News and views on motorsports

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Formula 1 Reloaded Part 2

In the wake of Honda's demise Pitpass has this interesting editorial by Mike Lawrence that attacks the role of Formula 1 owners, CVC. Essentially, this is similar to the point I had made before, that CVC is an irrelevant stakeholder of the sport that serves to do nothing except serve as a rent collector. They don't even serve Bernie Ecclestone to my mind, who had cashed out his Formula 1 holdings a long time ago to Kirsch. CVC simply took out a huge loan to buy the shares from the banks after Kirsch went into liquidation. And now to service the loan, CVC of course withdraws a huge amount of money from the sport. Money, as I had argued, rightly belongs to the teams. Further amounts are taken for the benefit of CVC and through them, their own investors.

There are many side effects of these activities.

First, there is a need to take Formula 1 out of Europe and North America and bring it out East where gullible governments pay huge amounts to host these races on some of the most dreadful Tilke designed circuits. More are set to join in, South Korea and Abu Dhabi being the latest. And yet more are clamoring for a grand prix. A certain poverty stricken nation who should be spending those millions to take children out of living on the streets are ever ready to throw money at FOM instead. With these Eastern circuits, once the novelty wears off, struggle to keep the grandstands packed without giving away free tickets to school children. And sad to say, Malaysia is no different there. (Though honestly, Sepang manages to keep the hillstands packed to the brim!) And yet host a grand prix anywhere in Europe and even at Indianapolis and the fans keep pouring in year on year. Its funny but shouldn't races be run where the loyal fans are? Shouldn't races be run on classic circuits unmolested by the evil hands of Tilke?

Second, because less money is available to the teams (though that improved slightly a couple of years ago), the only ones that can afford to compete are the manufacturers. Without them, Formula 1 is left without a grid. CVC, quite smartly imposes that these manufacturers must sign up to compete for an agreed period of time, forcing their commitment.

Bernie understands this and does all he can to keep the manufacturers in. On the other hand, Max Mosley understands that these manufacturers could leave if the costs escalate to exceed the benefits of competing in grand prix racing. Hence his drive to reduce these costs up to and including the ludicrous standard engine measure recently proposed.

What benefit is it for Honda to compete in a Formula 1 where their talents cannot be allowed to shine through? Sure they have not been performing but without the freedom to allow innovation and ingenuity and produce differentiation, whats the point of the competition? There doesn't seem to be any benefit to the competition when it has to adopt a standard engine or even to have their engines forcibly equalised by regulations. Especially since their money can be put to better use elsewhere in these times of financial meltdown.

Third, you drive out teams whose heart and soul is nothing but pure racing. Teams, that by right, should be the ones to compete in the sport. These teams are driven by pure passion and its great to see these guys get it absolutely right despite facing the manufacturers. But here now, we have a sport which sidelines these pure bred racing teams in favour of makers of the horrid Toyota Prius. Furthermore, a competition billing itself as the pinnacle of motorsport has now been perverted as testlab for so-called road relevant technologies like KERS which teams are now re-considering because of the weight penalty and small gains.

There are many other consequences of this unjust and perverted ownership of the sport but I shall leave it there for now. It seems clear that whenever you see or read about some silly idea from Max and Bernie, you only have to see that they are serving no one except CVC. They have become the minions of these investors.

There seems to be a need to materialise a championship for real racing fans not the "casual fan" who knows bugger and real racing teams and not manufacturers engaged in battle in the best traditions of motorsports. A championship owned by the teams and not greedy investors with no interest in motor racing save to reap profits to serve feed their insatiable appetites. A championship run on the best drivers' circuits in the world and not on those with stupid grandstands to pamper the so-called casual fans and corporate types.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Honda Quits

A few questions pop into mind at the announcement that Honda is leaving Formula 1. But the most important ones would be:

- What will Ross Brawn do now?
- What will Jenson Button do?
- Would Honda have left if they were winning races and world championships?
- Which team will be next?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Formula 1 Reloaded Part 1

Can you believe whats going on in grand prix racing these days? The world has turned upside down. The two senile old men firmly at the helm of Formula 1 is absolutely determined to destroy everything that made the series the obsession of millions of true blue racing fans worldwide.

The complexities of issues revolving around the grand prix circus are too numerous to mention. I've tried to articulate these over the years many a time, so I won't go into it again. I'm just so sick of writing about bad things. I think I'm not alone in this. Checkpoint10 has resorted to writing fiction such are the atrocities being committed these days.

So how to redress these problems? Well, given that "No bucks, no buck rogers", the fundamental thing, the start of many different measures that needs to be in place, is to address the problem of commercial ownership of grand prix racing.

As you may know, the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) was formed decades ago to further the interest of the teams, particularly the issue of commercial rights. Unfortunately the man that teams had left in charge of all this, one Bernie Ecclestone, for all intents and purposes usurped the association from right under the teams' noses. This is not a joke. Williams and McLaren were more than prepared to sue the solicitors advising them on this affair for negligence in carrying out their duties. Of course, Bernie made sure it was all settled out of court.

