Franz Tost is not necessarily a great strategic thinker, indeed I have heard him described in a number of less than complimentary terms than “team principal” over the years. Still, one man’s bag carrier is another man’s legend. Anyway, when asked about whether F1 should go to Azerbaijan, Tost went into the usual spiel about how sport transcends politics and all is well in Cloudcuckooland. This is, of course, unadulterated tosh. Sport does not operate above politics, it is either used by politicians or not, depending on whether or not the sport is willing to sell itself to the highest bidder. The only people who try to make out that sport can solve problems are those with a vested interest. Tost was then asked if he felt it was right that accredited journalists should be denied visas on political grounds, as happened at the recent European Games in Baku.
“There must be a reason why the visa was denied,” he said. “I don’t know the background.”
The second part of this sentence was bang on the money, the first part showed that if one does not know what one is talking about it, it is best not to say anything, as one can end up looking ignorant.
“To be honest, I don’t care about this,” he said. “We go there, we race there and that’s it. It’s your problem how you get the visa.”
I have always believed that it is best that the teams and the media have respect for one another. We are all in this together and whether the sport likes it or not, it is the media that has created F1’s marketing power. I wonder if the people at Monster Energy’s rival understand that the media does not always need to be nice to those who lack understanding, charm and respect.
So, Franz, how shall I put it? We don’t care if your cars blow up or if you completely fail to meet the lofty ambitions you talked about at the start of the year.
That’s your problem – but we will remind everyone of it.