. Since moving to the USA in 93 I have visited 49 states. Gone out of my way to do that as much as I can. Many Americans have visited fewer than a handful and some have never left their own state. This is getting worse as after the end of the cold war the drawdown of European bases for the military meant fewer Americans, who have limited options for international travel otherwise, get that cultural experience now. Middle east\combat tours do little to enhance world views and opinions. You can’t know how little you know of the world until you travel. If you never travel then you feel that you know your whole world, because you do! It is just not THE world.

  16. I, in a monument of madness, spent thirty quid on a Gunther T-Shirt. It says ‘we look like a bunch of legends’. Sadly the quote is edited so the key word is missing.

    I only own one other F1 branded item, a Super Aguri cap I bought in Monaco when I’d forgotten my Tilley hat. It was, at €5, the cheapest. Other more recognised brands were €40.

    1. I bought a cheap (i.e. unlicensed) Ferrari cap at the ’93 European GP to keep the rain off my specs 🙂 But while Mr Steiner is an entertaining chap when interviewed on the tellybox I can’t imagine actually sporting his fizzog on a T-shirt.

  17. Interesting.

    We live in interesting times where folks have forgotten how to cooperate with others.
    Everyone wants to take the piss out of others.

  18. Joe, as cemeteries go you would be hard pushed to better William Blake:
    What immortal hand or eye,
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

  19. Good read that. Amusing and informative. Fed up with all the “Get Red Bull” bovine excrement which Caps it all. Good to see these viewpoints. Pun intended.

    It should all be about the action on track should it not? So, lets always look on the bright side. At COTA last weekend there was some splendid drives by a range of drivers, both old and new…ish. Far more interesting for this very long time Motor Racing enthusiast.

  20. Joe, you are right that we don’t know the details of the Redbull cost cap saga, but Redbull keep lieing about it. When the reports first came to light, Redbull denied the accusations and then 10 days later, the FIA announced exactly what the reports said. I find it hard to believe that when those reports first came out, the FIA and Redbull were not already in discussions back and fourth about the money spent. Like Toto said, these discussions have taken placed between the FIA and each team for months. Redbull seem to deny everything.
    Also, how come that 9 out of 10 teams managed to get the figures right and Redbull didnt. I get the idea that it’s the first year and things are not very clear, but I’m sure teams had access to FIA to ask questions and get clarifications.
    And finally, overspending in 2021 which was a season so closely fought between Lewis and Max…I’m not surprised if Redbull threw the gauntlet to keep pace and give Max a chance.

  21. Spot on again Joe. Great observations. I disagree with none. Thank you.

    And re your comments about the Paddock, here’s a further thought. While I do my best to go away and have coffee or something during Martin Brundle’s pre-race ‘Grid Walk’ on TV, I inevitably wind up failing to change channels and see some of it. Someone really should have a word with Sky’s production people. It is both demeaning and embarrassing to poor Martin. Not to mention those of us who have, in one way or another, been involved in F1 for many, many years. Perhaps it is included specially for those 8-year-olds with the radioactive snails. Hmmmm

    1. My counter view is that these celebs should only get on the grid if they are prepared to go in a little pen for 5 mins and talk to the press. The States probably value celebs at sporting events more than Europeans I guess, and just having them there creates F1 exposure. My, admittedly inconsequential, opinion of each celeb goes way down when I see their behaviour, but maybe I have better manners than them. Some are already well known for being “distant”, and some want privacy which is fine, but don’t appear at events such as this.

      On the Red Bull cost cap, innocent until proven guilty, and let’s see the reasons and punishment in due course. If they did gain an technical advantage then remove that by whatever means. Just don’t hide it like the Ferrari engine episode please FIA. The leaks were really wrong and the start of this mess.

  22. Thanks for the piece, Joe.

    F1 teams have had the opportunity to ask the FIA hundreds of very detailed questions on how to effectively apply the cost cap regulations. In 2019 and in 2020 (the cost cap ‘rehearsal’ season). An F1 team told me that they asked the FIA over 100 very detailed questions on this regulation on how to do this or that. All questions from all F1 teams and the FIA’s answers were shared by the FIA with all F1 teams, for this regulation to be 100% clear for all involved.

    So RBR being over the cost cap for 2021 cannot be a sudden surprise for them…
    Yes, being over the cost cap IS cheating. And this team has cheated. The 9 others complied. Period.
    Can you imagine Manchester City playing football with 12 players, play victims and say that they do not cheat ?

    …and the very same team principal was whining 6 months ago that inflation would prevent them from racing the last 2022 races. What a joke. The US Dollar is up 18% versus 12 months ago (vs GBP). Effectively increasing the cost cap for UK-based teams by 18% (= an extra 25 million US Dollars to spend in 2022).

    At some point, when one is cheating on the budget cap, the basic decency is to stay silent on all financial matters. RBR is hurting the Sport we love.

    1. There’s an exchange rate mechanism in the rules to ensure rate fluctuations don’t benefit/hurt teams based on country location.

