Is Formula One really that desperate? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Is Formula One really that desperate?

March 2, 2011 by joe saward

Formula One is the company that runs the sport of Formula 1 – and we should never forget that. The sole purpose of the Formula One group, based on recent experience, is to squeeze as much money as possible out of the sport before the teams start to rain on the parade. That will happen when the Concorde Agreement comes to an end and the Formula One group tries to renegotiate its 50 percent share of all revenues. That is a thing of the past.

The major teams are united and if they are smart they will remain that way. And they will team up with the FIA and tell the Formula One group to take a hike if 50 percent is the best offer on the table. The finance people have had their share of the pie and most of F1 will be happy to see the back of them – and to see the money that the sport generates being used primarily to reward those who take part and to invest in people and facilities so that the sport grows.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is impressed by the kind of deals that Bernie Ecclestone has done over the years with TV stations and race promoters, and perhaps there are not many people who could do such deals, but then the next generation do not need to do that, because the share of the take will be more like 15 percent, rather than the current 50. This will be a percentage which is far more in keeping with the usual rate paid to a promotional company and it will mean that the profits will be a little more mutualised and everyone will have a little more leeway and the sport can move forward in a much more harmonious way, working together for the good of one and all, rather than being divided and conquered because that is what suits Bernie and his cohorts.

What is most important is the integrity of the sport. There was a time when wrestling was seen as a bona fide sport but in the 1980s a new owner came along who believed in “sports entertainment” and turned the sport into a circus (right). He made a great deal more money than had previously been made, and managed to increase TV viewing figures but wrestling as a sport with any credibility died there and then.

It was just another step towards the dystopian world that was envisaged by William Harrison in an Esquire magazine article in the early 1970s, which predicted Rollerball (left), when corporations would take over and create a violent, globally-popular sport in which two teams would kill one another’s players as they try to score goals, echoing the barbarism of the gladiatorial days in Rome.

The calls in the last few days for Formula 1 to adopt races that feature artificial rain storms are disgraceful and one can only hope that Bernie Ecclestone and Paul Hembery of Pirelli are talking up the idea of in an effort to create discussion at a quite time following the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix. If they are serious then both of them should be removed from their offices and sent off to Las Vegas, where such thinking might be appreciated better. Such gimmicks are fake and damaging to the sport and trying to argue that it is no different to street racing or racing at night are simply not correct. Cars have always raced through towns. It is not fake at all. And the night racing is not really night racing. The lights are such that the drivers see everything as they would in daylight – and they would not be racing if that were not the case. Yes, the night race in Singapore looks a bit better on Tv, but the darkness does not affect the outcome. If one is willing to pour water on the race tracks, then why stop there? The next step from there would be to throw some tin tacks on the race track so that all the drivers will crash, which would push up the viewing figures.

There is no problem with there being rain storms during races, so long as they happen naturally. I must say that I was very wary of Ecclestone’s idea of timing the Malaysian GP to coincide with the daily downpour in Kuala Lumpur. That was a was a pretty low trick and hinted at desperation. It would have been so much wiser to have invested some money in proper scientific research to work out why it is that there is overtaking at some circuits and not at others. Clearly Hermann Tilke has no idea how it works as he has produced a series of tracks at which overtaking is almost impossible. These days he is copying the great corners from other tracks hoping that this will work. One has to ask why he is still employed… There has to be a scientific answer to the problem and once that is defined then the circumstances need simply to be replicated and there will be no more trouble with overtaking.

If this kind of thinking is allowed to succeed then we are moving down the path to the destruction of all credibility in the sport. In which case it would be best to cut corners and get down to serious circus competition, such as has been suggested in recent days on the Internet, following the troubles of F1 in Bahrain. If that is what people want then that is fine… but I am not going to report on rubbish like that…
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 04:23 PM
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Elect me.

No more Tilke tracks, (sadly, he is/has designed the track in Texas, a kickback perhaos?) no more Bernie, no more Max, Todt? Maybe.

Bernie has accomplished much, mostly lining his pockets. Time for him to go.

You mentioned Rollerball, as that is vague in my memory, thanks for pointing out the gladiator aspect of "entertainment" that is consumed by the masses whom don't care much about racing.

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