Mercedes, 2012

Fry says F1 needs Mercedes deal before flotation

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Mercedes, 2012In the round-up: Mercedes CEO Nick Fry says F1 owners CVC should agree terms for them to remain in F1 before the planned flotation.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

CVC need Mercedes deal before any float – team exec (Reuters)

Mercedes CEO Nick Fry: “If CVC wish to float F1, I think they need this resolved fairly quickly – possibly more than we need it resolved.”

Canada told to shape-up (Sky)

“Bernie Ecclestone has demanded Canadian Grand Prix organisers carry out major construction work at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve or risk losing the race.”

Barcelona Tough Test (Speed)

Jenson Button: “It?s been more getting the tyres to work rather than looking after the degradation. I think last year we had some races, especially in China, where it was very difficult. This year it’s been the other way round, it?s been about getting it into the working window. Formula One we’ve always run on four tyres ?ǣ well, we haven’t always, but we have in our racing! ?ǣ and there’s always degradation, it’s just a matter of how much.”

Schumacher denies tyres frustrate him (Autosport)

“I stated myself and I felt one part has too much and it should be a bit more equalised for everybody and the majority – rather than a smaller minority.”

Drivers call for clarity on blocking (ESPN)

Nico Rosberg: “Two drivers raised concerns about it so we need to discuss it. If there was a danger, which I didn’t cause on purpose, then we need to implement rules so that it doesn’t arise again. We could look at implementing more rules in that situation because it is not very clear, but it can be looked at.”

Q&A with Force India?s Paul di Resta (F1)

“We know now that we are on the right track and adding more upgrades will hopefully enable us to tie in with Bahrain – and maybe even better – if we do an excellent job.”

After Bahrain, F1 is in a better place amid the sunshine of Barcelona (The Guardian)

“The argument that F1 had a contract to fulfil is a specious one. The obligation to see out a contract, even more than patriotism, is a last refuge. It is more honourable to walk away from a rotten contract than to “honour” it. The sport should never be allowed to forget what it did in Bahrain last month. It should be reminded at regular intervals of the self-inflicted damage it sustained.”

Comment of the day

Adam Tate on Alonso’s call for greater respect between drivers:

For Webber to pull off that move in Eau Rouge, there had to be complete trust and respect between the two drivers. Alonso and Webber are definitely two of the best about that, and I like that Alonso is calling for more of it. After the Hamilton and Massa crash course extravaganza of last season, I am inclined to agree with him.
Adam Tate

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to 130r!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won a wet Monaco Grand Prix today in 1997.

Behind him Rubens Barrichello scored a memorable second place for new team Stewart and Eddie Irvine in the other Ferrari was third:

Image ?? Mercedes

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  • 102 comments on “Fry says F1 needs Mercedes deal before flotation”

    1. thejudge13+
      11th May 2012, 0:17

      So the most historic of all racing marques take on the might of Bernie. It could all end in tears for the manuipulative owner of F1 commercial rights

      Anti competitive EU laws look like an opportunity to frustrate the mecurial Ecclestone in his latest mega bugs spin deal

      1. thejudge13+
        11th May 2012, 0:18

        stet bugs and replace bucks. I think at times I type to quickly for this platforms capabilities

        1. Good for Mercedes, that $10,000,000,000 that F1 is valued at is money that has been earned by the teams but kept by Bernie and the people he sold the rights to. With that $10,000,000,000 to spend the teams could have developed a variety of different engines which would not only have spiced up the racing but improved the engines going into our road cars and that would have attracted more manufacturers to invest in F1.

          1. Do I have enough 0s their?

            1. Forehead slap, “there” not their.

            2. So many they got your head spinning into typo’s @Hohum! But I fully agree that Mercedes has every right to grab just as big a share as other teams, after all they did support teams winning 80 races and in their Brawn guise they won the WDC only 3 years ago. Not to mention having been in car racing for almost 50 years before Formula 1 was established.

