F1 links: Bernie softening on Silverstone?

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Bernie Ecclestone hints at mild McLaren penalty

Bernie Ecclestone backing down over Silverstone and Donington? “If they were to do what they should have done, and what we've been asking them to do for five years, we'd have to have a look at it. We've got nothing against Silverstone.”

Paddock Life: Sakhir edition

"For those of you not lucky enough to be in Bahrain to experience the ‘new' McLaren, here are the two cocktails that were served in Bahrain by the team's expert catering department Absolute Taste." Definitely worth a slurp!

iSport clarifies F1 entry rumours

iSport boss Paul Jackson: "When the budget cap becomes official, we will then have a look it. "There's no way we would enter F1 without the budget cap; F1 teams are spending hundreds of millions, and there is no way iSport could do that – but when there's a budget cap then, sure, F1 would be an interesting possibility."

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “F1 links: Bernie softening on Silverstone?”

  1. In these hard financial times it would be foolish for Bernie to alienate any potential successful Grand Prix, he’s no fool, they only sell one product, so if he can find a way of making amends, and still look good, perhaps there will be a way forward.

  2. Why shouldn’t Mclaren’s punishment be mild. Its not like they were running and illegal that was underweight and lied to the stewards about it. If not for the Max’s hatred for Ron. This should just have been a routine $50,000 dollar fine.

    If a team could run an underweight car, thats like trying to steal points from all your competitors, yet got only a 2 race ban, why should this be blown out of proportion.

    1. Weren’t Toyota running Flexi-wings at Melbourne? Sounds rather similar to me, and yet the punishment is completely different. Am I miles off the point here?

  3. They were already punished with a DQ from Australia

    1. John, yes you are.

      They were effectively disqualifed from Qualifying (i.e. sent to the back) and they owned up (did not hide/lie about it) and fixed it for the race.

  4. I find it interesting that the WMSC is more afraid of losing Daimler AG from F1 than losing McLaren. If the FIA, having told us how nasty and horrible McLaren have been in Australia (but not Hammy, apparently), shouldn’t they put their cards on the table and be draconian and unsympathetic?
    Are they there to run the sport or not? If they aren’t then what on earth are they playing at? (And I do mean playing!)
    Personally I am not bothered if McLaren are in the right or not, its down to the FIA to set clear rules and stick to them.
    And if that means losing Manufacturers, Sponsors, Fans, then so be it. Maybe that would make them get rid of Mad Max…..
    As for the Bernie vs Silverstone/Donnington farce. Both circuits can survive very well without the F1 circus, I am sure. Certainly Donnington has done quite well before, and Silverstone only has to follow their lead and that of Brands Hatch to stay in the black. There is more to Motorsport than F1 after all!
    So theres no British GP for a few years, so what? Bernie seems to want F1 to be his Middle and Far Eastern plaything. Lets see the British teams pull out en-mass to concentrate on a new US/European series!!
    Don’t just moan about it – DO IT!

    1. Yeah, F1 can survivie without the British GP. But is the sport any better after losing the U.S./Canadian/French GPs, not to mention many others?

      Great Britian, along with Italy, represents the heart and soul of F1 in every conceivable way. To not have a GP there would be an absolute outrage.

    2. Thats why I say its about time somebody started organising a serious rival to F1, purely as an American/European series, and invite all the interested teams from US and Europe – either F1 or IRL or whatever.
      The last that Max said on the subject was that he was all for it, and would consider helping set it up – so I think he knows he will be getting major agony from the various countries that Bernie is upsetting in his bid to have world domination. Also of course, another big promoter equal to Bernie would steal his thunder a bit!
      Why don’t the NASCAR/IRL people invite European teams for a couple of Challenge Races on some of the American circuits? I don’t think Bernie could stop them if it was in the F1 mid-season break…..

  5. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    28th April 2009, 9:16

    A Grand Prix season without a race in Britain is, to my mind, totally unaccecptable. British F1 teams are the backbone of F1, surely Ecclestone realises this!

  6. diseased rat
    28th April 2009, 9:21

    Here’s another link for you, David Coultard writes in the Daily Telegraph, “Just how good is Formulas One’s Jenson Button“.

    1. Thanks for that link.
      DC’s well worth listening to, isn’t he – on a different planet from Mark Blundell. Obviously.

      I’d like to see him have a go at race commentary at the Hungarian GP. Brundle always seems to book his holiday when that race is on…

  7. With the hints that Mercedes and Vodafone would pull out of F1 if McLaren receive an unfair punishment, does anyone one think they have learned from Renault?

    When Renault was found to have McLaren documents they weren’t punished and one theory was that their commitment to F1 was shaky to start with and a punishment would mean they would defiantly leave.

