News and views on motorsports

Monday, December 12, 2005

It Ain't Over Just Yet

Following my post several days ago, two articles have emerged Pitpass here and PlanetF1 here speculating on the on-going GPMA/FOM battle.

Interesting to note that PlanetF1 thinks that money was the main motivation for Williams joining Bernie's bandwagon but according to Pitpass Williams' signature on the new Concorde was not really about the greenbacks.

Pitpass does however, bring up the issue of Ferrari's special treatment and the major point of contention, i.e. transparency in all aspects of the sports governance. I think even those signed up with Bernie (except perhaps Ferrari) that it is an issue that needs to be addressed. After all, even the hard-up would want to have a better knowledge of how decisions come to be made. They're still spending millions. And during the weekend of the Malaysian Grand Prix, even those that today are siding with Bernie signed a petition addressed to Ferrari calling for a reduction in testing in line with previously agreements.

The PlanetF1 editorial makes a brilliant point about competitiveness. If a breakaway series were to be run today, the GPMA teams would make a far better show of it than the Bernie brigade. The manufacturer teams are more evenly matched. In addition, their large war chests makes B-teams a distinct possibility. Especially, if B-teams could buy current technology there would be plenty of solid racing all the way round the field.

Sure, Bernie has the so-called "crown jewel," Ferrari but lets face it, if Ferrari (or should we say Michael Schumacher) were to dominate, more and more fans would lose interest. Witness the aftermath of the 2004 season on viewing figures. Bernie's signatories save Williams are unlikely to make a sustained challenge on Maranello. Unless of course, Red Bull can make full use of their recent signing Adrian Newey.

The story continues. However, I do think that a breakaway series is unlikely (at this time) but I think its a possibility that Bernie would have to give a lot more concessions and not all of which are pecuniary. Transparency and fairness are definitely on top of the agenda.

1 comment:

Jay Steele said...

Personally, I would likely drop an F1 that had Ferrari and a bunch of new teams, and I would start following a new series that featured the likes of McLaren, Williams, Toyota, BMW, etc.

I grew up with Formula 1 which bridged the careers of Mansell, Prost, Senna, Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen and Schumacher. Most of that time, Ferrari was a non-player - Williams and McLaren were dominating. To me, they're more important in the history of F1, because that's my history.

In any case, I suspect the breakaway series idea may be dead with the announcement that Williams has signed up with the FIA.

I completely agree that the FIA needs to take a different approach and stop making teams pay the Ferrari tax. Give me a break.