Consider that the commercial rights, once it became valuable, was flogged away by Bernie for a considerable amount. An amount so huge, Bernie ended up with billions. How much of that went back to the teams? A trickle, a drop in the ocean. And now, the commercial rights of Formula 1, after several rounds of ownership changes are in the hands of a private equity firm. Yes, those leeches that are partly the source of the world's financial troubles today.

Understand this. In the long run, when the chips are down, do you really believe CVC has the sports interests at heart? And by interests I mean the interests of the fans and the teams that go racing? Of course not. For thousands of years, it is the profits that are of interest to business. I'm not sure but perhaps you do know this, but what has CVC done for the sport? Half the profits of the sport goes to CVC. And why should it go to them or any other private or public shareholder? It should belong to the teams.

So thats the first thing to do. The next thing is to look into how the teams' share of the financial spoils are distributed among themselves. At the moment, the winning constructor gets the lion share, followed by the team that came in second and so forth. This of course is before the Ferrari "tax," the special payments to Maranello that guarantees them more money even in the years they do not win the world championship.

This system, like those of purely capitalistic (I say purely) countries, is deeply flawed. The rich get richer and the poor get buggered. And the gulf between the rich and the buggered grows ever larger each year. The successful teams get more and more money and that makes them ever more successful. The smaller teams in the long run are destined to leave. Minardi, Jordan and recently Super Aguri, the victims of such inequity.

And so to my proposal. That each year, the profits from commercial activities be distributed equally, regardless of championship position, to all teams. This may seem sacrilegious to some, but consider that all teams play a part in the show. The winning constructor needs teams to beat else whats the use of competing. And if you consider this a sport then everyone should start on equal footing.

Of course there would still be inequities. The large manufacturers, bent on winning at all costs, will still have more resources at their disposal than Toro Rosso or even Williams. The winning constructors will always attract more sponsorship for winning trophies than the team that came last. This should always be the case but for turning up to play, they all should get the same amounts. And therefore, winners will naturally and as a matter of course, gain greater financial reward. What I am proposing is that we close the gap between the teams out front to the teams behind.

If, the commercial rights really did belong to the teams and they retained 100% of the profits, then a share of the profits will amount to a considerable sum. Enough to keep all teams, large and small, on the grid, year after year. If allied to customer cars, and by that I mean being able to purchase chassis and engines from specialists like Dallara, Lola or Cosworth, then we would have a very strong field in grand prix racing. If the manufacturers or McLaren and Williams want to retain their manufacturing facilities then by all means. But a smaller team on a budget would still be able to compete effectively against them.

In any case, the objectives of teams competing in the world championship ought not to be making exorbitants amounts of money. Its to win. Win the world championship and through that job well done, gain their just rewards.

The commercial rights of the sports or the income generated therein is the key to a successful championship. Then we would have less of this silly talk about cost cutting and such, which to my mind, has no chance of succeeding. But what can be done, is to lessen the impact, not of money per se, but the lack of money. If measure such as these can generate a competitive championship, viewing figures will increase. And that will in turn bring in more sponsorship, increase the value to television rights, merchandising sales etc which in turn benefits the teams who can then spend as they wish on innovation (assuming more liberal technical and sporting rules) and development. In times of global crisis as we do today, such measures as above would go a long way to ensure that, whilst the smaller teams won't have the resources of the giants, at least they have a fighting chance to survive.

If you think carefully, it seems clear that the struggle right now is between the need to satisfy the insatiable appetites of private equity CVC and to ensure the survival of the teams that make up the sport. These are incompatible goals. And for the sake of the sport, the one that should be made redundant in the equation is CVC. That and the inequities of income distribution prevalent in Formula 1 at the moment.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Minardi Wins!!!

What a fantastic result for true motor racing fans. I always knew that Vettel chap was quick but to win a grand prix in what really is the Minardi team is absolutely unbelievable, as the man himself was moved to say.

There are several interesting aspects to this story for me personally. The Toro Rosso team in reality is the old Minardi team. They're still based in Faenza. Despite the Red Bull money, the still have around 15% the headcount of McLaren and Ferrari. They are in fact the customer team to a non-manufacturer team, Red Bull Racing. The person who must be more than proud and vindicated must be Adrian Newey. After the altercations with Geoff Willis in past races, he must be feeling quite good about himself. It is after all his car.

The story today proves that if customer cars were allowed, a privately run but well financed team can take on the works cars. Especially in this case, they are allowed the latest Red Bull chassis allied to a decent engine. In Toro Rosso's case, they took on and beat the works Red Bulls and the works Ferraris. I seriously think the silly rules banning customer cars should be rethought of. For really, its fun to watch the customers beat the works cars.