              One does have to wonder what Bernie is aiming at though, I would not be surprised, if he is even doing this to make the Singapore share deal (wanted mainly by CVC) fall through, because that is the surest result that is to come from not offering Mercedes more equal terms compared to McLaren, Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari.

            3. in their Brawn guise they won the WDC only 3 years ago

              I’m yet to see you justify this, @bacb – Mercedes never owned any part of Brawn while it was competing as Brawn. They supplied engines, but that was it. As I pointed out the other day, the sporting regulations do not credit results to engine suppliers, and without owning a stake in the team, Mercedes have no claim to Brawn’s title. The physical team at Brackley might, but the sporting regulations make no provision for this.

              that is the surest result that is to come from not offering Mercedes more equal terms compared to McLaren, Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari

              As far as I know, Lotus haven’t been offered anything. If they have been offered anything, it would be the same as Mercedes and would not include a share in the sport.

            4. @PM

              Maybe the North American franchise system is in fact a better way to run F1 (or as some have humourously branded the alternative as F.Libre)

              You have over time correctly pointed out the huges changes in racing rules, racing participants, tracks, sponsors, tyre manufacturers, technical regulations….

              The arbitrary nature of rewarding racing participants for “historic” reasons and then changing where that point in history lies together with the Red Bull exception to the rule is clearly absurd.

            5. Ehm, @prisoner-monkeys, I completely fail to see any relevance to the discussion here with this comment

              Mercedes never owned any part of Brawn while it was competing as Brawn.

              What we are discussing is, can Mercedes be rightly seen to be important to have in F1, compared to telling them off for not achieving much since they increased their involvement in the sport by taking over Brawn GP.

              The sporting regulations do not say anything about payments that are or are not made to teams and on what grounds. This is because the FIA, as sporting regulator, is not allowed to at the same time dictate the commercial terms (EU-law).
              That is one of the reasons why FOM (led by Bernie, and partly owned by him) does the commercial deals with both teams and the tracks.
              Lotus has been offered an interesting package, otherwise they would not have been mentioned as having agreed on terms with Bernie. If I remember correctly, they would get money for having had back to back titles after 2000. Williams have been in agreement with Bernie as well since Parr left, although no one said anything about the terms offered to them.

              The only current top(-ish) team that would not qualify for any of the bonuses as mentioned in reports about the agreement on the terms of the new Concorde Agreement would then be Mercedes. Something that would certainly warrant the EU-Commisioner for internal markets to have a look at such a deal.

            6. What we are discussing is, can Mercedes be rightly seen to be important to have in F1, compared to telling them off for not achieving much since they increased their involvement in the sport by taking over Brawn GP.

              And that’s not the issue here. Bernie obviously has a definition of what “importance to the championship” is, and he appears to be unwilling to bend on that. If he says the most important teams are the teams that have won championships, but then groups Mercedes in with them for some other reason, then what is to stop other teams from making the same argument? HRT could say “we’re important because we’re Spanish and Formula 1 is popular in Spain”.

              To my mind, this is a case of Mercedes being upset that they haven’t been classified as important to the championship. Taking a step back from all of this, we don’t really know what anyone is being offered for certain. We’re all making assumptions about what is going on, and a lot of the discussion is going off on tangents based on speculation. For all we know, Mercedes have been offered terms that are more-favourable than what has been offered to others, but which are not as favourable as what they would like. In fact, I’d say that’s the most likely situation since Bernie went to the teams that he thought were the most important first. So I think Mercedes is upset that they haven’t been offered what they were expecting to be offered, or what they think they deserve.

            7. themanwiththechequeredflag
              11th May 2012, 15:02

              @PM HRT could say “we’re important because we’re Spanish and Formula 1 is popular in Spain

              Could have found a better example old boy – Before their car broke down, they had bits falling off it today like some relic of British Leyland

      2. It could all end in tears for the manuipulative owner of F1 commercial rights


        1. To elabroate, I love the way you seem to think that every time someone expresses dissatisfaction with the way Bernie does things, it means that an untimely, embarrassing and above all, ultimate, end is inevitably drawing nearer. How many times has someone tried to get the upper hand over Bernie? And how many have failed? The answer to the first question is “countless people”. The answer to the second question is “all of them”. Bernie has been doing this for twenty-five years. He was willing to destroy Donington Park and remove the British Grand Prix from the calendar just to get the BRDC to make upgrades to Silverstone’s pits that they had promised years before. Why do you think he’s suddenly going to turn tail and run at the sight of Mercedes?

