News and views on motorsports

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.

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