Judge Slams Jordan for 'Unsustainable' Claim

A British judge blasted Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan on Monday for launching a "contrived and unsustainable" 150 million pound ($241.7 million) damages case against mobile phone giants Vodafone over an alleged sponsorship deal.

Judge Slams Jordan for 'Unsustainable' Claim

A British judge blasted Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan on Monday for launching a "contrived and unsustainable" 150 million pound ($241.7 million) damages case against mobile phone giants Vodafone over an alleged sponsorship deal.

Mr Justice Langley also criticised Jordan for a number of "blatant inaccuracies" in his oral evidence and said that when these were exposed he was "reduced to embarrassed silence" in the witness box.

Jordan launched a claim in London's High Court in June saying Vodafone wrongly pulled out of a three-year deal to sponsor Jordan's cars only to back rival team Ferrari. The trial lasted six weeks until July 29.

At the 11th hour on Friday, however, as the judge prepared to hand down his written judgment in the case, Jordan applied to abandon his claim and offered to pay all of Vodafone's costs at the highest indemnity level.

Jordan also applied to have the judgment kept private, but Langley insisted on making his ruling public, although he delayed it until 4 p.m. (14.00 GMT) on Monday to give Jordan the chance to appeal against that decision.

Sources close to the Jordan team have said that Jordan himself could end up with a legal bill of about three million pounds.

Massive Claim

The massive legal claim, which took into account the 100 million pounds Jordan claimed Vodafone agreed to pay as well as interest and other losses, centred on four words.

'You've got the deal,' were the words Jordan claimed were spoken to him on the telephone by Vodafone's global branding director David Haines.

Jordan claimed these words sealed the agreement for the three-year sponsorship of its Formula One cars on the terms negotiated between the parties in the prior months, even though no written contract was produced.

Vodafone argued that it merely entered into negotiations with Jordan, along with rival racing teams McLaren, Benetton, Ferrari and Toyota, as part of its global branding strategy.

Vodafone also sponsor English premier league champions Manchester United and have a commercial deal with England soccer captain David Beckham. Vodafone announced its current deal with Ferrari prior to the Monaco Grand Prix in 2001.

"The inherent improbability of an agreement of such a nature for payments of such a size being made in such a manner is obvious," Langley said in his ruling. "Jordan's claim was in my judgment plainly demonstrated to be without foundation and false.

"I reject ... that in the course of the 22nd March telephone conversation Mr Haines said anything that could reasonably be, or indeed was taken by Jordan to be, a binding commitment on Vodafone to sponsor Jordan."

He said Haines did not have the authority to bind Vodafone to an agreement.

"I regret to say that I found Mr Jordan to be a wholly unsatisfactory witness. His evidence was in many instances in stark conflict with, and indeed belied by, the documents - often documents of his own making," he said.

"On occasions even Mr Jordan was unable to offer an explanation and was reduced to embarrassed silence by the exposure of blatant inaccuracies in what he was saying.

"The evidence he gave and the claims Jordan makes became more and more contrived and unsustainable."

shares
comments
Wilson 'very disappointed' at DNF

Previous article

Wilson 'very disappointed' at DNF

Next article

Head Disagrees with Ralf's Penalty

Head Disagrees with Ralf's Penalty
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021