          When it was first reported that Ferrari and Red Bull were being offered a share in the sport, it was also reported that they were being offered that share because they hd a certain intrinsic value to the sport: namely, that they had been the teams to win the World Constructors’ and World Drivers’ Championships most recently. And this speculation was substantiated – though not confirmed as fact – when McLaren came on-board, as McLaren won a World Drivers’ Championship in 2008. Likewise, Williams and Lotus have not been offered this deal, despite having won championships in the past twenty years (when Lotus were Benetton).

          If Bernie is offering a share in the sport to teams who have won championships, and will continue to offer a share to any team who wins championships in the future, then what claim does Mercedes have to that share? This whole thing reeks of Mercedes saying “We think we should be given more, because we think we’re more important than other people believe we are”. And yet, you seem to think that this inflated sense of self-worth will be enough to destroy Bernie forever. I see common sense is alarmingly uncommon today.

          1. sonoffingerboy
            11th May 2012, 8:32

            @PM Wrong again – his end is near – he’s 82

            1. He’ll probably get experimental gene therapy in the near future so that’ll have to life longer with a face being even more ugly because of the mutation.

            2. I fail to see what that has to do with Mercedes somehow getting the best of him. It would be in poor taste of them to claim a victory if he has a heart attack before they sign up to the new Concorde Agreement. And worse if they claimed their refusal to sign caused his heart attack.

              And it would not surprise me if Bernie out-lives us all.

            3. Maybe Fabiana will not want him around for too long. She’ll get the cash without having to worry about Bernie sliding his hands seductively accross her……

            4. girfriendofPrisonerMonkeys
              11th May 2012, 9:29

              I know how Fabiana feels.

            5. BobEngineer
              11th May 2012, 9:35

              I’d buy my first Merc if they can pull it off

          2. But Mercedes won the World Championship as Brawn 3 seasons ago.

            1. @danbrown180

              Mercedes won the World Championship as Brawn 3 seasons ago.

              Mercedes didn’t own any part of Brawn then. They have no claim to that championship.

              Under the current Concorde Agreement, teams are paid money from the television rights based on their finishing position in the World Constructors Championship multiplied by their historical value to the championship. When a team is re-branded to reflect its ownership – such as when Brawn became Mercedes – they give up that historical multiplier. The team was paid eighty million (or so) pounds for winning the championship in 2009, and then they were given the prize money for fourth place in 2010. Because they changed their ownership, they changed their name to Mercedes. So they were paid as Mercedes, recognised as a new team (the original Mercedes pre-dates the Concorde Agreement, and so probably didn’t count because counting it would open the door for other teams to adopt histoical names in order to get paid more). Not Mercedes plus Brawn.

              So if that was the case until now, with Mercedes being paid in recognition of Mercedes’ results, why should that suddenly change? Why should Mercedes suddenly be rewarded for Brawn’s success when in the past, it hasn’t been a problem? I’d say it’s because a share of the sport is being offered, and Mercedes want some of it, even though having it contradicts the previous arrangements. So to my mind, this feels like Mercedes trying to make a grab at a share in the sport, because the alternative would mean having to win the World Constructors Championship. That’s what I think Bernie is trying to do: offer teams a share in the sport as a reward for winning the World Championship. By offering a share of the sport to Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, he is recognising the winners of the WDC and WCC since 2000. But I don’t think it is a one-time-only deal – whoever wins the 2012 title will also get a share in the sport, as will the 2013 winners and 2014 and so on. It appears that Mercedes want a share of the sport, but they’re not confident they can win the title yet. So they overstate their importance to the championship, claiming that, as a manufacturer, they are vitally-important to the success of the sport.