Another aspect to today's events must be Sebastien himself. He failed to finish the first four races of the year but in all of the four looked mighty indeed running firmly in the points. Today's result was no fluke. He had the pace to win the race. Given the chance he took it. I have full respect for drivers who cut their teeth in the smaller teams and still manage to look good. Fernando, Kimi, even that retard Massa cut their teeth in teams such as Sauber (pre BMW) and of course Minardi. That punk Hamilton got spoon fed a McLaren. I'd like to see him perform to such a level driving a Toro Rosso or Force India. Sebastien has managed to impress everyone by winning in the tiniest team in the paddock. That is incredibly impressive stuff and all the kudos and respect to the young fellow. If ever there is an obvious candidate for future world champion, it would be Sebastien. Hamilton may win it this year but his punk style bully boy driving wins him no favours nor respect among his fellow drivers. Neither does it impress me.

Team boss Gerhard Berger has been feeling the pressure lately. Toro Ross will have to both design and build the cars for next year. Mateschitz has been making noises about selling off his share of Toro Rosso. And yet now, its the Toro Rossos that have gifted him the first win. Gerhard Berger was one of my favourite drivers back in the day and its so great to see him winning as a team boss. Absolutely fantastic.

If Toro Rosso does not go from strength to strength from hereon due to a lack of backing, motor racing fans should really mourn. Another team I felt could have achieved a result of this magnitude was Super Aguri had they been given proper financing and the sort of support Toro Rosso enjoys from Red Bull technology. That is to say, being given the latest Honda technologies instead of obsolete items.

Without taking anything away from the likes of McLaren and BMW, it is teams such as Super Aguri and Toro Rosso, backed up by a pure passion for racing that really deserves results such as today. And Formula 1 would do well to ensure that not only Toro Rosso survives but the smaller teams should be given sufficient backing to allow them to effectively compete for poles and wins.

This is a great day. Great for the little team from Faenza. A giant result for Formula 1 and motor racing as a whole. May there be more to come.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Connecting The Dots

The Mole is back on and after some inane drivel suggests a very interesting conspiracy theory.

Max, as everyone knows, won the vote of no-confidence some months ago with the help of some dubious affiliates of the FIA. One of these being a certain Mohammad Bin Sulayem. Coincidentally also, this chap is the brother of Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the head of the Dubai World sovereign wealth fund.

Furthermore, there have been hints by Max himself that a sovereign wealth fund will be buying over the commercial rights to Formula 1 from CVC itself. Could the Dubai World fund be that organisation? Especially given how supportive the Bin Sulayems have been of Max? Intriguing....


It seems you can't keep good engineers down. carries this story that points to engine developments in Formula 1 despite the homologation rules and the attendant engine freeze.

It seems engineers have been slipping in horsepower upgrades along with so called reliability improvements to engines and this has resulted in some teams gaining horsepower advantages over others. This of course is an age old tradition not only in grand prix racing but in all forms of motorsport, to poke, bend and stretch rules to the breaking point.

Reportedly playboy Flav is not amused with these developments and have sought to air his grievances in the media. Screw Flavio Briatore. No secret of course that he was displayed tremendous enthusiasm of the stupid engine freeze to begin with. Of course he would for at the time that the proposal was being made, the Renault was the car to have. How nice it would have been for the Renault team to have frozen 2005/2006 in time.

But engineers are smarter than this and as declares "That is the essence of Formula 1 ingenuity and, as such, should be applauded." I agree wholeheartedly and long may it continue

Monday, June 23, 2008


We are one race short of the halfway mark of the 2008 Formula 1 season. And at this point, some surprises have emerged. BMW are second in the constructor's championship and leading driver Robert Kubica is also in second of the driver's race. Surprising to say the least and I would not have expected these guys to have kept their season opening momentum to go on for so long. Hopefully the guys in Hinwil and Munich keep pushing on to the end.

Toyota and Red Bull are neck and neck in the middle order. Toyota especially is a big surprise. The cars certainly are quick and they've even managed a podium spot in last weekend's French Grand Prix. Had they not shot themselves in the foot in 2006 with that last minute switch to Bridgestone tyres and then sacking the technical director for the marketing men's own mistakes I reckon they'd be at least on BMW level by now. As it is, this lumbering giant is making slow progress. But progress nevertheless and they are outperforming their customers at Williams. Deadly rivals Honda are absolutely nowhere this season as they were last year and Toyota's results must be hurting them a lot in Tokyo.

Red Bull on the other hand is a customer team that is completely whipping the works Renaults. Some say the Renault engine has huge flaws. That may be so but the Red Bulls are at this stage making better use of their motor and despite the presence of Fernando Alonso, the works cars can do nothing about it. Its good to see a "private" entry murdering the big manufacturer. Although in this case its a well financed privateer.

Lewis Hamilton didnt deserve to have the 10 spot penalty for France. Not at all. He deserved to have his superlicense sanctioned and placed under probation for his act of pure incompetence in Montreal. Its one thing for you to crash into another car whilst your brake balance is out of whack at 180 mph but to completely miss two stationary cars right in front of you whilst travelling at the leisurely speed of 80 km/h is a sign of pure stupidity. And the twit doesn't even want to admit his mistake. "If" he says, he has ruined Kimi's race then he is sorry. Its not an "if" moron. You bloody well chucked it out the window. And once again, in France he completely denies his any wrongdoing when it was clear that he gained an advantage by straightlining the chicane.

