F1 »

Stewart admits he would be 'happy to help' RBS

In the face of mounting pressure, Sir Jackie Stewart has admitted that he is 'happy to help' the Royal Bank of Scotland – an organisation that, on the day it announced a corporate record £24 billion loss and one which is now 70 per cent taxpayer-owned, has been heavily criticised for its overblown 'extravagance'.

Last week, Treasury Select Committee member John Mann MP suggested it might be prudent for Stewart and fellow RBS representatives Andy Murray (tennis), Jack Nicklaus (golf) and the Queen's grand-daughter Zara Phillips (equestrian) to relinquish their lucrative roles – one that, courtesy of his wealth of contacts and supreme networking skills, has benefitted the three-time Formula 1 World Champion to the tune of some £4 million as he travels the globe entertaining VIP guests in glamorous fashion at grands prix [see separate story – click here].

Whilst insisting that he is in no way to blame for the bank's unprecedented financial collapse and pointing to the fact that he has two years still remaining on his contract, the 69-year-old Scot has now conceded that – particularly in the light of RBS' announcement that it is to terminate its sponsorship deal with Williams at the end of next year [see separate story – click here] – he is willing to reconsider his position.

“I'm happy to help the RBS at the moment,” Stewart told The Herald, “and I am in the process of drawing up a proposal, which will be of significant interest to them, but I'm not at fault when it comes to directors taking decisions or politicians meeting bankers.

“I feel for people who are losing their jobs, but I have a long-term contract with the bank and I have always been open in my dealings with them. The fact is I was involved with Ford for 40 years, and with Moet and Rolex for the same period. I have never shirked my responsibilities in these relationships, which is why they have all lasted so long.”

Tennis star Murray has hinted that he may be willing to re-negotiate because 'the bottom line is I want to help'.

Meanwhile, RBS' corporate hospitality has been described as 'certainly extravagant' by UK newspaper The Times, with suggestions that 'the days of champagne and canapés' at sporting occasions 'may be over' as banks – which replaced tobacco as F1's principal sponsors three years ago – increasingly reel from the global credit crunch and pull the plug on their backing. Aside from RBS, Renault title sponsor ING is to depart the fray at the end of the forthcoming season, and long-time BMW-Sauber partner Credit Suisse walked away back at the beginning of the year.

'I have long experienced Formula 1, and the extravagance of the corporate box was something that mirrored the economic times,' wrote Kevin Eason. 'As the money flowed freely, so the extravagance grew.

'Flying people around the world to grands prix became part of the fabric of corporate life and was built into the practice of big business – but now we will see severe examination of that, because not only can companies not afford it anymore, they will be under pressure from shareholders who think their money should be used more discreetly.

'I think even they (RBS) would admit they have been profligate in the past, paying out massive amounts of money on contracts. They really have thrown it about.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.06.2006 Montreal, Canada, Sir Jackie Stewart (GBR) - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
2017 Race of Champions line-up in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

JDS - Unregistered

February 28, 2009 2:18 AM

I ask You People This. If the situations were reversed, and Jackie lost it all! Would RBS be willing to take the HIGH Road? I THINK NOT! :) :) :) :) :)

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.