              And people accuse Bernie of being driven solely by greed …

            2. themanwiththechequeredflag
              11th May 2012, 12:38

              An arguement of straw

            3. An arguement of straw

              Yeah, you don’t actually know what a straw man argument is, do you?

              A straw man argument is where someone draws a parallel to a situation, and then refutes that parallel. That someone then says “I disproved the parallel, so I disproved the situation” without actually addressing the situation at all.

              Since I never drew a parallel, I couldn’t disprove it. Which means I couldn’t claim that I had disproved the situation by disproving the parallel. Which means that mine is not a straw man argument.

              But hey, I understand. You ran out of arguments of your own and got all confused by my logic and reason and just said the first thing that came to mind, regardless of whether or not it had anything to do with the debate. It’s a performance issue. Some men do have it, and it’s more common than you think.

    2. Maybe Ferrari, Red Bull and Mclaren have been suckered into a deal. Mercedes may be able to bring the entire house of cards tumbling down and hence have even more power than those who scurried for BE’s favour.

      1. Yes, considering all Bernie really owns is the name “Formula 1″, I wouldn’t care if it were called something else ,eg.IOW1, especially if the teams got more money to develop their cars with more freedom to try different routes to success, after all it used to be called ” Formula Free” ( F.Libre )

        1. sonoffingerboy
          11th May 2012, 8:34

          Viva F.Libre

        2. And I see you’re totally ignoring the way Bernie was one of the first to support the teams when they declared their intentions to form a breakway series at the 2009 British Grand Prix. Ecclestone’s support was one of the major reasons why Max Mosley took the threat so seriously – without Bernie, he probably wouldn’t have met the teams’ demands at all.

          1. @PM Fool. Of course he did – so he could control the rights of the new series. My enemies enemy is my friend. Stick up for the teams against evil max and “we’ll make it happen together elsewhere” was BE thinking

            1. I love these reactionary comments. I could post “the sky is blue” and I’m sure someone would come along and argue that the sky is green simply because they’re opposing me.

              Of course Bernie supported FOTA so that he could be in control of the new series. But you’re missing a critical point here: Bernie knew that if the breakway series went ahead, the FOTA series would be much stronger than the FIA series because the FIA would need to find eight teams in six months, whereas the FOTA series already had teams. Secondly, the teams needed Bernie, because Bernie controls the commercial rights to the sport; without Bernie, the FOTA series would have no calendar. Hence, it would never be able to go ahead without Bernie’s support.

              The teams needed Bernie just as much as Bernie needed the teams. And despite your attempts to portray him as an evil goblin, the teams actually have a pretty good relationship with him. If anybody is the fool here, it’s you for assuming that because you do not like Bernie, the teams do not like him.

            2. @PM FOTA series would not have needed Ecclestone. Not that hard to negotiate with tracks sponsors and promoters. Hire a few lawyers.

            3. FOTA series would not have needed Ecclestone. Not that hard to negotiate with tracks sponsors and promoters. Hire a few lawyers.

              Yes, they would have needed Ecclestone. Any circuit hosting a race has a contract with Bernie. That contract will probably award Formula 1 the right to race exclusively as the only top-tier open-wheel series at that circuit. Even if FOTA hired a battalion of lawyers, they never would have come to a resolution in the six months between the announcement of the breakaway series and the start date of its first season. It probably would have taken at least twelve months – more like eighteen – just to get the legal issues settled. in that time, all the FIA would have to do is put together the minimum number of tems needed to run the series, show up in Bahrain in 2010 and race, and they would be able to claim that they were the premier series, thereby winning the dispute with FOTA.

              In the end, however, none of this really matters. The lack of a calendar (one was floating around, but was later proven to be made by fans), commercial broadcast agreement and technical rules made the FOTA series untenable from the start. The announcement was just a breakaway designed to force Mosley to meet their demands. I doubt FOTA had any intention of following through on the threat, and once they convinced Bernie to side with them, there was never any need to make good on it.

