Thanksgiving?

This week will see Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States. It is a national holiday which dates back to the Pilgrim Fathers, who gave thanks for their first harvest and the good things that had happened to them in the previous 12 months. Although rooted in religion, Thanksgiving has long been a secular tradition, part of modern American culture and, in truth, it is not very different to the Harvest Festivals of old England, which were traditionally held in September, on the nearest Sunday to the autumn equinox.

I have always felt thanksgiving was a good idea, not for any religious reason, nor indeed because it is a chance to have a party, but simply because it never does any harm to take a moment to stop and look back and assess whether one is making progress, going round in circles, or getting it very wrong.

So let’s give it a try with Formula 1 at the moment.

Some believe that F1 is in a right mess at the moment. The TV figures are not doing well, sponsors are hard to find, fans are fed up with ticket prices and, in many cases, having to pay for TV coverage. On the upside, the sport is making more money than ever, even if this means visiting places that are strategically irrelevant, while failing to make much of an impact in the most lucrative markets. In addition, far too much money is being plucked straight out of the sport by the commercial rights holder, which is viewed by many as being little more than a company that is asset-stripping the sport and loading it with debt. The FIA is powerless and the teams are split, as ever. No-one has a fix for the problems because of the contractual arrangements that are in place.

Many fans believe that profiteers such as CVC Capital Partners should not be involved in sport because the money that the sport raises should be ploughed back into it, to help support international growth and promising young drivers and for investment in the future. CVC Capital Partners does not care about that. It is involved simply to rip as much money as possible out of the sport, without actually killing it. Small wonder they are so despised in the business. This rubs off on Bernie Ecclestone because he was the one who allowed the foxes into the chicken coop. He remains the pay-master of the sport, but his inability to fix the problems has weakened him in political terms. With the FIA having sold its right to regulate F1 (which is scandalous) all the federation can do with try to ally with Ecclestone to out-vote the teams. The problem is that the regulator and the governing body have different goals and so it is an uncomfortable alliance. The teams, inevitably, are divided because the system favours the bigger operations and they do not care a jot about the little teams. The big teams are greedy. They want the technology that F1 brings them but they also want the promotion for free and they want to squeeze as much money as possible from their customers within the business. It is a short-sighted approach, but they have the power at the moment because they supply the majority of the teams and have the Ferrari veto to stop changes they do not like.

Yes, it is a mess.

Ecclestone and the FIA have currently got together in a fairly unholy alliance in an effort to push through an alternative engine proposal. They are pretending that this is about reducing the prices of the engines, but it fairly clear that it is about power and trying to break the manufacturers’ current influence. As everyone involved appears to understand the motives behind the move, it seems to be a fairly pointless and rather counter-productive strategy. And it adds to the impression that the sport is run by people without vision beyond the end of their own noses, who are fighting amongst themselves while the sport drifts rudderless at a time when leadership and forward-thinking are clearly required.

The manufacturers do not need the money, nor do they gain a great deal from not reducing their prices. They could, for example, agree to a lower price and claim the moral high ground, while at the same time maintaining their current position of power.That would checkmate the others. Fighting the proposals will end up in a fight over whether or not Ferrari has the right to veto the new rules, which will end up in court for years and be a completely useless argument. It is hard to know who will win because all the documents involved are secret. This fact adds to the image that the sport is anything but transparent. This is not helpful and, whether he likes it or not, Bernie Ecclestone’s adventures in various courtrooms have not helped either. F1 has the opportunity to portray itself as a clean and transparent business at a time when all sports administration is under intense scrutiny.

The irony of all this is that the FIA is arguing for an engine formula that it does not want and which will drive manufacturers away, as they are not willing to allow their success to be dependent on an equivalency formula over which they have no control, as this is clearly something that could be manipulated or incompetently managed. It would be much better if the FIA and the manufacturers could agree on a sensible future for the sport and drive the sport in that direction.

Those with any experience in these matters know that what is required to make F1 more competitive at the moment is not an artificial equivalency formula, but rather time, to allow the rival companies to catch up with Mercedes. Technology always tends to spread quickly in the motorsport world and at the same time the rate of development slows. This means that new engine companies can enter the sport without needing anything like the same level of investment as the pioneers required. They are currently getting the benefit of their early investment, but the sanest thing for F1 to do, is to stick with its hybrid strategy and extend the formula for another five years to 2025, in order to provide the stability that is required for more manufacturers to want to be involved.