And apologising to the team for not doing his best. Oh come on. That was pure pretense designed solely for the benefit of the media. Ron has trained this one well. But of course, the British media are now quickly turning on him as is their habit. I suppose having enjoyed the adoring attention in the past, he likes it not one bit. But being the big mouth that he is, he's now taking them on with all sorts of trashy talk.

And just who was the idiot who suggested that he be suspended on wires and lowered on to a stage play in London? I really do not understand just what good he or the Porsche crashing train driver (son gets a little money and buy some nice toys for yourself eh?) thought that would do. Is he supposed to be a racing driver or a clown? That is just pure humiliation but it really befits him.

Without sympathising with Hamilton it brings me to the point on what Formula 1 drivers have to go through these days. Its no wonder Kimi is so fed up and there is talk of his retirement. All the stupid media responsibilities, meeting up with stupid corporate sponsors, annoying fans, I mean, who the hell needs that? Isn't his own display of skill and speed on the track enough? Thats what he gets paid to do. Drive the car like the devil himself. And while he doesn't put on a fake smile at least he is honest unlike these young PR washed robo-drivers like Hamilton.

Why do these people think they own him? I completely sympathise as this just reeks of rampant American style NASCAR commercialism that fools like Joe Saward of keeps on preaching about. Hey this is racing. Its not supposed to wrestling sport entertainment. If thats what you want, then bloody well go watch stupid NASCAR where the good old boys will happily smile like idiots for "the show."

And note to Joe Saward, if you love NASCAR so much then bloody well write about NASCAR. I am really am so sick of reading about stupid theme parks, hamburgers and silly romance novels that you think are such fantastic ideas for grand prix racing. There is a cultural gulf between America and the rest of the world and guess what? We don't always care about, want or need American ideas. And what annoys me most is the increased American inspired commerical exploitation that is inevitably changing grand prix racing for the worse.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

More On KERS

From this article by the UK's Guardian:

"'It's nonsense,' said one team engineer. 'We're saving costs with the engines - which is fine. But some of the larger teams are reputedly spending $70m [£35.5m] on Kers in the hope that they will find a performance advantage. It means even the smallest teams have to look at spending between $5m-10m they don't have. One of the Kers systems uses batteries to store the energy. They cost £150,000 and would need to be thrown away after each race. Where's the sense in that? But we're stuck with it for as long as Mosley is in charge.'"

And we're trying to save costs right Max?

Strangely Familiar

So Max won the vote. Well I guess most of us expected such a thing despite many, many reasons (aside from dubious sex charges) to get rid of him. But whats interesting is the way he won. The big clubs that make up the membership of the FIA include the Amercian Autombile Association and the German auto club ADAC. The few big clubs together represent that vast majority of motorists (and presumably motorsport participants). And yet, each of these clubs get just one vote, the same as any other affiliate however tiny these are.

This of course led Bernie to a snipe at African clubs sending votes Max's way which has angered the African clubs. Well, the Africans can protest all they want but it still rings true. The smaller clubs (African or otherwise) need the FIA (or specifically Max) to send good things their way. Some of course, are hoping to receive or keep their grands prix and other motorsport and motoring events. And guess who they voted for?

All this sounds oddly like a certain presidential election eight years ago where because of the collegiate system caused the guy who got the majority of popular votes to lose and instead a complete moron and his cronies took charge of the world's most powerful armed forces to deadly consequences for 600,000 people (including his own) in the Middle East. All of course on some incredibly spurious reason that all of the rest of the world doubted but was sold and bought wholesale through the media by the moron's charges. So much for championing democracy. Its full of shit. I of course digress here but I just had to put that in.

As for what happens now to motor racing in all forms is anyone's guess.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Breaking It Down

Finally a really juicy item that perhaps should have long been revealed appears in this article on Pitpass. If anyone ever doubted the dictatorial style of the FIA geared towards financial and commercial gain, they should get their heads out of their asses and read the article.

The article recounts the events of the 1994 season when Benetton were facing disciplinary action from the World Council over alleged fixing of a fuel rig that lead to a huge fire in the pits during Jos Verstappen's fuel stop.

To simplify and summarise here's what the article alleges:

1. That the night before the World Council, Bernie Ecclestone invites Max Mosley (chairman of the Council which he supposedly undertook "in a completely neutral capacity") to meet a certain Mr George Carmen QC representing the Benetton team.

2. That Max Mosley helpfully advised Mr Carmen that the Benetton team should not point the finger at any member of the FIA in this affair (despite the fact that the FIA had approved of the rig modification and Benetton had proof of this).

3. That Max Mosley further advised the Benetton team to simply admit guilt and he would ensure that the charges would be mysteriously dropped. This way Benetton (and Schmumacher) can keep racing and the FIA don't look like idiots for allowing the rig modification that led to the fire.

4. That more than being a simple peacemaker, Bernie Ecclestone (also a member of the World Council) was there to safeguard his investments by ensuring that a certain German won that year because "it is possible to observe a correlation between the popularity of the Championship in the Federal Republic of Germany in recent years and Michael Schumacher's success in the Championship."