            4. maxandjohnfanclub
              11th May 2012, 11:33

              @PM You don’t know that the contract excludes anything – and clearly you’ve not thought this through as how do you enforce

              That contract will probably award Formula 1 the right to race exclusively as the only top-tier open-wheel series at that circuit

              legal minefield!!!

              If you knew anything about international law and restraint of trade – no injunctions preventing the tracks from running this alternative series would hold water whilst the dispute was being fought. And you clearly believe that would be an extensive period of time.

              Further the tracks would have loved it had F1 pitched up for a weekend followed by FLibre the next.

              However, the likelehood would have been the FIA and F1 would not have been capable of running a series at all and the stragglers would have defected with the other 8 FOTA teams.

              If you remembered your F1 recent history in 2009 there were only 10 teams and 8 were in FOTA.

              The F1 name would then lay dormant until the FIA – realising they are cut out of the world’s premier motor racing event – would wrest back the brand from Bernie – probably claiming that the previous incumbent (Mosely) had acted in a corrupt manner not befitting his office or authority and not in the interest of the FIA by selling the rights for $1m a year to his mate in the first place.

              VIVA F.LIBRE!!!

            5. @prisoner-monkeys, you know full well, that a breakaway series would NOT have needed Bernie (he would have made it easier for them, but also left them with a smaller share).

              Its not as if all tracks that can run F1 style races have contracts with Bernie, these teams would just have had to race elsewhere. At the time they could even have had a deal with Silverstone, they could have theoretically agreed to race at Indy. And France was there for the taking, a Spanish track could have been found, etc. It would not have been lucrative for them, at least not at the start, because obviously they would not have had the opportunity to make Bernie style deals. Would have been a bit of a tight schedule though.

              The biggest problem was the risk in doing so, which ultimately meant the teams went for a deal with Bernie.

            6. They sold their birthright for a pot of broth maybe?

    3. What a great race! You don’t see cars spinning out like that as much these days! Top marks to Schuey for keeping the car running despite running wide at St. Devote!

      1. And Mika Salo running all the race without stopping!

    4. sonoffingerboy
      11th May 2012, 0:49

      I may be thick, but how can you float the F1 business when all the teams are not signed up to appear. All F1 teams need to do is sign for only a couple of years thus frustrating BE and they regain control.

      1. It’s called “divide and conquer”Machiavelli had nothing on Bernie.

    5. I always like comparing different headlines for the same story in different publications. The Guardian‘s headline for the Rosberg/Alonso/Hamilton/blocking story was “Lewis Hamilton to be questioned over aggressive style at F1 meeting” — as though Rosberg weren’t the one whose driving most people are calling into question with regard to those incidents. Because Hamilton must ALWAYS be in the spotlight. ;-)

      1. @aka_robyn To be fair The Guardian is a British paper, so fair enough if they make the headline more about the only British driver involved than the other drivers also involved in the incident(s). Don’t be so cynical :p

        1. The title would lead you to believe it was Hamilton doing the driving…

        2. No, sorry, in my opinion that headline is seriously straining the bounds of accuracy. It is not his “aggressive style” that’s the true subject of this story (or, I imagine, of the drivers’ meeting discussion) — as much as The Guardian might like it to be!

          1. I don’t really understand this issue that well.

            My confusion is why didn’t Lewis or Alsonso just go the other side of Rosberg. They had the whole track to play with and I would think that would logically be the right move so as not to leave the track.

            I get what Rosberg is saying. He made one move. He was always ahead of the guys behind him and he have them literally the whole track on the other side.

            It seems to me that Lewis and Alsonso just decided to force the issue out of bloody mindedness than anything else. The other side was wide open. Why?

            Please correct me if I am wrong. I am really interested in this.

            1. Because in both cases Hamilton and Alonso had already committed to going on that side. With Hamilton in particular, Rosberg moved over so suddenly that Hamilton’s only reaction was to continue going right around. As it happened, Rosberg defended so aggressively that he covered all the way to edge of the track, and Hamilton had no choice but to continue going that way, taking him off track.

              tbh, I don’t see the issue. Rosberg defended very aggressively, but legally. However, if you defend that aggressively, by forcing a driver off the track as they are caught off-guard by the severity of your defence, you have to accept that the attacking driver will be equally aggressive, keep their foot in it and still go around the outside if possible. That is how I see it- Rosberg didn’t break any rules in his defence, and Hamilton’s off-track pass was under a forced situation, brought on by over-exuberant defending. So no penalties either way.

            2. @matt90 thanks heaps for your reply.

              Couldn’t Lewis or Alonso just go the other way. Or just lift off? CAn someone explain why they can’t do this, lift off or change direction and go the other side, or is it just because they are not used to having to back out of a move?

              I mean if you can’t make the pass stick you have to back off right?

            3. Like I said, they were committed to that direction. Hamilton in particular was really veering across. I imagine a sudden direction change would be dangerous- either they could spin or likely clip the back or side of Rosberg. Regardless, neither driver would have known that Rosberg would block right to the edge of the track, so didn’t expect to have to lift off. By the time they realised they weren’t being left space they were already pushed off the track.

            4. Also, I do wonder if maybe Hamilton was never in danger of a penalty because they viewed the defensive driving as over-the-top, but only didn’t give Rosberg a penalty because they took into account that Hamilton got by regardless, so wasn’t hindered by Rosberg’s driving.

            5. We should bear in mind that the aerodynamics of the cars don’t allow the drivers make just any kind of moves/passes they would wish especially when they’re at approaximately similar speed.

            6. @matt: wasn’t hindered? Hamilton went off track into the dirt. It would have token alteast a full lap to scrub the tires clean.

            7. Not hindered in the sense that he still made it past.

    6. no DRS map yet keith?

      1. thejudge13+
        11th May 2012, 8:52

        I heard this morning that DRS activation point 750m before the breaking zone for turn 1 – breaking zone is 130m.

        this makes the zone 50m longer than last year.

        Nice and sunny here!!!

    7. Good to see they are open for debate instead of showing pictures in a press conference blaming each other aggresively ala Jarno Trulli…!

        1. THANK YOU for posting that! I was really hoping it would end up on YouTube! :-D

        2. I didn’t really have an opinion about Alonso before but now I am now liking him more and more.

        3. I love the way the drivers are starting to act more naturally in press conferences. Great one by Vettel, loved to see Alonso being embarrassed at first then he brought up Monza, trying to look serious, but the corners of his mouth show he was joking. nice moments.

          You also got to love Kimi just sitting next to it minding his nails!

        4. Thanks @codesurge I was looking forward to watching that :D

          Once again, Kimi shows no emotion. Classic.

        5. Nice come back by Fernando! And the troll face after that…!

    8. Canada would be a huge blow should Bernie force it off the calendar… Between that and Spa, we are close to losing two of the greatest tracks we have.

      1. Typical Bernie tactics, now he has Texas and New Jersey he can squeeze Canada out. No doubt Prisoner Monkeys will hail the loss of the Canadian GP as a great victory for Bernie, much like the loss of Watkins Glenn before.

        1. I am pretty sure your are spot on there @hohum, with a not only 2 (or maybe even 3? – see recent rumours) USA races on the table, rumours of one in Mexico being in the making and the supposed deal for Argentine all but done, its the perfect time to squeeze Montreal a bit for maximum profits.

      2. After last year’s debacle, don’t you think Bernie’s position is understandable, if not totally justified? Sure, the race was fantastic, but the two-hour race suspension was embarrassing. The circuit simply doesn’t have the drainage to cope with a downpour. After all, there were ankle-deep puddles in places, which just shouldn’t happen. As for the pit buildings, they’re twenty-five years old. Between Silverstone’s upgrade in 2011 and the talk of a new pit area at Interlagos, Montreal will soon have the oldest and most outdated faciltiies at any circuit.

        Bernie is only asking them to spend nine and a half million pounds, which isn’t a lot. And nor is he demanding that they sort it out right now – they have two years to commit to the funding, and Bernie will likely allow them to go for another year or two with the current facilities so long as they can demonstrate the progess is coming. After all, he was fine with Silverstone using the old facilities in 2010 because the upgrade was coming for 2011.