The issue of noise is far less important than some think. What fans want is good racing and reasonably-priced tickets and not to have pay premium prices to watch the sport on TV. There is also need for social media engagement and a solid strategy to try to attract the younger generations. This requires younger and more open minds than those who rule the sport at the moment. It also requires investment, a concept that CVC Capital Partners does not seem to understand at all.

So, there you have it. No turkey for F1 this year. There is not much to be thankful for at the moment…

74 thoughts on “Thanksgiving?

  1. If the ACO and the other powers agreed that LMP1 cars would use the core of the F1 power units, maybe with certain permitted modifications to increase their life, could that spread the cost base for the power unit manufacturers and attract further manufacturers into both F1 or LMP1? At the same time, I think it might be an idea to encourage wider innovation, if the F1 engine regulations were changed from V6 only ICE to be cylinder free but still 1.6L, so that you could have everything from a V4 (Porsche) to a V10 (TBA). That might solve the noise problem as well or at least vary it. Also widen the permitted fuels to include diesel with a higher capacity limit for the ICE but very strict emission controls. Thinking how the current engine designers have done such an incredible job by raising the thermal efficiency of the F1 power plants up to not far short of 50%, surely a similar level of expertise and commitment could solve the diesel NO and particulate problem. Everyone wins.

    1. Sorry but didn’t the FIA/ACO do/try this previously in the late early/early 90s (resulting in the fantastic Ross Brawn Jaguar XJR14) but ultimately leading to the implosion of the WEC at the time…?

      With the WEC in rude health at the moment (And as an aside congratulations to Mark Webber, Brandon Hartley and Timo Bernard on being World Champions…) and rivaling F1 perhaps the FIA/FOM may just do this after all….

      1. I would rather think that it encouraged Peugeot to develop their 905 into the 905B, which was a match for Jaguar. When the XJR14 then went to the USA, it also made Nissan and Toyota raise their game and they ended up beating the Jaguar. All car manufacturers you note, which is exactly what I would like to see happening in F1.

          1. He was really clever killing off the World Touring Car Championship in the late 80s as well. Just before the season started, he demanded an entry fee to be paid by the teams to be eligible for the championship, which quickly ruled out non-manufacturer entities. They could race for kicks, but that was it.

            I would gladly share the story of the first race, the Monza 500k race, it was as crazy politically as on might think, but I believe Joe isn’t really fond of links.

      1. Joe, there’s no love for the sport at the top (DG at least) and maybe they’re already doing a deal. If not, why would they even consider extending coverage at the end of the current three-years-run contract, either on the current basis or highlights only? The name of the game at the moment is savings across the board. I fear the worst.

        1. Agree with Stephen – the BBC renegotiated its previous contract that was due to end in 2013, the current one replacing that one in 2012 (before it had reached its conclusion). While the short one may suggest there’s no wiggle room, how many times has he made statements that have proven to be the complete opposite of reality?

  2. Not meant as an occasion for “assessment”; but rather to focus on counting one’s blessings. In F1, an example could be gratitude that the Greens haven’t succeeded in having racing banned altogether.
    How about this for a cost-cap rule: The winning car of any race must be available for sale to any competitor at a fixed, affordable-by-F1-standards price. Multiple buyers? Draw straws. Technology is thus propagated, and competitors think twice about spending squillions for an exclusive design edge that’ll quickly become common knowledge. I doubt that the buyer of the car could tune it to winning pitch, but that’s not the point.

    1. That isn’t what F1 is about. As Joe points out F1s many problems don’t include the racing being poor, that is natural. Doing away with the wake-aero issues as part of the 2017 changes might help, something the powers-that-be seem have only partly looked at – but most seasons one team dominates.

  3. I’m an expat Brit in the USA. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. It’s how holidays should be done – no decorating, no exchanging unwanted gifts, no nauseating music on the radio for weeks, just lots of good food and drink with people you might like, hopefully followed by a snooze on the sofa 🙂

    1. Unless those people start discussing politics. That’s when you can say thanks for the food and now you’re leaving before the fisticuffs begin.

  4. Joe,

    Speaking of holiday seasons, might be best not to get your hopes up on receiving a Christmas card from Donald Mackenzie this year!

      1. Surely the monkeys are a whole other topic in regard to the current affairs of F1, and an possibly an article for our post Christmas digestion, along with stories about the jackals, the hyenas and the snakes all feeding of the proverbial jungle hey Joe!

