Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Five Pound Bass

OK Folks, it's show time. We gotta live one on...

Qualifying is going on as I write this post. As you may have read in the comments of yesterdays post there is a wide range of interest to this writers enthusiasm for F1 Racing. One reader takes the view point of the governing body, and views the breakaway teams as spoiled Richies. Another, with a overarching view of the politics and mechanics of motor cars has clearly stated the essence of the conflict, and walks away in disgust counting his money. Alas the third is mired in boredom yet willing, to forgo personal angst, to figure out what drives this writer to such lenghts. To help the bored I have offered enlightenment in the form of letters in red.
The following extract is taken for

Formula One as we know it seems set to pull itself into two opposing and competing factions, we take a look at the pros and cons of two very differing championships. While fans (me) and pundits (all ya'll) alike have fierce views one way or another with many looking at the carnage in the US open wheel racing scene as the Indy Racing League went against the might of CART, there really is no parallel to the situation facing Formula One and FOTA at the moment. To put the CART issue to bed once and for all - as I doubt the likes of Damon Hill or Eddie Irvine (F1 cats) know Chris Pook (who?) from a hole in the wall - the newly formed IRL had the golden ticket in the Indy 500 ..., but as a spec-series, it was doomed. (wtf?) The situation here is very different and a new series as well as an old series could co-exist. Couldn’t they?
The case for a FOTA championship..., the eight members of the Formula One Teams Association announced their intention to form a breakaway championship and no longer compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship from 2010. reason to doubt that they will fail to follow through their actions and will race in a new series in 2010, especially when considering that the car manufacturers themselves promised support. The reasons behind the breakaway are numerous, .... Money of course also play a factor. The straw that broke the camel’s back - so to speak -(jadedj no animals are used in the production of motor racing) has been the insistence from the FIA that a budget cap of €45m (US $62m) be introduced for next season. (walking M this is them in your pocket) Many of the top teams and FOTA members spend many times that level and such reductions would result in massive staff reductions. I won’t get into the decision making process or the reasons behind it, (jj this is your point) but instead what can be gained by the FOTA eight breaking away from the FIA Formula One World Championship. (Mr C this is your point) As it stands, roughly half of the revenues generated by the sport go to the commercial rights holder and half go to the teams. CVC Capital Partners, a global private equity firm, purchased the commercial rights to Formula One in late 2005 with the deal given the green light early the following year. To make things simple, (see JJ we love you) effectively CVC purchased the rights from Bernie Ecclestone and his collection of companies. Ecclestone had previously purchased the commercial rights from the FIA for a 100-year period. Now the precise details regarding the financing of the deal is complex and tedious, (jj, see we all know it is boring) but CVC borrowed the reported two billion plus US dollars ($ 2,000,000,000,000.00, walking M is right) to purchase the rights to the series. Bernie Ecclestone was retained as CEO at CVC and remained in control of the sport he had nurtured and developed. (Hey wait a minute I thought FIA was in charge?) Now with massive debt to pay, CVC (who the fuck are they?) needed Ecclestone to go out there and make some serious money. New venues with state (whatdafuc? state funding?? yo Mr. C are in favor of state funded motor racing?) funding willing to pay top rate for a Grand Prix were given the nod by Ecclestone as the series began its drift away from its traditional heartlands of Europe and North America, to new venues in the Far East.(Hey wait a minute) The teams meanwhile were dismayed when first the United States and then Canada disappeared off the Formula One calendar with both unable to meet the increasing financial demands put forward by Ecclestone and his sanctioning fee ‘escalator’. The new series, FOTA (FOTA, Formula One Teams Association, sorry JJ) dominated by the car manufacturers, would be able to select the markets that are important to them and would undoubtedly look to the North American markets. They would have plenty of choices in terms of circuits with Indianapolis and Montreal prime targets as well as former Grand Prix venues such as Imola, Estoril, and Mexico City able to cater to their needs. Silverstone is and Hockenheim could soon be available too.
Another advantage for the new series is that they would be able to create their own rules ... (rules Mr. JadedJ, rules) In other words, they would be completely in control of their own destiny. If FOTA found that fans preferred turbo charged four cylinder engines to the current frozen V8 engines, they would be free to make the change. (more work Walking M) If they wanted to push forward with four wheel drive technology as well as ‘green’ initiatives, they would be free to do so – assuming a collective agreement. One way to start a new series quickly is to purchase an existing series.... Of course fans would determine the success of any new series as would world-wide television revenues, but there are plenty of reasons as to why a new series could get under way and indeed thrive.