      I don’t like Horner (a man lacking basic class, and the most droning voice ever), but he’s very right here – should not have been leaked, and they’ve been judged in public with no facts yet. The FIA needs to fire someone I’d say, leaks at FIA are not acceptable as it hints at bias.

      1. All teams are based in non USD countries. Their revenues are mostly in USD (FOM money, many sponsorships deals), their expenses are mostly in local currencies (namely GBP/EUR/CHF), partly in USD (freight for ex.)
        The cost cap limits are in USD.
        All teams benefit from a stronger USD this year. 1 team complained vocally about inflation. The one that cheated with the cost cap in in 2021. Manipulation has some limits.

  23. Joe, every now and then I bump into a piece you have written and I chuckle away. This is delightful, insightful, informative and really charmingly funny. We go back a very long way and I am sorry I have not followed your work more closely. It reminded me of Alistair Cookes Letters from America for a moment!

    Just Jolly good!

  24. Three point if I may Joe and they sort of collide

    1. Your comment on what constitutes a journalist nowdays is so true. For many there is no verification of facts, it’s all about clicks. It’s why the world is such a mess because someone reads on Facebook that Vladimir Putin is having an affair with Kylie Minogue and it’s fact, it must be true it’s on Facebook

    2. I have not seen such a well considered article on the cost cap debacle, you captured it perfectly.

    3. On the 🇺🇲. I don’t know where you got your stats but I bet they about right. The rest of the world population misunderstand American politics from the USA. At last count I have been to about 20 states (some admittedly just driven through) but you see what a diverse and interesting place it is when you go ‘rural’. Watkins Glen has long been on my bucket list and I went to the 6 Hour in 2019 and stayed in Corning. It was an amazing place and when they heard my accent they were intrigued as it’s what we call educated South African 😂😂, so we speak the King’s English properly. It amazed them I would come all that way for a motor race some of them did not know was taking place 10 miles away. In Charlotte I was asked if I had come for some show and was only in the 🇺🇲 for the weekend. I always find Americans interesting people and love their patriotism. I think your words summed the place up well.

    As usual a great notebook.

    1. That is why I only pay attention to Joe’s input as opposed to the “Tabloid” reports,reliability is important.

  25. F1 teams have always and will always push the boundaries of any rules (including the cost cap) and fundamentally that’s a good thing as long as there is a strong and fair regulatory organisation. The cost cap is also a good thing if ensures more team teams are able to compete on a more level basis.

    We have to trust that the FIA will properly and transparently regulate the cost cap rules, which are always going to be a bit of a nightmare and complex.

    If Red Bull did deliberately infringe the rules, then they deserve a significant penalty given the tight margins by which the championship was decided in 2021.

    But we must wait to hear what the FIA has to say once the assessment and penalty process is complete. It would help if all the teams respected this position too and there less media speculation (JS excepted).

  26. Hi Joe, thank you so much for an objective opinion on this cost cap breach. What amuses me is that the 1.8 mln Red Bull is accused of having breached is nearly equal the damage caused by Sir Lewis and his wingman at Silverstone and Hungaroring respectively. But you won’t hear the British press mentioning this. Instead the lynch mob comes out with their pitchforks. Led by the indomitable Andrew Benson.

  27. “………..it looks like a serious attempt to undermine and discredit Red Bull, in order to weaken their challenge in the future, rather than being a discussion about what is right and wrong.”

    Ahem…….and are we to suppose that, if it were another team that did it, then Christian Horner – whom I think you will agree has quite a history of accussing other teams of various things, including cheating, and generally whingeing to the camera about it – would not have done the same thing? I mean I can name several things which he has said/done which are worse than this.

    It’s a case of pot kettle black with Christian Horner, me thinks.

  28. I’ve really enjoyed GP+ again this year Joe, as well as your Green Notebooks. One little question, do you know if F1 moved from Austin to Mexico City in a truck convoy or was it by air? Hope you were able to enjoy some time with your lad, between Japan and Austin.

  29. Hey Joe,
    As always, I love reading your Green Notebook, getting your perspective on things inside and outside of F1. Sorry to hear about the hotel experience. Considering how much traveling you have done I am glad to assume this was a rare experience for you.
    I have been lucky enough to attend many races over the years sitting in the stands or on a grassy hill watching a sport I have loved since the late 80’s. But the US GP at COTA was the first time I was experiencing it from the other side of the track. A good friend pulled some strings and I got to experience F1 from a totally different perspective as a guest of Pirelli. The two things that stand from the weekend are my five minute chat with Lewis (a driver I have followed since he was in karts) and running into you in the paddock on Saturday. I have been reading your work since the mid 90’s (and now listening to it on Missed Apex). You have been the voice of F1 for me and it was such an honor to meet you briefly and shake your hand. You were gracious even though I interrupted your conversation with someone and wished I was not being ushered along by our Pirelli handlers as I would have enjoyed a longer chat.
    Keep up the outstanding work!
    Bill

  30. It’s good to read an insightful and unbiased opinion on “cashgate”, amidst all the hysteria and hypocrisy in the online media.

    Thanks Joe.

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