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Re: We dodged the Rich Energy Bullet
Posted by: shriekback
Date: 17/07/2019 00:08
Thanks for posting that tweet, phatjack. The text aside, it is the photo that I find particularly meaningful.

As much as I have been delighting in the comeuppance that Haas has been experiencing with the title sponsor that they stole from Williams now instead biting them, as Stu69 put it, I have also been troubled. Williams clearly would have signed on with Rich Energy had they not ditched for another team.

Did Williams not do due diligence on that shady company and the shady people (or person) at the top of it? They have been in bed with Saudis, Russians (with ties to Putin), etc., but they all at least had viable business operations such that they could plausibly make good on their contracted financial obligations. How could Williams, with all their experience, have come so close to putting themselves in the trajectory of that bullet?

I think this picture tells at least some of that story; Bernie Ecclestone stood to make a buck for himself in the deal and tried to broker it. A sleaze-bag, for sure, but also a formerly shrewd business operator, he really needs to retire, for his own sake if not everyone else’s. Certainly, no one should trust his advice after his involvement in this affair.

In any case, I hope Williams sends Haas a case (or two) of good champaign to thank them. If the latter had not undercut their deal with Rich Energy, Williams wouldn’t have been able to partner with ROKiT (which seems to be succeeding just as Rich Energy destroys the illusion that it even was a business), and their season would likely now look very much like potentially its last. Just imagine, first a late arrival to testing, Paddy’s subsequent leave of absence, no points after eight races in black and gold livery imposed on them by a title sponsor whose wheels are coming off and is now more keen to troll the team in the most juvenile of ways than provide it with support. I think it could well have been the last nail in the coffin (or a bullet in the head—to not mix metaphors).

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