5. That in doing all of this, effectively buggered the championship of one Damon Hill because of course Damon Hill will not get a single cent out of the huge German market.

I am taken back to the words of Nigel Mansell who was brought in to race at Adelaide, the final championship deciding race in the 1994 season, where he, despite being quicker than the two protagonists (or so he claims), was told by "the powers" to stay out of their fight or else....

Manipulation in the name of commercial requirements is something that many have always suspected was very much at play at the FIA particularly where it involves Max and Bernie. I remember that back in 1989 many allege that Jean Marie Balestre stacked the cards in favour of his countryman Prost when brought on the ludicrous charge of dangerous driving on Ayrton Senna. Well, wrong as that was, at least he did it for his country. In the case of Max and Bernie, its all for almighty dollar.

Now, looking down the line and purely speculating, which team in Formula 1 has the biggest fanbase, the likes of which Formula One as a commercial entity can ill afford to lose? And how many times have we suspected that favour will always follow this team? Hmmm....

I am sure teams are not happy with the situation and surely would have known of the hanky panky over the years. But many team bosses (now unfortunately replaced by manufacturers) know of this but not being skilled at political machinations as Max, nor as commercially astute as Bernie, on whom they all relied upon for financial assistance, simply could not do anything about it.

Frank Williams and Patrick Head knows the deal but their existence depends on Formula 1 and they are wont to do anything about this. Ron Dennis and McLaren had other activities to keep them afloat. This makes him bolder in facing Max and Bernie, to the utmost chagrin of Max. Witch hunt? Vendetta? Words too small to describe Max attitude and objectives towards Ron.

Did anyone really believe that McLaren's "confession" was a genuine one? Of course not. It sounded like a cop out by McLaren to ensure that they could keep on racing.

It is reasons such as these that Max Mosley must go and the FIA restructured completely if they are to retain the credibility and relevance and not some stupid sex romp episode. But as I have said before, if the stupid sex romp gets rid of this bastard, then so be it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hey Look Over There

What a load of crap. I feel this is nothing more than a ruse between Ecclestone and Mosley to help Herr Max keep his throne. Once the FIA votes him to stay, then this will all magically go away.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

KERS Is Bullshit

By many accounts, KERS is primitive. And yet Herr Max is pushing as if it was the second coming. To me its just bullshit window dressing and the sad fact is many are buying into the hype.

The idea is that all energy spent under braking will be stored and released into electrical propulsion at the touch of a button. Limits will be placed of course and the use of this power boost will be restricted to once every lap. Quite how they will control this per lap I am none too sure.

Power boosts are nothing new. We have all seen it in Indycars and A1GP. However, as both these series have demonstrated its use by a driver wishing to overtake can simply be countered by the other driver defending the line by activating his own power boost. The sum total benefit of it amounts to bugger all. In fact, KERS is projected to release up to 10% more power to the wheels. So if we conjecture that the modern V8 produces 750 bhp, this releases around 75 bhp. Fat lot of good this will do. At Monaco for instance it bloody well makes no difference. And the same goes for a great majority of circuits as well. So much for the actual racing.

How about its possible contribution to road relevance? Luca Marmorini of Toyota, the makers of the best selling Prius hybrid, has flat out stated that it is a primitive device. One would imagine the Prius has far more sophisticated energy recovery systems. So you can chuck that in the bin. And as I have said many times, Formula 1 should be the pinnacle of racing technology. Let the boffins in the car labs handle the saving of the world.

Quite recently Max had said, in a letter to the FIA detailing why he should be allowed to stay on as FIA president, that costs in Formula 1 are skyrocketing. Well, does he really believe that the introduction of this technology will bring it down further? Thats even more bullshit. It surely will send costs flying even higher. The introduction of any new regulation and associated technology or technological development has a habit of doing this. Quite how one can believe Mosley's dream of containing costs is beyond me.

The only logical reason for having this technology introduced into Formula 1 is to create the illusion, the perception that the manufacturers and the sport cares about green issues, whilst the implementation itself does nothing for it. And why should a sport that has dedicated itself to being the pinnacle of the art and science of going fast care about these things? After all the teams care about only one thing. Winning. The rest is just total crap waste of time.

With enough press releases and press conferences with Max Mosley doing his level best to persuade the "casual fan" of its benefits, maybe these fools will start to believe it. And you know what? They probably will.

When all is said and done the manufacturers do care about the illusion if it helps them sells cars. And here it is, isn't it? The sport subsumed to the needs of the big manufacturers. And to one power mad prick who is all out to win glory for himself for supposedly doing the "right thing."

Monday, April 07, 2008

So Who Shall Take His Place?

Scanning the various news headlines on Google News, one gets the sense that Max Mosley's days are truly numbered. Alongside the largest automobile clubs, now former world champions are calling for Mosley's head in a basket. A source for the London's Daily Telegraph has described Mosley as being inflicted by a "deepening madness." Err... I think he has always been more than a little mad and don't we all know this.

