News and views on motorsports

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

While Max Appeases, Bernie Threatens

Well, seems like we're looking at some role reversals here. It usually Mad Max who brandishes the iron rod, whilst Bernie Ecclestone becomes the calm voice of compromise and reason. But now its Ecclestone thats pulling the threats to the FOTA teams. In this article in Autosport, he warns the teams that any attempt to organise a breakaway series will be met with stern action.

He warns the teams to stay away from sponsors, venues, television broadcasters lest they face punitive action in the courts. But I like this statement: 

"That money flows back to the teams and they spend it. It would be different when they have to provide all the venues, hire their own race people, find their own television companies – and we have the best – and promote it."

Err Bernie, I think we're all smarter than that. Some of the money flows back to the teams. Collectively we know its 50% to all teams. Then the rest is in all but legal form, stolen for you and those dogs at CVC.

As for having the best broadcasters, well many, many folk will take issue to that. In Malaysia, if we want to catch the European races live, then the only option is Star Sports (which is basically Sky Sports in the UK and elsewhere). If you thought that James Allen was piss poor you should hear the morons they have commentating. And whilst the BBC broadcast provides roaming reporters who provide inside updates from the teams, those idiots at Star Sports are absolutely clueless. Long after you can spot whats happening from the timings provided by, they're still mumbling inane blabber on the mike. Really, the only star in current available broadcasts is Martin Brundle and I think the FIA would not mind if he left after his scathing remarks in an article in the Times last year. So thats a bit of nonsense from Bernie right there.

Even more silliness comes from Bernie when he says: "As for the drivers, they want to win the FIA F1 world championship or some of them would be elsewhere getting more money to win a title that means less. I don't think they will get a series going."

Clearly in contradiction to statements made by the likes  Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Filipe Massa, Jarno Trulli and Mark Webber. I think a driver is interested in racing in the best series no matter what its called. Nothing like some good mis-information to really confuse the casual viewers and sponsors there eh Bernie?

And finally nothing like telling the teams its all their fault with this little gem: "The teams had a chance to sign the 1998 Concorde Agreement which would have protected them from Max's technical changes, but they said no.

Thanks for pointing that out. And therefore now Bernie thinks they should commit another mistake by signing up for Max's ridiculous new rules. 

Poor Bernie. He's really so desperate now that his accounting skills seem to be affected. He warns the teams, particularly the manufacturers that their board members won't be best pleased with them spending money to set up a new series. Well Bernie, any bean counter worth his salt would argue the equation is more complicated than that. Its all about net gains. If the net gain to be had from starting a new series outweighs the net gains from joining the FIA series, guess which one the bean counter would recommend. Particularly since if they ran their own series the teams would be entitled to 100% of the commercial revenues rather than the 50% handout they receive now. Add to this, the costs of Max Mosley's constant rule changes that would now be saved by some stable rules, then you get the true picture.

I follow MotoGP from time to time. I must say, entertainment-wise on average year on year it beats F1 hands down. I just happen to prefer cars to bikes which is why I follow F1 more closely. But the rules in MotoGP are determined by the teams not by the FIM, the governing body for motorcycle racing. And look how spectacular it turns out to be. And to this end FOTA have contacted Dorna Sports SL, the MotoGP organisers to possibly run the new series. I can think of no better group of people. 

Ironically, Dorna is or was owned by CVC. After buying up the commercial rights to F1 they have had to dispose of their holdings in Dorna. If they haven't already, they most certainly will be required to by EU anti-trust regulations. What a great way of getting rid of the CVC cancer and sticking their commercial rights up their arses.

Bernie and Max's defence of their position is looking increasingly desperate. Upon examination, their arguments sound increasingly senseless. I hope FOTA are not buying the absurdity Max and Bernie are selling. Come on guys, have a backbone for a change. Just do a breakaway series already. 

No comments: