Bernie Ecclestone hits out at FOTA again

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone calls the Formula 1 Teams Association “unnecessary”.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

In conversation – Bernie Ecclestone and Christian Horner (F1)

Bernie Ecclestone: “[FOTA] is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It’s just more of what they don’t have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources.”

Don Foster MP urges House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to discuss F1 broadcasting deal (Bath Liberal Democrats)

“It is hoped that when the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee meets, in the near future, with Mark Thompson and the BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten, to discuss governance issues, questions will be asked about the F1 deal. However, this is a matter for the committee on which Don Foster does NOT sit and, currently, the indications are that the matter may well not be raised. Don Foster has written to the Chairman of the Committee, John Whittingdale MP, asking that the issue is discussed. Don also hopes that – with pressure from their own constituents – other MPs will do likewise.”

Keep Formula 1 Free To Air in the UK (HM government ePetition)

The petition has now passed 30,000 signatures.

Allison: Exhaust concept cost Renault (Renault)

“At the point when I made the decision about the forward exhaust system, it was a very exciting concept and one which was outperforming our rearward blown system. It looked like it had a lot of potential to deliver really race winning performances. I think that two or three things have held us back since then.”

Vitaly wins the GQ ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award (Renault)

“Vitaly scooped up another award last week, as he was unveiled as the 2011 ‘Russian GQ Sportsman of the Year’ in Moscow.”

Indians in love with Narain’s aggressive style: Ricciardo (The Times of India)

“This will be my first time in India. When we get there for the race we might have a day off to acclimatise. I will probably spend some time in the city and have a look around and then get down to business. The end of the year is quite busy and quite hectic so normally we fly out on Sunday after the race or on the Monday and try and get as much time for ourselves before the next Grand Prix.”

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Comment of the day

Paulguitar sees Lewis Hamilton’s problems this year as a temporary blip:

I think it is mostly a case of needing to channel his talent. Most people (his team-mate included) consider Hamilton to be in a league of his own in terms of pure natural ability. Clearly this needs to be tempered with some restraint which seems to have been lacking lately.

In addition to this, I think Hamilton has been less able to shine this year, due to the fact that the new rules make it possible for everyone to overtake, and not as in the past, just the truly great drivers.

I think it will be just a ‘blip’. Lewis is 25 and doing his growing up in public. Jenson Button also did a lot of growing up at a similar age with his contract-related shenanigans.

From the forum

A row over a competition has raised one of the most persistent F1 trivia questions.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Donwatters!

On this day in F1

The first F1 race at the Circuit de Catalunya took place 20 years ago today. Every Spanish Grand Prix has been held there since.

Nigel Mansell won after a thrilling battle on a damp track with Ayrton Senna. If only subsequent races at the track were even half as good as this one:

Read about how the Circuit de Catalunya has changed since holding its first F1 race:

Image © Team Lotus

Author information

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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34 comments on “Bernie Ecclestone hits out at FOTA again”

  1. Just want to say thanks to the fellow Fanatics for helping me out with the suggestions for the poster series yesterday, I think I’ve got my final 10 now thanks to you lot :)

    1. I had a look in, but there were already so many great ideas on the table, I am just very much looking forward to seeing the finished project :-)

  2. I thought every team on the grid does want to be competitive…no matter how small or limited, you can still dream. And no matter how big a team you are, you can still help out.

  3. From the Ricciardo interview: he talks as if he will be racing alongside Karthikeyan in India. Has anything been decided about that yet?

    1. Not officially, but Ricciardo brings money from Red Bull, so they might decide to keep him over Liuzzi.

  4. How does this free to air thing works didn’t they make a deal already sky/bbc

    1. They did, so I can’t imagine that being broken. I don’t know really what can be achieved signing the petition, unfortunately.

      1. I think a debate would be good though and what Mr. Foster MP is working at seems to be a good way to get to how the deal was made up.

        In the end, if there’s truth of the “BBC holding all the cards” and thereby making a deal with another FTA broadcaster impossible, that means distortion of competition.
        And that means there is all the chance of the parliament, government or even the anti-monopoly authorities in the UK or EU doing something to change the deal to allow free competition.

        1. The whole deal needs looked at because the way it has came about seems very dodgy.

          BBC who apparently can’t afford to continue the coverage have been able to sign up for another 6 years while at the same time blocking any competing bids!

          At the same time BBC say it was for the good of the fans, which seems incredible when free to air C4 was supposed to have bid as much as sky sports, a station you have to pay £60 a month to view in HD.