Sir Jackie Stewart has made some interesting comments as to the sort of person who should be running the FIA post-Max. Sir Jackie thinks that this should be a person from outside the sport. Someone with a flair for economics and business, a CEO type of character.

Whilst Sir Jackie is not proposing that he take over the FIA, nevertheless his comments have its pros and cons. On one hand, he speaks wisely that this cannot be an ex team principle. Jean Todt for instance has been touted as a Max replacement. Dear Lord, what a dreadful error that would be. Formula 1 would be more of a Ferrari benefit than it already is. No, Mosley's replacement must be a neutral party.

On the other hand, I wonder if someone from outside the sport can truly appreciate motorsport's true essence. The very qualities that have had fans on the edge of their seats for years. Or will an outsider continue Max Mosley's vision of making it more appealing to the "casual viewer," possibly to the detriment of the sport in the long term.

One must ask whether racing as a whole and Formula 1 specifically will continue as a sport or as an unashamed commercial enterprise like wrestling or NASCAR. Some folks (like those at would love it. I think die hard fans would feel rather disgusted by it all, as increasingly evident all over the internet.

Above all though, I feel Mosley's replacement must stand for justice and transparency in his or her decisions and this person should not be afraid to go head to head against that other irrelevant dinosaur named Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari. He or she should also be tough enough to stand up to the other team principles who, being competitive sort of folk require a firm hand in dealing with them. Someone who can make firm decisions and yet not be a dictating tyrant.

The choice for FIA replacement is a crucial one, not only for the sport but for motoring in general. And the choice will not be an easy one. Personally I really cannot think of anyone I'd rather see. I wish the best of luck to whoever steps up to the plate.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The List Grows

Up until now, three motoring federations have joined the four manufacturers in condemning Max Mosley over his expose. These are the ADAC (Germany), the Dutch Federation and the FIA's biggest member club the American Automobile Association.

Max Mosley in the meantime is taking legal action against The News Of The World claiming a invasion of privacy and suing for unlimited damages. As Pitpass notes, he has not sued for libel. And neither has Max Mosley denied these acts. But this is really his private matter.

What isn't private is the fact that the FIA member clubs are beginning to distance themselves from the FIA president. Regardless of whether or not this is a private and personal matter (and the clubs feel that it isn't) the fact is the members want him out. And when leaders are no longer wanted by those who are in their charge then it really is time for them to leave.

If he stays on or even attempts to do so, he will have proven beyond any resonable doubt a fact that true racing fans have long known. That he is a power lusting political animal whose time is long past. And he will do whatever it takes to stay in power.

Max Mosley claims that he is being setup. According to this PlanetF1 article, he is reportedly claiming that this is some sort of plot by McLaren to bring him down. Even Bernie Ecclestone thinks so. But most surprisingly, even Dr. Mario Thiessen agrees that this could be some sort of trap.

Trap or no trap, the fact is he got exposed. And Max is not denying these acts. Its highly unfortunate for him because I think everyone has their own sexual fantasies. Anyone who denies having them is a bloody liar. However, its one thing having fantasies played out with a lover in private. Its another thing when this allegedly involves 5 hookers and gets aired in public. It shocks the hypocrites in the public.

The member clubs and the manufacturers (who guard their corporate image like crown jewels) want that most mythical person as the head of the FIA, the squeaky clean person. Irregardless of whether head of corporations are also known to indulge in lewd acts, in this case Max got caught and this is the mistake he has made.

And so, according to the rules defined by the hypocritically prudish, Max must go. To be honest, had Max been a good FIA president, I would be defending him all the way. But I hate his guts for the things he has done. Sorry Max. Time for you to leave.

Oh and Max... Whilst I see Bernie attempting to defend you, I still do not see your friends at Ferrari and Flavio Briatore coming to your aid despite your favours to them, especially to Ferrari, all these years. And now they are rats on a sinking ship.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Fair Condemnation?

Joint statements from Mercedes and BMW here.

Statement from Toyota here.

Statement from Honda here.

Ordinarily I'd sympathise with anyone who falls under this sort of scrutiny. But not this guy and not this time.

To be fair though and as this article in Pitpass mentions, there are no signs of any Nazi themes in the YouTube video. In fact, I thought the whole thing was bloody hilarious. I mean come on... the whole play acting was so elaborate and it just reminded me of a bad porno flick from the 70s. But then again, the YouTube clip was a minute and a half long. Lord knows what happened in the full 5 hours.

For years Max has been throwing around spurious and unfair accusations culminating in the whole McLaren affair. And now its his turn to receive unfair treatment. Do I care? Not a bit. In fact, I'm loving every moment of it.

But interestingly enough, no statements from either Max's friends at Ferrari or Renault just yet. And don't we all know why right? Luca and Jean! Say something. After all these years Max has been helping you guys out. Its time to return the favour mateys. Flavio! Surely you understand the fun of a little rompy pompy with the ladies right? You were there when Max received the honorary legion award from the French. Why aren't you at his side defending him now?