The case for the FIA championship. (Mr. C.'s point of view, Walking M's point of view, this is boring JJ, but builds a case for another type of open wheel racing to fill the gap left by the IRL)
(OH! by the way, F1 and FIA are spreading a rumor about Danica coming to F1, yeah buddy, bitches in the drivers seat, but i digress) With Honda pulling the plug on their Formula One programme (that's the way they spell program, what's with that? see two extra letters and the ink to print and the space on the page and the extra pages and so and so and so, but i digress) last year, the FIA and the commercial rights holder finally woke up to the fact that the series was in danger of running out of teams. This was largely their own doing with various barriers to entry put up over the last decade including the ludicrous ‘bond’ that had to be filed with the governing body (now wait a minute, is the Bernie or the FIA or those CVC guys? wtf?) in order to even enter the sport. From actively discouraging new entrants a few years ago, the FIA has made a huge about-turn and is now welcoming the independent teams into the series with advance funding from Ecclestone (where is he getting the money? he is 2 billion US, in the pocket?) and the commercial rights holder, plus caps on expenditure. Formula One has global television coverage and races at the newest – if not finest nor grandstand-filled – circuits in the world. It enjoys enormous media coverage and according to CVC Capital, brings in over two billion US dollars a year in revenues. (where does this money go, i'm with Walking M on this one) ... With a cap on expenditure in place, the television revenue alone could – in simplistic terms - support a team with sponsorship becoming something of a bonus.The FIA could continue to create the rules for the championship without the interference from the teams while CVC could continue to pay back debt (pay back debt? why are they in debt? these guys are rich, hell, nations pay them to race) and should the series prove popular with the new entrants, look to push forward the long-hoped for floatation of the series on the stock markets. (Great, now the stock market is going to buy this shit, next thing we know Bernie will be blaming Obama for the whole mess, Walking M is damn close to the mark) The series would return to its roots with teams that only exist for racing competing for top honours and perhaps arguably, less of a major marketing exercise for the car giants. (what are these guys drinking? the market is going to buy stocks backed by motor heads, Walking M is right) All of the above being said...Of course, there is also the question of fan loyalty: established teams having world-renowned drivers are by far a bigger attraction. In the short term FOTA will have that, while F1 might be fielding a 13-team field including 11 new outfits mostly unknown to the world. From a fan's point of view, without forgetting the tedium (this is for you JJ) caused by the constant politicking within F1, a new fresh start might be the thing needed to concentrate on racing as a sport and spectacle before anything else. And for those fans, (this is for you Mr. C) who now see the possibility of seeing a major new open-wheel series returning to popular venues left behind by F1 – instead of state -funded destinations where grandstands are either more than half-empty, covered under canvas or supplemented by off-duty soldiers in civilian clothing – the choice might be an easy one to make.

Perhaps it really is time for a change?

We need a change.

Perhaps Waylon said it best.


  1. The whole thing sucks. Is there no escaping talking heads jerking off in front of a microphone or pundits taking 6 paragraphs for could have been said in 1?

    Alas, tomorrow the circus hits the track and, at least for a while, it gets down to the nitty gritty.

  2. I'm trying...god knows I'm trying...God almighty I AM TRYING.

    Before feathers start flying here, I took time away from my children...don't feel guilty...don't feel guilty...and read every phrase, crossed "T" and period. And I still have three questions: Ecclestone is the villian, is that correct? And YOU, Punch, want to start over, is that correct? And Mr. C hates everybody, is that also a fair assessment?

  3. Mr. C... yes tomorrow is race day in Silverstone, Button has dropped is pace and Vettel is on pole again. Should be a good race, lets see what Rubins does. (not Peter Paul jadedj)
    jadedJ... You are getting there, spend time with your family tomorrow, being a dad and all. But let's review. Ecclestone is A, villian. Max Mosley is the other. and those CVC cats are drinking all the milk. (Mr. C. might disagree) I don't want to start over, not me, to much crap in the world today, but if you mean for...?? well what do you mean by start over? No Mr. C. certinly does not hate everybody, that is just too much work, but he is seemingly againt rather much all of it. Well except that NASCAR, stuff. So maybe that answers my question about everybody. I'm sure his was a Big E fan and is now a Little E fan. So there are two for the show.

  4. Dude you misconstrued what I said. I don't give a horses ass for open toed racing or Indy (I will admit I like to watch quarter mile runs)CART fart or desert go carts. It's all shit to me.

    Back before NASCAR and when Indianapolis was really a mechanics race it was interesting. But that all ended forty years ago when the sponsors found they could advertise and make money and certain owners literally found enough wealth to buy race victories through multiple cars in a all turned to horse shit.

    What I see when I am channel flipping between watching three or four chick flicks at a time is $$$$ that could be in my pocket when the machines break down. I worked for a living fixing the things others broke.

    A car is a car is a car is a car, some go 600 MPH others 60. Just put a wrench in my hand and give me what I ask for money wise before hand and I'll repair it. What they do with it after that...I don't care. I'll be busy watching On Golden Pond.

  5. Walking M... did not mean any thing other than what you just said. I was playing with the word of the write up and thought i was agreeing with what you said, the parts about them in your pocket and all, with humor. I screwed up. Keep reading if you like and I'll wait for your future comments. You have an unique point of view, reminds me of Eric Hoffer

  6. Yo jadedj... for your information Walking M is like totaly against motor racing except for a 1/4 mile run, that form of racing is called drag racing. That is a term for a type of motor racing where really trick cars to go from 0 mph to a very high mph, depending on the rules they are racing under. (turning right/left, braking not included) It has nothing to do the the dress code of the bar in which you may find yourself. (ahh no pun intended) hope this helps.

  7. Walking Man is right when he says jadedj is right when he says Punch is confusing everybody when he says Mr. C likes NASCAR??? WTF? Where did that come from? But I must say I agree with Walking Man when he says motor racing was a lot more interesting when it was a mechanics game before it was a money game and that really leads to my point... the issues in F1 boil down to two schools of thought... unlimited creativity on a limited budget, or, limited creativity on an unlimited budget. The big cars guys want the latter. The governing body wants the former. I come down on the side of the former. It was unlimited creativity that made F1 what it is, not car brands and sponsors. That's NASCAR. And also short attention span racing, aka drag racing.

    Walking Man. Your name seems incongruous with a profession as an auto mechanic. One would hope that it isn't a reflection of your auto mechanic abilities.

  8. You guys are sure giving my scroll wheel a workout.


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email, love being alive, the alterntiative has lousy hours, liberal and don't care if you give me cracked corn.