News and views on motorsports

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rebels Moles & Macau

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers. " -- Leia Organa

The Rebel Alliance has been found. Unfortunately most of the site is drivel we've all heard before from the manufacturers.

But here's something interesting in the FAQ section, which asks the question : "How can the sporting spectacle be improved?"

The reply from the GPMA :
"The GPMA recognises that the sporting spectacle of Grand Prix motor racing is ultimately about connecting with the fans. In full recognition of the way the sport has changed over the years, the GPMA has developed detailed proposals for Formula One designed to bring the sport back to the fans. These proposals aim to increase on-track time, produce more exciting racing and encourage more overtaking. In addition, the GPMA has argued for better public access to cars and drivers, and cheaper tickets."

Cheaper tickets eh? Better access to cars what? We'll see about that. Well they've pledged it, now let's see if they can deliver. The Malaysian GP grandstand tickets are absolutely astronomical to the average working class person like myself, so I've always had to pay for the cheapo hillside stands that never fail to bake me silly under the sweltering heat everytime I'm there. All except this year of course when... ummm... I'm not saying where I sat but let's just say it was the perfect spot to see Alonso and Renault hammer the Ferraris to dust (did I mention I absolutely love this season?), all the while staying fresh as daisies.

I suppose in order to attract the independent teams (especially Williams) who are dreadfully afraid of being shafted by the big manufacturers, the GPMA pledges that the sport "supports and encourages the participation of independent teams." Futhermore in the FAQ it states that:

"The GPMA believes in the importance of independent teams to the sport and argues that this can be achieved through a combination of four key factors:

- higher team payments
- lower team costs
- more stable regulations
- a stable supply of affordable engines.

In all cases, the GPMA lobbies actively for substantial reform by the sport's commercial rights holder and the regulator.

All very nice and lofty visionnary stuff. Let's just see whether the new GPMA head ex-Honda Racing boss Soichiro Tanaka can translate that into a hard set of agreements and regulations.

The only thing nearly remotely concrete that I read about on the GPMA site was a press release dated 38th September 2005 which stated that: "The five manufacturers and their teams entered into a binding agreement to race together only in a series which satisfied the fundamental principles of a clear and equitable World Championship." "Hear, hear," cried Michelin. Well, since the GPMA harps on about transparency howzabout letting us folks know what went on in that agreement. I'm prospective sponsors and even new teams would want to know just how serious this whole thing is.

Moving along, I've read the latest The Mole feature on ITV-F1. As ever we get some intriguing insights from the mysterious one. This time The Mole touches on the subject of Adrian Newey and the new (or should I say revived) tyre regulations. The article speculates that incumbent technical directors Gunther Steiner and Mark Smith are unlikely to be welcoming Newey into the fold, usurping their current status and position. Valid point unless of course Adrian ends up designing Squadra Whatever's racing cars as is speculated in this article on If it is so, I would imagine it wouldn't last for very long. Mateschitz would be looney not to put his best into the main team. As for the Michelin and the new tyre regulations I suggest you read the article. I definitely couldn't have put it better.

This weekend is the Macau Grand Prix. Bloody hell. Serves me right for not checking the dates when I agreed with a friend to attend the A1 Grand Prix at Sepang this weekend. Shit. I never miss watching Macau. This year the Guia race has become the final round of the WTCC. To top it off three drivers are in with a shout at the championship, all within a few points of one another. My bet is on the BMWs which are absolutely peerless on this street circuit. Andy Priaulx's the man I'm hoping will walk away with it. Damn damn damn. I'm going to miss a down to the wire season finale watching Alex Yoong instead. And this time, I could have got to watch a WTCC race live on telly as well. Bitch.

1 comment:

Marc said...

As someone that has followed A1GP from afar here in the
Philippines since its inception what are your impressions after attending in person?

The Sepang event was by far the most competitive but I'm still amazed in a series that has very few variables how dominate France has been.