  5. Joe, your proposals are certainly sound enough and will go a long way towards fixing the the, current, unacceptable situation. However to implement your recommendations, the powers-that-be would, all, have to set aside their self-interest and work collectively for the common good. I just cannot see that happening without some kind of outside intervention forcing the issue.

  6. A very happy Thanksgiving to you Joe and all who read and comment on the blog. It should be mentioned that Thanksgiving, a North American holiday celebrated in both Canada and the U.S., was started by English settlers in Plymouth, Massachuttes. These settlers considered themselves 100% English and American independence was 156 years away. This only only underlines what Joe said about coinciding with harvest festivals, back in the mother country of England. As far as the engine formula goes, I thought that the current engine formula was the result of the manufacturers being asked what they wanted in order to keep their interest in F1? Now after the manufacturers spendt hundreds of millions of pounds, dollars, and euros, the FIA wants to bring in a “cheaper” engine that is a different spec, to compete against the manufacturers? On top of that, I’ve read in Autosport that the engines would cost $20,000,000.00 and that they would generate 900hp. One engine company (I forget who) says they can do it. Illmor also says they can do it. Well of course Illmor can do it, they already have the engine and it’s called a Chevrolet Indy engine. Ok, the injection needs to be changed from alcohol to gasoline/petrol, but that’s it. Right now they charge $680,000 per team, with help from Chevrolet. That help however certainly isn’t $18,400,000 per engine. Talk about a good, easy investment! Honda have the same and frankly, if put in the McLaren, it would blow the wheels off their F1 engine at this stage, if it were put in the same car. However, this isn’t about that. What this about is the FIA going against their agreement. If it goes through, I wouldn’t blame Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and Honda if they pulled out. Of course two different formulas running in F1 makes no sense at all. But it’s more than that. It’s integrity and the strength of one’s word in a commitment.

      1. Bit hesitate about your ‘partly’ there though, G_V.
        Is it partly because it’s spread between those three or have you left the prime culprit out?

        1. Well, the biggest problem is the share of the money – I think we can all agree on this. Also, JT himself admitted the FIA regulations weren’t thorough in this matter. It’s understandable why these manufacturers/teams don’t want to share their (latest) engines and why some teams don’t want to buy alternatives, but this mutual greed on all party’s side needed an external semi-solution to solve.

          No one really wants to buy a Renault, because it’s slow ad unreliable. One team might be interested in a Honda but it’s even worse than Renault. Everyone wants a Mercedes or a Ferrari alternatively, but they just won’t give away their latest guns outside their comfort zone.

          And let’s not forget. It was Renault and Mercedes who wanted the hybrids, Ferrari not so much. That’s why it’s a V6 and not a straight-four and that’s why we only have it since last year. Honda is only in because they liked the idea, they followed the lead.

    1. on the engine issue…AER and Mecachrome have applied for the tender from the FIA. both are known entities and want to supply at least 2 teams each. So you have plenty of engines available (Ferrari obviously would join and has stated that their technology is for hire) .Honda would love to ditch this spec for something else. Only odd man out is Mercedes

  7. Another spot on assessment Joe. Sad that I no longer watch every race, or seek news anywhere except here on a regular basis. Still, many things go in cycles and maybe F1 has yet to hit rock bottom …

    1. +1

      After 27 years of die-hard love for F1, I am sorry to say I did not watch one single race in 2015.

      I feel like I am breaking up with the love of my life. “Really, its not you, it’s me…” [cough cough] “Let’s stay in touch?”

      *****
      Joe, I also visit your site to stay in the loop. Thank you for the excellent work. Joe, please run for President of the FIA.
      #JS4President

  8. I can’t offhand think of a single thing we agree upon, other than ‘…it’s a mess’.

    I know you’re no fan of FE and I understand why this is so. However, if FE can’t overtake the mess that is F1 in the next few years then I shall buy multiple copies of each of your books, sign up for all your ‘net based output, and call my next child ‘joesaward.wordpress.com’.

    1. First you have to find a woman to lay that particular brand of charm on, good luck with that.

  9. A perfect “State of the Union” address.

    Rob Smedly is adding that F1 needs to decide if it is a Sport, or Entertainment. My view is that to be regarded as a sport, there needs to be a level playing field. Forget the drivers and engines for a moment, if one team can afford to buy-up all the IP by employing many hundreds of the most talented engineers, then inevitably the lower teams can, at best, can only afford the leftovers.

