Who’d have though the car crash at Roman Grosjean’s team would in the sponsor’s tent... Lets make projections so we can say “Told ya so” or “Man I was waay off” when the dust clears
EDIT: Grosjean just crashed in the pitlane during practice - all is back to normal
This mess feels like it’s coming into focus now so heres my hypothesis; presumably in addition to cheating on his tax bill using using fake invoices Gene Haas has run some other more successful maneuvers over the years which have netted him a bunch of tax-free cash offshore (from the Chinese market maybe?).
Now F1 is an expensive hobby and it sure would be nice to use those funds so the money gets funnelled through Rich Energy (numbered company invests in beverage startup doesn’t make news even in the trade press) with the understanding that most of it is channeled into F1 sponsorship (the invoice scam had the accomplice taking a 2% cut).
Rich Energy makes no sense as a conventional money laundering scheme since why would anyone be pissing all their I’ll gotten gains up the (pit)wall whilst drawing the attention of literally millions of people?
I initially wondered if Gene Haas was trying to sneak money out of his company away from the eyes of shareholders who might object but Haas Automation is a wholly owned private company - nobody cares what he does, except the IRS....
And they would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and their mountain bikes!
Well now the whole enterprise is about to be laid bare for the stupidest of reasons and the stooges are panicking - desperately trying to get shred the evidence by breaking the F1 contract in the vain hope they can hide it from the court. (Doubtful but previous legal proceedings have established they don’t know how any of this actually works)
Sounds like the guys who only signed on for afree lunch and so the company would have the semblance of a board want the loon in charge gone for damage control. Meanwhile he’s gone full Howard Hughes peeing in a bottle paranoid (note: maybe that’s the secret ingredient?) ranting on twitter.
I maintain the real crime in all this is that nobody has published a picture of a Whyte bike in any of these articles. The original Whyte PRST-1 was truly one of the most Jalop mountain bikes ever made: just look at that mind-bending collection of linkages!
Thanks to “Benny Mac” for mentioning that Jon Whyte was a suspension engineer for the Benneton F1 team, and the other designer was Adrian Ward (currently of McLaren). That’s a fantastic connection.
More on the bike here:
Of course Hanlon’s razor suggests this might just be a group of goombas too stupid to hire an original graphic designer and with sufficient cash/credit to sponsor an F1 team for half a season but that’s less fun
[I originally wrote this as a TLDR length comment then decided it’d make a better OPPO post]