        1. You call the race fans considered to have been the best last year and one of the best of the past 5 years overall

          last year’s debacle


          Sure, Berie is right that the paddock and the track need updating. And it is the right time to talk about it, because they would have to start planning the work now to get it done in the next couple of years. But as bernieslovechild mentions, he will just honour the contract for the next couple of years, not

          will likely allow them to go for another year or two with the current facilities so long as they can demonstrate the progess is coming

          until the existing contract runs out.

          But in the end, Its not just about facilities here. Sure its a factor, as is it a factor that Montreal has been largely popular with fans and teams. But in the end it will always boil down to the money they can offer for staging the race.

          1. themanwiththechequeredflag
            11th May 2012, 12:58

            And when the oil barons of ther Middle East and South America outbid Montreal – you’ll lose your race and we’ll all lose a fantastic racing venue.

            @PM commented to the effect last week that hardly any traditional tracks had dissapeared – Austria.

            The real issue is not what has happened but what is happening.

            Germany track owners have had their license to use the Nurbergring revoked because of money.

            Hockenheim have clearly stated they can only afford a race very other year.

            Spa is about to only host an event every other year.

            Barcelona has said a number of times – falling receipts in current economic times mean they are struggling – possibly will alternative with valencia

            The BDRC has announced they are open to selling to get investment into Silverstone as the escalator in fee’s will become problematic soon.

            South Korea – the local govt who host the race are making massive losses.

            China renogiated their deal last year because they felt they were paying too much.

            Melbourne he mooted they may no longer beable to afford F1

            In contrast – Monaco pay nothing – presumably because they are so poor.

            It appears fee’s charged by FOM are in fact a very big deal.

            If CVC paid its shareholders a $1.5bn dividend last year – think where all that cash could have gone

        2. After last year’s debacle, don’t you think Bernie’s position is understandable, if not totally justified?

          Well, even Sepang flooded… which is a permanent race track built just 13 years ago. Though I know what you mean: Montral might need an upgrade.

    9. Top marks to Schumi for sticking to his guns without blaming Pirelli and therefore avoiding censure for criticising a sponsor, this discussion is necessary, the tyres are way to influential in the results.
      I am not calling for a return to “no pit stops” ( all though I certainly enjoyed the racing without them), all I want is a return to a tyre durable enough to allow a driver to keep trying to pass the car in front for a couple of laps without totally destroying the tyres. I would also endorse the rule changes Keith suggested to allow the teams more choice in tactics.

      1. I agree @hohum, although Schumacher does phrase it differently now, good for him sticking with his opinion that this is not what he wants to see in F1. It certainly is something worth discussing
        IMO it would be a good start to ditch the need to stop and the top 10 starts on Q3 tyres rules.
        I had a discussion with my brother, and we came up with an Idea, to allow teams to tell Pirelli what 2 types of tyres, and how many of each they would like for each GP (it would have to be a couple of weeks up front, to allow for the logistics), so they can at least choose the tyres best fitting to their car. That way a team could really plan to do qualifying on the supersofts and then do the whole race on the hards, for example. Or have only softs and use them for qualifying and the race, etc.

    10. I don’t really understand this issue that well. I have copied and moved this comment here so that people can respond.

      My confusion is why didn’t Lewis or Alsonso just go the other side of Rosberg. They had the whole track to play with and I would think that would logically be the right move so as not to leave the track.

      I get what Rosberg is saying. He made one move. He was always ahead of the guys behind him and he have them literally the whole track on the other side.

      It seems to me that Lewis and Alsonso just decided to force the issue out of bloody mindedness than anything else. The other side was wide open. Why?

      Couldn’t Lewis or Alonso just go the other way. Or just lift off? Can someone explain why they can’t do this, lift off or change direction and go the other side, or is it just because they are not used to having to back out of a move? Or is it that they just can’t change direction in that situation for some reason?