    I also believe that if this issue was resolved, the the sport would also become much more entertaining. Paying the best competitors a bigger prize for winning is natural, but the cost of turning up to race is about the same for all teams, so there should be no Historic payments, they just look like financial inducements that we normally refer to as bribes.

    It is often said, that if teams cannot afford the entry ticket, then they should leave. McLaren, Williams, Tyrell (Mercedes) and Toleman (Renault/ Lotus) all started racing when the cost of entry was affordable. As recent as 1991 Eddie Jordan started a team with £1million and 20 personnel, he quit in 2005 when he had 200 people, most of whom he did not know by name. In 1997 Stewart Racing (Red Bull) started with a £25million budget, but quit in 2000 when the budget had doubled. Currently a season of GP2 is about £4million per season and only a few seconds slower. Peter Sauber has been very loyal to the sport, but like Force India and Manor, is unable to generate revenues to keep the show on the road, just like Caterham last year. The financing of teams is now really only available to large corporations, yet Renault seem to be having great difficulty stomping up a decent budget without a decent hand-out from BernieCo. In this respect F1 is absolutely not a Sport.

    With a decent level of transparency, then there is only the thorny issue of the parasites to resolve. Bleeding one third of all revenues from the sport is indefensible. Sure they deserve a sensible fee, but the rest needs to be rebated to struggling circuits and terrestrial TV, who were the ones who built the world-wide audience in the first instance. Building a big audience in the USA needs huge investment from the rights holders, like any other business they need to take a long term view of the sport, rather than just chase the-fast-Buck.

    1. Rob Smedley needs to decide what Williams are in F1 for, full stop.

      Whether sport or entertainment, team Willy constantly fail to produce the promises that are lurking.
      Sure second placed losers for the second year but top engine, decent chassis, mediocre drivers and team management needs a good shake, report card says Could do Better.

    2. Nice post Rodger. I no longer regard F1 as a sport – as you say, the historic payments is an effective ‘legal bribe’ which negates any notion of there being a level playing field. Its heading earnestly towards ‘sports entertainment’…and while many find WWE and the Harlem Globetrotters fascinating, it ain’t my cup of tea.

  10. An enjoyable read Joe. On the subject of noise, I really don’t see, or rather hear, what this issue is all about. Most people don’t attend races but watch it on TV where it isn’t a factor in any case.

  11. I finally looked up CVC Capital Partners. I had no idea they were that big. No wonder they don’t care about F1. It’s just a gnat on their windshield compared to their other investments.

  12. Dear Jo,

    a lot of your comments are very valid and reasonable. I suggest you hand the Thanksgiving story to Bernie in Abu Dhabi once you are at the track, this means it’s quite certain he reads it – which I doubt if you just have this article/story on your blog.

    Yes – TV audience decreases, Germany-F1 – on Friday you see nothing – only Saturday and Sunday. And Germany should be a relevant market to FOM. RTL delegated some occasional Friday broadcasts to n-tv – even on Saturday – and we speak here about free to air tv. You always are able to pay to SKY – but this number of spectators is irrelevant compared to free to air TV spectators.

    Dailies and Magazines follow the less tv broadcasts in reducing size, space and volume of their reports/articles.
    France is almost not talking about F1 even they have Grosjean as a pilot. Again this is due to no free to air tv – the non sport print media negligizes F1 and other motorsports subsequently.
    Past Weekend PORSCHE became WEC Champion – not a word about it – not a picture in a daily in the German market. Do you think this is normal? Again WEC is not on any major TV-Channels who appear in the daily print tv program announcements. It’s on Eurosport 1 and no one knows a broadcast time except you are a Motorsports freak who searches all info’s when and how to catch up any Broadcast of Motorsport.

    The more we journalists talk about the non attractive F1 in dailies – the less space is given to our sport. Also a fact which is counter productive.

    The F1 paddock had very little prominent guests this year compared with earlier days of F1.
    Some reason might be that sponsors and manufacturers of Engines prefer to invite guests to places they have more freedom to host them – certainly not F1 – as too much is restricted concerning paddock access. Number of tickets are very limited and price per guest comes very high to the owners of the Hospitality Units parked in the paddock.

    Fact is also it’s meanwhile hard to motivate real celebrities to visit F1 – but the face of prominent guests seen at a F1 event and printed in major magazines creates attention to those who can effort not only to buy Hola, Hello, Match, People, Bunte, Gala, Ahlan and alike, but also the tickets for VIP-areas alike the Paddock-Club or similar. Again, Paddock-Club visitors decreased due to excessive costs per guest.

    It’s about time for the leading heads of F1 to sit down and analyze and there after correct the direction of the sport.

    Have a nice stay in sunny Abu Dhabi and hand out your article to Mr. Ecclestone and to Jean Todt.

    Arthur Thill
    with more then 500 Grand Prix visited since
    1969 certainly able to judge the facts alike you do.

      1. In that case…..

        Dear Bernie et al….

        Most of us could not give a toss about how many cylinders, whether it has ers or kers, if it is powered by petrol diesel or coal, has two wings five wings or no wings…
        all we want is for it to look exciting, to be flat out from start to finish and the arse end of the car to be constantly trying to overtake the front.

    1. Not entirely true Arthur. My friends is France do talk about F1 from matters reported in the newspapers which, contrary to what you say, carry reports syndicated by Reuters or whoever. Even my local rag does that. Plus, I see more articles on Rallying over here. Let’s face it, the British newspapers rarely report on motorsport in general these days other than F1. In addition, France has the benefit of L’Equipe, a daily sports paper which, as Joe will know, has a pretty good section on motorsport and F1, particularly around the GP weekends. In fact, it was an invaluable tool in my learning the French language (on the basis I needed to know what was going on in those pre-internet days, quite an incentive).

      However, it’s true that without TFI’s ‘FTA’ coverage (although punctuated by annoying ads) fans have to rely on Canal+ now, which must have the same viewing figures, more or less, as SKY.

  13. I have followed F1 for 30 years and it’s a very boring dangerous state. I started watching recorded f1 when itv had the coverage way back, and now I find even the BBC highlights a bit tedious.

    I don’t pretend to gave the answers but putting coverage behind expensive pay tv will not bring in the viewers, and without the viewers, why would sponsors write cheques.

    F1 needs a major change, but I doubt this will be possible all the time Bernie and CVC have their fingers in the tills.

    Then we look at engines, I for one do not believe the customer teams are on the same level as the manufacturers, I suspect the manufacturers have an unfair advantage over their customers and this is just wrong…..

    Then we look at the prize money, that needs to be looked so too.

  14. I read a post of GP24/7 and agree. A lot us dont like the new formula 1. I disagree with Joe , I went to both US GP in 14 and 15 and didn’t find that WOW factor in F1 anymore. Watching old F1 video with V10 and V8 much more fun. I also agree with Bernie , manufactures have to much power, I though F1 was F1 not car manufactures testing ground.. I hope the 2.2 liter engines go through and beat these slow , bad sounding engines and F1 becomes F1. We go to see Fast F1 cars with loud engines , I dont want to reminded of a Toyota pirus ….

      1. Naeem you are welcome to that opinion, but I’d chose silent cars racing closely over very noisy ones unable to pass, which we have had at times. The noise really should not be a big deal, and I say that as somebody who heard the Matra V12 at a track, and loved it.

        There are lots more things that need fixing before the lack of noise. The politics and financing for one thing, the identity crisis for another. Chuck in a return to downforce generated under the car and generic external wings, and I suspect a lack of noise would hardly be noticed.

  15. Don’t know if Joe [or anyone else] will bother with this, but since he mentions them, “harvest Festivals” do not date back to the mists of time. They were invented in the early victorian era by an eccentric english cleric who dressed up as a fisherman to preach his sermons.

    Joe may I beg that you print the first sentence of your last paragraph and deliver same into the sweaty palms of your friend Bernie in the yas marina paddock vip room? if you would like signatures I am certain you can instantly collect thousands from your readers here 🙂

    1. This is not true. The harvest festival goes back to pagan times, whether it was called that or not. BE gets to read this stuff already.

    2. I got this from the lips of a west country vicar, and I am willing to swear on the fia rulebook.
      As for pagan times, every blessed day saw a festival then as you know Joe. It was the non-festive days that stood out for our neanderthal friends.

      1. There was rather a longtime between Neanderthals and pagans… And what makes you think vicars get it right all the time?

        1. That reminds me of the Christmas message you gave a couple of years ago before you shut the blog down for Christmas. It was a piece on the Christmas celebrations and how actually it was originally based on the winter solstice on 22nd December, until it was hijacked and completely bastardised by Christianity. Any chance of repeating that posting this Christmas?

