Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indianapolis Is Dead to F1 !

Whose fault is that?

Blame these two:

F1 mogul and the guy who makes all the really big decisions Bernie Ecclestone has made a point of repeatedly saying that F1 does not need to have the USA on it's calendar.

He's been talking to Indianapolis Motor Speedway head honcho Tony George about the venue's place in the coming years and things have not been going well.

Ecclestone's assertions that F1 does not need a US event are of course complete BS!

Not only do the sponsors need and want presence in the US market but a number of team owners like Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Honda, Toyota and even Renault have a BIG stake in their exposure in the US market. Not to mention the engineering firms like McLaren and Williams who sell their services and high tech expertise globally!

Beside the fact that The Indy F1 draws the largest event crowds of the entire circuit and that the TV audience is the largest for this race, everyone involved in F1 benefits from having Indy on the race schedule.

What Ecclestone really does not need or want is Tony George!

There was enough friction between the two giant egos from the start but business took precedence over personality at first. That started to go away as George saw bigger dollars than anticipated from the event and the F1 relationship and Ecclestone reacting badly to escalating demands for cash and control over the event. Along with George's moaning about a lack of American Teams and Drivers there was ongoing argument over sponsors rights and US regulation of certain types of promotion.

The straw that broke the camels back was the fiasco in 2005 where all the Michelin tyred teams quit the race before the start. The repercussions of that still reverberate in motorsport and continue to leave a bad taste in the mouth of Tony George who gave refunds and free tickets to tens of thousands of race fans. Not to mention the bad taste in the mouth of those fans. Ecclestone's complete failure to deal with the aftermath of that also contributed to the ongoing friction and ended up with Michelin removing themselves from the business of supplying tires to F1 teams.

So that was the beginning of the end! 2006 saw the return of F1 to Indy under the cloud of that boondoggle ( remember that TG had already bought and paid for 20,000 tickets for 06 to placate offended fans ) and was such a success that nobody could sanely argue against continuing for 07! But that is where the sanity ends along with the legal obligations of course.

There is no other venue in the US that can generate the interest that Indy does so Bernie Ecclestone's blather about possible street races in NYC or Las Vegas are just feeble attempts to brush off criticism and questions from the media and F1 fans.

So American motor racing fans can thank or blame Tony George for losing F1 and he surely deserves some of the credit. But the real problem is that Bernie Ecclestone does not give a crap about the sport or the teams that build cars and compete.

With Ecclestone's megalomania reaching new heights in a growing world market where third world despots and totalitarian governments of emerging nations are willing to bankroll the construction of brand new state of the art racetracks that are purpose built to accommodate the F1 cars and the vision of global TV audiences in numbers nearing the billions he is prepared to reshape the sport into something that no longer has any relation to sport. Ecclestone does not need the US market and he especially does not need Tony George!

Nope! I think the reality is that F1 fans really don't need Bernie Ecclestone.

He will be the death of the sport.


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Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya Ommag..aint it grand how egos and money make the biggest decisions in this twisted world of ours..sheesh~! :)

7/12/2007 2:06 p.m.  
Blogger PGP said...

F1 fans really don't need Bernie Ecclestone I'm afraid he has destroyed F1 as a sport!

7/16/2007 1:42 p.m.  

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