    Perhaps what Eddie Jordan said at the weekend on BBC about the British Grand Prix may have some truth in it, when Bernie is so vocal and explicit something won’t happen it means the exact opposite.

  8. I’d love to see them race on that new section that they’re planning for the Moto GP if they head back to Silverstone.

  9. Bernie: Aaaaand here we go again. It seems like the last 10+ seasons that Bernie has consistently threatened to drop the British GP. I don’t mean to sound partisan but lets face it the British GP is one of the most important events on the calendar. If only for the fact that about 70% of F1 is in Britain (England?) and most top drivers cut their teeth here.

    So every year it’s a British GP is in doubt due to money/BRDC/government/no fairies at the bottom of the garden, whatever.
    And then we get a ‘softening’ from Bernie etc.

    The whole game is getting a bit stale now. I honestly expected things to go this way. As a punter Silverstone facilities are crap. A bank of 10 portaloos and a few ****** burger vans by Beckett’s grandstands a perfect illustration. The prices exorbitant.

    But I don’t go for facilities. At Silverstone I go to bask in its glorious history as the latest crop of F1 talent put on their show and build upon it.
    Donnington is and always will be a 2 wheeled venue with the odd and indeed notable exception over the years.
    Silverstone, Brooklands and to a lesser degree Brands Hatch – all as evocative as the likes of Monza, Monaco, Spa etc.
    There’s no way there can be no British GP. It’s just too important a part of the sports heritage…

    Why does Bernie play these games – he can’t be that greedy, surely?

  10. It is possible that Bernie may be changing his stance on Silverstone, but not out of the goodness of his heart. I have heard some rumblings that the teams may try to organize a non-championship race on their own if Bernie really did pull the plug on Britain- if such a system did work, it would be tremendously embarrassing for Bernie and his people.

    1. I’ve not that rumor before. They used to have lot’s of non championship races so it’s not impossible to see it happening.

      If FOTA really attempt to host a non championship race without Bernies approval then it’ll be a huge threat to Bernies rule and he’ll do anything to try and stop it. I’m not sure if they’ll try and pull this off.

  11. Is Bernie softening on Silverstone, not if that quote is anything to go by…

    …the key here is “If they were to do what they should have done, and what we’ve been asking them to do for five years, we’d have to have a look at it.”

    In other words if they give in to his demands then they can have the race… doesn’t sound like a softening of his position to me.

  12. What i read from Bernies quote on Mercedes decision to quit f1 if Mclaren get a huge penalty is wrong. It looked like the guy said that if Mclaren get a draconian penalty that they would have to look at ending the relationship with Mclaren. Not quitting f1.
    I also think that if Mcalren get a hug penalty then they should just quit f1 and maybe other sponsors and teams may follow suit.
    We may then get what would be best for motorsport and get an unbiased, and fairly run alternate series.

  13. A1GP Mexico cancelled. No surprise there I guess… http://www.a1gp.com/News/NewsArticle.aspx?newsId=41574

  14. @Achilles.

    You are quite right. Bernie Ecclestone knows very well the fallout from a potential removal of the British Grands Prix would be huge for the sport, and more importantly, himself.
    If it were to happen, it would be far better for his image if blame was portioned off to the owners of Silverstone or Donington Park. In classic Ecclestone pose and style, he is deflecting the blame just as he did with Indianapolis and Montreal when those circuits were axed from the championship.
    Far better to blame the ‘greedy’ circuit owners than his own practices of pricing out traditional venues with style and heritage in favour of the new, half empty, Tilke dromes in Arabian deserts.
    In his mind, the Pukka pie brigade is not welcome in F1. Rich Saudi Arabian princes, filmstars, and Chinese
    corporate moguls are! The problem for Bernie, is that it is very, very difficult to fill 150,000-200,000 seater circuits with Arabian royalty and the chairmen and women of Petronas.
    Did anybody see on Sunday just how empty and quiet Sakhir circuit was say, compared with Interlagos or Hockenheim last year! Give me the Pukka pie brigade any day of the week sunshine. They were there before, and will be in the stands long after you, and your high roller mates have packed up and shipped out!

    1. I agree, but for a new fan from the States, could you just explain what the “Pukka pie brigade” is/are? Sounds a bit like the “Bleacher Creatures” in Yankee Stadium to me :)

    2. Gman for ‘pukka pie brigade’ try ‘ordinary,genuine fans….’

  15. Bernie couldn’t bully enough people into spending heaps of money to improve his takings at Silverstone, so he dumped the Northamptonshire track using Donnington as the Threat. Maybe he hoped the money (for Silverstone upgrades) would materialise at the 11th hour but in these hard times that ain’t gonna happen.

    And in these hard times the Donnington wannabes can’t make it work either. Whoops Bernie, one bluff too many….?? To paraphrase, you can **** off some of the people some of the time but…….?

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