In all of this, there was one interesting conspiracy theory I read the other day. It was actually a comment in a F1Fanatic article. It goes something like this. News Of The World, The Times, Sky News and ITV are all entities associated with News Corporation controlled by one Rupert Murdoch. Well, recently ITV lost F1 rights to the BBC. In addition, Martin Brundle both of ITV and The Sunday times is being brought to court by the FIA over his "witch hunt" article last year. Therefore, this is retaliation by News Corp against Max and by association the FIA, the FOM and Bernie. Some payback huh?

All this is just so funny.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sport In Disrepute?

Interesting article on Max Mosley and his family is published in the UK's Independent newspaper today. But as the article concludes and as Max himself has said, Max is here to stay. Interesting isn't it? An apology is apparently sufficient for the head of the FIA. Contrast to that with the embattled Finnish minister fired over erotic text messages. But then he ain't the boss, is he?

However, its interesting to note that FIA presidents seem to have rather chequered pasts. Take Jean Marie Balestre, loathed by many but to a far lesser extent than Max. He too, apparently, allied himself with Vichy France during World War II. It seems that the FIA have a knack for Facist leaders. No wonder they keep infuriating everybody.

Max likes to throw the catch all regulation about bringing the sport to disrepute at people from time to time, such as in last year's spy scandal (and really whenever it suited his purpose). Any chance that anyone is clever enough to twist this current episode as to somehow potray Max himself as bringing the sport to disrepute?

Yes, I know I'm clutching at straws. But I am not alone I think in wanting to see this bastard leave the FIA for good! But what are the alternatives to Max? Jean Todt? A motor racing man to be sure and one who perhaps understands it far better than the stupid lawyer currently at the helm. But god, that wouldn't put the Ferrari International Assistance out of existence now, would it? Far from it.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Well Well Max

Ordinarily I couldn't give a damn about people's sexual preferences and indulgences, especially when it comes to leaders. My stand has always been that if leaders do their jobs and do it well, then if they wanted to have some fun on the side, either with their official partners or whoever consents then so be it. I guess they are entitled.

I mean take JFK or in recent history Bill Clinton. Neither men are perfect but as far as leadership is concerned and in the balance of things, both men have done well. So what if one had a preference for blonds or the other decided to get head from an intern. They did well leading their country. And yet when Bill's indiscretion became public knowledge outrage struck the media and American public. He lied they said and they would have his head. But really, thats his personal life and should remain private to him.

On the other hand, here's Max, now himself embroiled in a seedy Nazi themed sex orgy, as alleged by the News Of The World. To be fair, the News Of The World is not your most credible of newspapers. However, if this episode leads to the dismissal of Mosley, then I am all for it. For unlike some, his actions (in concert with his cohorts) have changed Formula 1 in particular and motor racing in general for worse, in his pampering to greed and business, rather than spirit and sport. As I said, ordinarily I couldn't care less. But if this can get rid of him, then lets have more of it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nuff Said

From this PlanetF1 article :

".....[Massa's] race-ending spin was the result of driver error. It may not have been related to the absence of traction control, however. It's just as likely that it was the consequence of mental turmoil and an unstable union between the determination to keep pace with Raikkonen and the actual ability to do so."

And the annoying little twerp himself admitted his error as reported by here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bio-Fuels, Environment And Racing

Far more serious than the Hamil-shit abuse headlines is the serious threat of global warming that is facing our planet. And first off, let me start by saying that unlike some bloggers, I actually believe that global warming is a huge threat. Some people may say that scientists have been crying wolf about a whole range of environmental issues in the past (remember that one about the next ice age), well in this case even if you can understand the statistical data about this issue, surely you can feel the effects daily.

I remember flying over Greenland once during a flight from London to Los Angeles. It was July and I remember looking at the all-white landscape. Apparently, there is no more ice in Greenland in summer these days. Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting and causing floods. Increased Hurricane and Typhoon activities. Not to mention the Monsoons in South East Asia growing in ferocity and frequency. If you still can't see it then you're as delusional as that idiot sitting in the White House.

So, global warming and the environment being the zeitgeist, Mad Max and by extension, the FIA are getting in on the act. Bio-fuels are set to make its debut sometime after 2011 in Formula 1 to prop up its image as some kind of happy chirpy green friendly activity. I'm a racing fan and I'm concerned about the environment but there is no fucking way that I think Formula 1 should be a green activity. Some sense of fun should remain and these are not necessarily green.

Witness also Audi and Peugeot entering diesel powered cars and winning in Le Mans. Turbo diesels are also slowly entering the touring car championships. Slowly, these oil burners will include greater bio-mass (is that the right term) content.

To me, the argument for bio-fuels have always been spurious. Given the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere, shouldn't we be working to reduce it? The argument for bio-fuels is that since it is derives from plants this ensures that carbon released from the burning of these fuels are offset by the carbon they absorb whilst still alive. As far as I can make it, this just keeps carbon levels constant. Does it really reduce (as we should be doing) the amount of carbon in the air?

