News and views on motorsports

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Money, Power And Winning Races

Motor racing is an expensive sport. Formula 1 has been described as the most expensive sport in the world. Perhaps only sailing in the form of the America's Cup comes close to the level of lavish spending.

And of course there's the often used adage. Talent counts for the square root of bugger all if you don't have the finances to match. But likewise all the money in the world won't ensure you do well. Look at Toyota's dismal results prior to this season. Nevertheless, with the right mixture of skill, talent and money you will reach the pinnacle of the sport.

Some go even further than simply talent and money. Politics comes to the fray. I suppose because of all that money, it inevitably does. The situation in America's Cup is no different.

Fiat's Luca di Montezemolo has publicly admitted that Ferrari does and needs to be close to the racing authorities. On the face of it, there is nothing really wrong with that. Everyone should have a say in the sport's regulations and even in the interpretation of those regulations. But even Ferrari have trouble from time to time. The early part of 2005 has proven that. For 20 years they went without winning anything. Whatever Machiavellian deeds Ferrari have performed you cannot argue against their intelligence, talent, skill, management and the speed of their drivers. As I said many times, their successes are deserved.

But what if you don't have talent but want to win anyway? Here's what you do. Become rich, famous and influential. Be so powerful that others do not dare raise even a finger at you. Having completed that first step, you get your friends to organize a championship. Or if one is already at hand you get them to run the championship. You spend loads on your friends who run this championship. Oh and it also helps that your friend is also in charge of the scrutineering of the cars and also writes the rules.

Then, spend as much money as you can buying the best cars available. Not so much that it sends you to ruins of course but just enough so that your car is light speed quicker than your competitors.

Still, your talented competitors, using their vast experience and skill to offset the deficit, will from time to time cause you some complications. But this should pose no problems for you, since you can conduct yourself in an "ungentlemanly" fashion but get your friend who runs the championship to heap blame and sanctions on the audacious competitor who has dared to attempt to pass you on the track.

With your money and privileged position and since you've spent heaps on your championship running friend, you can get any competitor whom you see as a threat excluded from the championship on the most trivial of grounds.

Also, whilst your competitors must comply to all regulations to a "T" you on the other hand are free to flout them as you see fit. Hey, you've just spent a ton supporting the championship. You are the mainstay competitor in it, so you of course bloody well should have the right to do that. Without you, the championship would lose its "glamour" and of course revenues. Oh never mind that the crowds don't seem interested in you or your "glamour."

In the end, you will get copious amounts of self gratification. That such successes are hollow should not cause you any crises of conscience. Because you have none. With your gleaming championship trophy in the cabinet, you sleep soundly at night. That those with 18-wheeler loads of talent do not get to shine because of your antics is of little consequence to you. You've won and that gentlemen is how we do that.

No dear reader. In the last few paragraphs I speak not of Ferrari although there are similarities and parallels. I made clear at the start that at least Ferrari do have talent. If you hail from Europe, America or Canada (and it seems most of you out there do) you would probably be scratching your heads by now. I do apologise but my other readers will find the situation I describe strangely familiar. ;)

No comments: