Redbull, Scott Speed Finally Settle Lawsuit

As if NASCAR doesn’t provide enough intensity on the track when cars are racing at speeds of 200 MPH or more around the circuits, and drivers pit their wits and grit against one another for the coveted NASCAR Sprint Cup, there is equally as much intensity off the track.

Scott Speed, the former driver for Red Bull Racing, who was released from his contract in November of 2011, and who was promptly replaced by Brian Vickers, filed suit against the energy drink maker in December, citing that his firing was a “violation of contract.”

Speed got his start in Formula One racing in 2005, but did not see many victories during this two year endeavor in that sport, ultimately changing over to NASCAR in 2008, after a very brief one year stint in the ARCA series. Widely known for his uncontrollable outbursts and flaring temper that have long dogged his reputation, he drove mostly unsponsored for 2011 until Red Bull Racing picked him up to add to their roster.

Notably, a few months later, Redbull dropped him. They also announced at the end of this year that they would not be sponsoring any drivers for 2012 or competing in any NASCAR events; a shock to the NASCAR nation that is still making its reverberations. With the demise of Redbull’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing Team also goes their other two drivers, Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers, as well as other employees for the team that are now job hunting in for the 2012 season.

While there has not been a public announcement on the exact amounts of the settlement, sufficed to say that it was enough to make Speed satisfied and to end the lawsuit out of court. For Speed, the amount he gets should hopefully bide him for quite some time. He only has a sponsor for a part time 2012 NASCAR schedule with Leavine Family Racing. And if his temper continues to get the better of him, chances are that he will find them (his new sponsor) leaving him in a hurry and just as fast as Redbull did.

Redbull, Ferrari, Part Ways with Formula One Teams Association & Other Racing News

Two lead sponsors of the overseeing body of regulation that helps to keep the Formula One Sport on track, FOTA, have announced that they will be parting ways with it in 2012. Both Ferrari and Redbull have announced that they will not be returning to the Formula One Team Association in the years that follow. The news is particularly daunting because Redbull won the Constructors’ championship in 2010 and in 2011.

Ferrari issued a simple statement regarding their departure from this body on December 2nd, stating that, “FOTA’s drive has run its course.”

Rumors are widely spurring that the Resource Restriction Agreement, which would have introduced a sport-wide spending cap to keep the nature of the sport more competitive, was to blame. But that’s probably not the truth, because this agreement was first put into place by Luca di Montezemolo, who was CEO of Ferrari at the time.

The organization has been holding meetings to determine its best path forwards in 2012.

Other Racing News:

  • Bernie Ecclestone, the head of Formula One, has announced a deadline extension for the United States Grand Prix, slated for Nov. 18, 2012, in Austin, Texas. The World Motor Sport Council is expected to confirm the 2012 calendar this month. Mr. Ecclestone emphasized that adequate funding needs to be in place for the races to happen.
  • Sprint Cup will remain Sprint Cup. Sources have confirmed to the press that NASCAR has reached a new three year deal with Sprint, extending the name of the cup through 2016.
  • Newman/Haas Racing, which was created by actor Paul Newman, has announced that they will NOT have an IndyCar team in 2012 due to financial calamity. In a recent statement that issued to the press, co-founder, Carl Haas, told the New York Times that,
    “The economic climate no longer enables Newman/Haas Racing to participate in open wheel racing at this time.”