        2. Joe, you surprise me… and a rumour going round the paddock says you yourself are the fortunate son of a clergyman….

  16. Joe

    Have you considered translating this into French and sending it to the Road Safety Crusader? Never has so much common sense and a working platform to a solution been captured in one Blog post.

    The only area I don’t agree with you on is noise, but thats a subjective thing and nothing will ever beat the sound for me of the V12 1970’s Ferrai going full chat past us at Kyalami down the main straight. I was at ROC on Saturday and compared to the current F1’s, the 2013 that Pascal Werlehn drove sounded glorious, but only in relative terms. And given a choice, noise or great racing, great racing will win out for me every time.

    But to be devils advocate to a certain extent. Is F1 today not the eastern Bloc in the early 1990’s?

    Until Formula 1 become a traded commodity and CVC were allowed into the sport, F1 was effectively a Dictatorship where no dissent was brokered, it was Mr E’s way or no way and the team owners were the corrupted State Governors, beholden to the Dictator. Then things changed and now its a mess, much like many eastern Bloc countries.

    Contrast this with the worlds biggest democracy. Where there was no strong leader CART split into Champ Car and Indycar, nearly killed off both and now they reunified series is a pale imitation of what CART was in the golden years of the early 1990’s. Same in sportscars, IMSA split into AMLS and Grand-Am, one went bust and they joined up again but now its a 3 or 4 car race. Consider the golden days of Jaguars, Porsche’s, Corvette with Hendrick Motorsport, Nissan, Eagle-Toyota’s.

    To square the circle without Mr E, as divisive as he can be would F1 be anything near what it is today? Of course none of us can say for sure, but I would guess no, after all it nearly split in 1980 & 81 before Bernie lost the battle but won the war with Balestre, then his lieutenant ousted Balestre, and the rest is history.

  17. “…drive manufacturers away, as they are not willing to allow their success to be dependent on an equivalency formula over which they have no control, as this is clearly something that could be manipulated or incompetently managed.”
    I would say, “WILL be manipulated AND(more likely)/or incompetently managed.” Incompetent management is a known specialty in F1.`

  18. For now I will just talk about one aspect of the discussion. If the FIA believe that the manufacturers have too much power then for once I agree with them. There are two parts to this:

    (1) Having car manufacture running their own team while also supplying engines to other teams has created an insurmountable conflict of interest.

    (2) Only car manufacturers with large R&D budgets can afford to deveop the current highly complex power units.

    In the past F1 teams could buy an engine from one of several manufacturers none of which were in the car making business. That promoted competition and some small teams developed and became larger teams and were able to win races and maybe championships. If they failed, they either soldiered on, trying to improve or they left the sport and other teams came in. This was all based upon the availability of engines from independent suppliers. Now you have to go cap-in-hand to Mercedes or Ferrari with a sack of gold and sing for your supper. If they don’t like you, particularly if they think you might be able to beat them they can just say no and you are dead in the water.

    So the only way for the sport to run fairly and sustainably is if the rules state that either

    (1) Car manufacturing companies may supply engines to F1 teams.

    or

    (2) Car manufacturing companies may build and run their own F1 team using engines of their own manufacture.

    In other words you cannot be both a constructor and a engine supplier. For this to work you have to have a set of engine rules that allow independent companies to build engines for sale and it seems that the present Hybrid PU spec is not an economic proposition for small companies to spend years developing without knowing if they can sell it.

    It is up to the FIA to create a framework for a championship and the rules will dictate the nature of the participants’ business models. If the FIA want independent engine suppliers then the rules should not allow the car manufactures to dictate policy because only they can afford to develop power units but that is precisely what has happened.

    Can the current mess be fixed? Not without a lot of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth!

  19. “This rubs off on Bernie Ecclestone because he was the one who allowed the foxes into the chicken coop.” I thought he was the fox allowed in when Max sold the FIA rights to Bernie?

    Great writing Joe

    1. Well, yes, Mosley, as chief chicken at the FIA, did allow BE into the coop. But he then called up Basil Brush and the slippery foxes of finance

  20. Am grateful for karma. And it would be apropos if said characters (be polite now) got their due in public in this lifetime. Am also grateful they cannot take anything with them but their ‘character’.

  21. I don’t disagree with your analysis Joe, but there are a couple of things in F1 I’d like to give thanks for: this blog and the excellent job you and the team do on GP+.

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