There is a mix-and-match lot of news kicking around today with nothing really unexpected, nor very interesting. The idea of a Grand Prix in Greece has been kicking around for the best part of 15 years and has never got beyond the chattering stage. The whole thing is daft when you look at it in relation to the economics of the country. The big news about Greece in the real world is that the country’s economy is now shrinking at its slowest rate in nearly six years, according to the latest official figures. One can read this to be an improvement from an economy in free-fall but the economy is still in deficit and no sensible politician is going to provide funding for a Grand Prix until other things are sorted. Since the crisis of 2008 the Greek economy has shrunk by around 25 percent, largely because of drastic spending cuts and tax hikes required by the country’s creditors. Grands Prix are luxury items and they don’t get purchased when there is no money available.
Elsewhere, Martin Whitmarsh and McLaren have finally agreed on a settlement nine months after their relationship ended. The problem was not financial but rather with regard to what Whitmarsh could or could not do in terms of future employment. It was harsh business clearly designed to keep Martin off the job market but the passage of time has dulled the bloody-minded approach in Woking. It is doubtful it has dulled Martin’s abilities. Having plenty of holiday has probably made him a stronger overall package. Martin’s knowledge of the sport and his experience make him a man of great value for a team owner with the foresight to pick him, although the unstitching of McLaren’s “matrix management” that is currently going on is a sign that such approaches may work in other industries, but they definitely don’t work in F1.
The only other point of note is the FIA saying it will not get involved in the Rosberg-Hamilton business . This is to be expected with the FIA at the moment, which seems to be frightened of its own shadow in F1 terms. There is a clear difference between “flying under the radar” and doing nothing at all. In my view it is absolutely wrong for a regulator to not even investigate the matter. To try to argue that ”a comment alleged to have been made in an internal briefing and later denied by the team itself” does not warrant an investigation is to my mind an abdication of the governing body’s responsibilities to ensure fair play in the sport. Lewis Hamilton’s World Championship ambitions were materially affected by a move by his primary rival that was later claimed to have been deliberate. To do nothing simply underlines that the FIA is failing to do its job properly. The fact that race officials did not investigate the incident at the time was bad enough, and incomprehensible to many observers at Spa. One can only assume that the FIA is now trying to hide behind this blather because it would be embarrassing to put a spotlight on the initial failure.
This is typical of the murine attitudes of the current leadership and the failure of the people around the leadership to weigh in and point out the damage being done.
I am led to the sad conclusion that I care more about the institution that they represent than they do…