News and views on motorsports

Friday, June 19, 2009

So They DO Have The Minerals

I woke up happy this morning. Still in a slumber I stumbled straight to the laptop and lo and behold. A new breakaway series was announced. My eyes lit wide, I thought I was dreaming. I had been fully expecting the teams to cave in to Mosley's demands. They always do. But as I stated in my last post, there was just no way they would sign up to race under a set of regulations that as it stood today, would allow the FIA to walk all over them.

Simply put: The FIA want the teams to sign up unconditionally and then a satisfactory governance structure would be put in place (or so the FIA says). This even though an unconditional entry would mean they are obligated to race without proper governance and the FIA would under the entry be under no obligation to change such structures.

The teams on the other hand wanted such governance structure in place before signing up. As well they should. I mean how could you trust the FIA president who could at any point after the signature change his mind and decide any which way simply on his whims? The teams would be negligent in their duties to safeguard their operations if they did so. Yet, that is what Max was asking him to do.

Speaking of governance, here's what the FIA had to say:

"Formula One needs a strong and impartial regulator because of the nature of the sport, the high stakes and the competitors - people who want to win (literally) at any cost."

This is true but over the years the FIA have not been impartial in dispatching its duties as a regulator. Furthermore, strong arm tactics as deployed by Mosley and the FIA do not consititute strength. Its bullying and that is not good nor fair governance.

"Good governance does not mean that Ferrari should govern. "

Huh? Thats pure smoke and mirrors to confuse the public. FOTA are not suggesting that Ferrari govern the sport. In fact, through the veto, this was something the FIA had in a way allowed Ferrari to do. As many commentators point out, this is not sporting and certainly would not be allowed in other sports. Who let Ferrari have the veto? Why, it was the FIA and further demonstrates how dubious and facetious their governance has been.

"Ferrari now claim that the procedures followed by the FIA are contrary to their agreement with the FIA, but in reality they never objected to these procedures (indeed they voted for them)..... "

Again, more finger pointing to Ferrari and more distractions. The fact is the FIA have failed to demonstrate in this or any other statement, how great and how well their current governance structure is or ever has been. Pointing to Ferrari's failures in fact incriminate the FIA and provides more evidence of their mismanagement.

".....until they were not happy with the decisions themselves. Ferrari has been officially (as well as unofficially) represented on the WMSC since 1981 and never objected to the process or decisions until April and May this year"

So you have actually allowed them special privileges this long and let them get away with it? Again, how does this prove the FIA's ability to properly govern Formula 1?

And on the subject of commercial revenues, the FIA only claim that the teams wish "to expropriate the commercial rights for itself" Even if they did, so what? They deserve it. As it is, the FOM have for years denied the proper share of revenues to the teams. Bernie Ecclestone, that crook, who was supposed to look after these rights on behalf of the teams, took all of it for himself and up until a few years ago, gave only 25% of the revenues back to the teams. Most of which went to Ferrari.

So now, without waiting any further the teams have announced their own breakaway championship. Will they really go through this? Max doesn't think so. Well, he would wouldn't he?

Make no mistake, the FIA and FOM are losing a lot here. What I am surprised to see is that the FIA, instead of trying to make ammends actually came out with the hideous press release and following the breakaway announcement have announced plans to sue FOTA for trying to organise their own series. I mean, thats a helluva way to make peace and attract these teams back to the FIA championship. Whilst FOTA attempted a compromise with the FIA, the FIA have so far only responded with hostility, typical of tyrants and despots.

So what would a breakaway championship look like? Much the same as now I would imagine, for now. I should think in order to provide stability and therein save costs, they would probably adopt this year's rules. And really, that is fine by me.

Circuits are plentiful and much as I would miss seeing the FOTA teams in Malaysia (assuming they can't get to or won't race in Sepang) nevertheless I am glad they'll be pulling out of hideous places like Bahrain and this new stupid Abu Dhabi circuit. Hopefully, they'll never arrive in India, too. Bernie can have his race among the impoverished on the streets.

Here's where I hope they'll do races: Imola, Magny Cours, Estoril, Sachsenring or the Nurburgring (where else in Germany?), Indianapolis, Montreal, Jacarepagua, Suzuka (of course!), Spa (its a must, they somehow must get this one), Silverstone (the drivers admittedly love this one and having driven on it, so do I), Brands Hatch, Portero de los Funes (wishful), Jerez, Adelaide (always fun over there), A1-Ring (I wish it was still the Oesterreichring), Monza or Mugello, Hermanos Rodriguez and Kyalami to name a few. There, enough venues to make a nice 16-17 race championship. Its a pity Bernie owns Paul Ricard in France but that would have been a fantastic venue to be in as well.

I was always a believer in a breakaway championship having written about the possibility even back in the cowardly GPMA days. There will be difficulties but there is nothing to fear. FOTA will have the best teams and the best drivers. They will have the choice of visiting all the classic fast and challenging circuits I grew up watching in front of passionate fans who really care about the sport rather than silly Arab circuits full of sand.

And what of attracting new, independent teams? Well, if only they would relax the customer car rules, there could be more of them particularly with a more equitable distribution of the commercial revenues of the sport. Its interesting to note that poor N Technology have withdrawn their application to enter the FIA championship based on the fact that the manufacturers will not be present. How much longer before the rest do the same and leave the FIA with nothing?

What have the FIA championship got? Has-been Williams and wannabe Force India. And a whole bunch of teams unheard of. Where will they find the sponsorship to finance their racing? I find it hard that all of them will successfully procure the necessary funds.

For now, we should not get too excited. Lets see what happens. With Brawn still insisting on negotiating with the FIA and Bernie yet to play his hand, things could still change. I do hope though the breakaway series does happen and we can get rid of tyrants like Max and parasites like CVC and Bernie.

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