And now some scientists are saying that bio-fuels are making things even worse. They argue that the process of producing these bio-fuels causes its own emissions. In addition, croplands scrubs off far less carbon from the atmosphere than the rain forests (and scrublands) that they replace. All in all, this results in a worsening situation. Well duh, isn't that obvious in the first place?

Here in Malaysia, I am driven to tears every single time I see large swathes of rain forest being cut down to be exported for timber then replaced by palm oil plantations raised to meet the expected demand for yet more bio-fuels. Worse still are rain forests cut down for the sake for property development by "developers." Sure, developers great at developing cronies bank balances. And folks at the FIA are hoping to drive forward these destructive activities by making Formula 1 a showcase.

And yet, there is an alternative. It lies with the first element in the periodic table, the first that came into existence merely milliseconds after the Big Bang that created our universe. Yes, folks, it lies with that simplest of atoms, hydrogen. High school chemistry teaches us that the combustion of this element produces a by product. Namely, H20 or plain water to you and me. Why isn't this being touted as the future of our energy needs?

Oi, wake up. Hydrogen being the simplest of atoms is also the most common in the universe. We are made of bloody hydrogen. The stars run on these. The universe is filled with it. There are clouds of it (some of which are light years in size) in and around our galaxy and throughout the universe. Sea water is made of it. Here's the greatest of all things: WE CAN NEVER RUN OUT OF HYDROGEN! Never, never, ever! It is literally impossible to run out of it. Why are we still fighting wars over fossil fuels when all the world's energy needs can be met by these?

Somehow, the car manufacturers and others have been creating this popular perception that hydrogen means running cars on expensive fuels cells and vacuum cleaner like electric motors. Bullshit. BMW have already proven that ordinary petrol engines like the kind you and I use today can easily (and cost effectively) be converted to burn hydrogen. Yes, even the very engine you use to make the school and office run can be converted. Today.

Imagine that. Your 20 year old car converted to run on the most common element in the universe. Would you ever need to worry about fuel consumption? And since it exhausts water, would you ever need to worry about the environment? The answer to both is hell no. You would rev your high performance VTEC engine to the redline every single time. In fact, there wouldn't be any need for "economy" vehicles. Every single car on the road can be a high performance car. How great would that be right? Second hand car prices would rise enormously as people discover that these can still be used perhaps for ages to come.

Yes, I know the current problems. The hydrogen storage is a problem since it needs to be in liquid form. The production of hydrogen right now is still relatively inefficient and in many cases still rely on fossil fuels. But a start needs to be made. And eventually, we will all need to be running on hydrogen for the good of the planet and future generations.

So why doesn't Formula 1 take the lead right now? Why the need for stupid turbo diesel engines? Fuel storage? Come on what a lame excuse. Once upon a time (throughout the 80s and early 90s), teams had to deal with some seriously hazardous "rocket fuel" that powered Formula 1 engines. I am certain processes and technologies have advanced leaps and bounds since then to make the handling of liquid hydrogen safer.

If Mad Max Mosley really wants to project a green image (and a more practical one at that) then he should really consider hydrogen fuels. Kinetic energy recovery systems, bio-fuels are strictly temporary measures that will not solve the atmospheric problems of the planet. For a true and permanent solution, a quantum leap is required. And there already exists one that can make use of current vehicle and engine technologies.

Racism And Amusement

The Hamil-shit has been making headlines once again. Hasn't the world had enough of this idiot? And as you probably know he invades the headlines once more because some people somewhere decided he is a victim of racist abuse.

Before I launch into that, let me just say that as an South East Asian who lived in England for many years, I too, did suffer my fair share of racist abuse. This can range from looks of discrimination or in one case of a drunk dumb-ass white trash Geordie being called a fucking stinking chop suey whilst simply minding my own business. Yes, some white folk can be fucking assholes but hey, these are not exclusive to caucasians. I have to admit, that lots of Asians are bloody racists as well. And as I have emphasised, I said some.

The point of course is that no matter what race or colour there will be assholes among them. Prior to the so-called "racial abuse" in Valencia in the past weeks, there were some amusing banners floating about in the stands. My personal favourite read something like: Hey Hamilton, does daddy still help you pee? Personally, I think his father still does.

But now along comes another bunch of fans making sweeping statements about Hamil-shit and more seriously, his ilk. To me, comments specifically targetted at a person is fair enough. Sweeping statements about the person's race or colour, bete noir.

And this now spoils the whole thing doesn't it? Now, every single "abusive" (though enormously funny) comments about this punk will be viewed as some sort of racial abuse. You can bet the partisan British press and the McLaren Mercedes PR machine will make it so.

And I get the feeling that the FIA themselves are not comfortable with their little darling (who they hope can banked upon to promote their precious Formula 1 around the world) the butt of jokes (whether these be racist in nature or otherwise). And the knee jerk reaction now will be a crackdown on all banners that do not read "I love Hamilton."

Today's headlines reports of racial abuse leading back to Shanghai last year. This is reported by none other than Hamil-shit's father (who else?). But will anyone dare to make amusing comments about this?