          Also if BBC just dropped the coverage it would have to go to a free to air station because of the concorde agreement so BBC have really hit the fans good on this!

          This here page outlines it well.

  5. “[FOTA] is an unnecessary association of people who should put their sole emphasis on getting competitive cars on the grid. It’s just more of what they don’t have to think of. I look after that so there are enough financial resources.”

    to me, sounds like

    “When you have no basis for an argument, abuse the plaintiff.”

    1. Well, Bernie would say so, wouldn’t he. After all their unity is targetted at making his split of the revenue smaller and theirs bigger.

    2. Yes, and note Bernies secret for his success at Brabham, half-joking as it may have been from the “lovable rogue”.

  6. I must admit that I am glad that Narain will be able to race. His pace isnt all that bad as some make it out to be, and believe he’s better than Chandhok after seeing him race in Germany. Only wish he could have had a faster car for this race.

    1. He might not be the worst driver ever, but a faster car is more deserved by other drivers, and I doubt he’d do much with it anyway.

  7. The following post is based on someone largely ignorant of F1’s business side, so forgive it for any inaccuracies.

    I’ve wondered this for a while: why don’t the teams pool up and buy F1 outright, so they don’t need Bernie? An example of what I mean is how sports franchises are run in the US, where the teams are the ones running the ship, and they hire a spokesman/negotiator for them (like David Stern in the NBA, Roger Goodell in the NFL).

    Is that a viable model for F1 to take? Bernie seems to take the piss out of FOTA whenever negotiations come up.

    1. I could try to answer that, but Joe does a much better job at doing so than I ever could.

    2. Bernies position goes way back to the time when F1 was a much smaller “circus”( note Brabham had 70 employees not 500 ) with a much smaller total income which allowed Bernie to negotiate a large share (50% I think) of the profits for his services, since then world-wide live telecasting became possible providing a bonanza in revenues making Bernie obscenely wealthy, he has used a small part of that wealth to ensure he remains in charge and accumulates more wealth. It is to be hoped that when he is gone Fota can pay a good business mgr. to run the show as you mention happens in most other sports.

  8. Bernie got in a great zinger about Ferrari in that interview. The guy doesn’t give boring answers to questions, I’ll say that for him!

    1. I agree. I rather enjoy the eff you nature of his quotes.

  9. Hey Keith

    You many want to add this to the round-up

    -it’s quite bizarre, even more so when you consider the recent interview on the BBC where he mentions his desire to be taken seriously as a DJ (to which I thought unlikely…obviously not

    1. Alfie not logged in
      29th September 2011, 7:36

      Brilliant for Jaime! His music is pretty good to..

    2. I’m half tempted to download that album, I liked his single.

    3. As we learned on the BBC @ Monza, dont call him DJ Squire! he wants to be known as just ‘Squaire’

  10. The members of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee are listed here:,_Media_and_Sport_Committee – the same people who were interviewing Rupert and James Murdoch a couple of months ago.

    I imagine anybody in the UK could choose to write to any of these MPs – contactable through – but if any F1Fanatic readers happen to live in the right constituencies and feel strongly enough to email their MP, their voices would carry more weight.

    1. You can find out who your MP is and their contact details from the following link:

  11. I think Lewis will bounce back even finish ahead of Jenson in the standings at the end of the year. But if that happens, all his crashes/penalties/mistakes will be forgotten and he will not learn the importance of being patient, of thinking of the championship and not of every race, of playing the long game.

    If he does finish the season behind JB, then he would really learn these things and come back a better driver in 2012. So, for Lewis’s sake, I hope Jenson beats him in the points this season.

  12. I wonder what Bernie would have said if it was thirty years ago and Balestre had said that about FOCA. His comment would be rather different, wouldn’t it?

    1. Bernie is one of the world’s biggest hypocrits and will say anything in order to keep his shady deals in place.

  13. Nice read between Horner and Ecclestone. I’m sure Bernie’s life would be easier without FOTA but it’s naive of him not to expect the teams to want to protect themselves.

  14. After a few days without any birthdays here, we can finally congratulate Donwatters today!

    1. Happy Birthday Donwatters! I’m a sprightly 39 years old myself today, I must register my B’day with Keith, keep forgetting!!!

  15. I almost forgot how slow pit stops were in the early 90’s… And those shorts… xD

  16. themagicofspeed (@)
    2nd October 2011, 23:11

    As far as Petrov winning an award goes… isnt he one if not the only Russian in a major high profile sport..? There possibly wasnt much choice, i certainly doubt his driving won him anything, unless they give awards for ‘Mobile Chicane of the Year’

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