      Surely the excuse that I just didn’t want to back off or go the other way is not a good one for leaving the track or forcing a dangerous issue.

      I mean if you can’t make the pass stick you have to back off right?

      Please correct me if I am wrong. I am really interested in this.

      1. My confusion is why didn’t Lewis or Alsonso just go the other side of Rosberg. They had the whole track to play with and I would think that would logically be the right move so as not to leave the track.

        They went right because the racing line is on the extreme left of the circuit. And with Turn 4 being a right-hander, going right gave them the best attacking position. Rosberg cut across to defend, and while it’s easy to say that Hamilton and Alonso should have gone left, they were already committing to an attack from the right. To change tack and go from the left would have required them to back off, cut across and try to go around the outside, which would have been very easy to defend.

        1. @PM Or more acurately….

          As the cars come out of turn 4 (which has a raidius over 120 degress ie tight) they naturally move accross the other side of the track to let the car run out and maintain speed.

          However, both Hamilton and Alonso had taken a different line into the corner from the regular racing line, staying wide of the apex and going deeper. This in effect increased the next straight a little and meant they could get on the power earlier.

          If the cars are fairly like for like (tyre deg etc…) on a corner much more than 120 degrees it becomes highly improbable that you can continue around the outside of the car in fron unless they make a mistake.

          The fact that no one of note even tried the double bluff at this corner – ie shaping up to go deep and cut to the right but then attacking around the left – demonstrates it was not really even worth a try.

          So to attack on the right was the best option available to the drivers and Rossberg knew it so he was ready to shut the door quickly – as has been suggested “robustly”

          1. @woofie thanks for that, what you say makes sense to me.

    11. The damage the Bahrain Grand Prix has done to F1 extends beyond its image, but indeed its credibility. Something so disgusting and immoral is bad enough — but when it’s against your own written rules — I cannot see how anyone could respect the decision made by the FIA. Furthermore, the whole thing has all but killed my enthusiasm for this coming Grand Prix. The more things like this happen, the more I — and the majority of F1 fans — will fall out of love with F1.

      Also, if it’s 130R’s birthday, doesn’t that make it Suzuka’s birthday too? ;-)

      1. *…but indeed to its credibility. Actually, that whole first sentence is a mess.

      2. The majority of fans. Lol. I think you jest matey. Where did you get your figures mate. I am sure the ratings were the same as always.

        Most keyboard protesters on F1F couldn’t even stop themselves from watching the race.This is to say most of the people on F1F watched it, there were only a few that said they didn’t watch.

        The maximum effort people were prepared to put in was tapping a quick comment on here.

      3. We’re still talking about this nonsense? Lots of people typed angry internet words. The race went ahead anyway. It was a good race. Nothing happened. And now Bahrain is rapidly fading from the news as expected.

        Now, onto the next race.

        1. @bearforce1 Fair enough — but what did you do? You condoned the race’s scheduling, yes? And exactly what were people meant to do? Fly to Bahrain and overthrow the government?


          It was a good race. Nothing happened.

          Someone died. But hey, it was a good race! That’s all that matters, right?

          Don’t make excuses not to listen to your own morality and conscience — that’s all I’m saying.

          We’re still talking about this “nonsense” (oppression, torture, starvation, deaths — all irrelevant stuff, really) because it was featured in the round-up. You don’t have to talk about it. In fact, if you don’t care, you don’t even have to read about it!

          1. Self entitlement is off the hook in developed countries.

          2. bernieslovechild
            11th May 2012, 9:20

            And the matter needs to be pressed so that Daddy can’t slip it onto the provisional 2012 calendar in Sept.

            I think Fabiana is keen to hasten the final curtain so she doesn’t have to consumate matters

      4. If similar rioting starts happening in Spain then it will be a different story. I doubt it will impact the press as much as the contained island of ‘Bahrain’ had, but you never know. The Spanish respect Alonso to maybe threaten the events of the race, but maybe some people wants to get some media attention. I was expecting economic crises to begin to F1 sometime this year. and it feels like some significant socio-political events could begin around the time of the Olympics.
        It may be hard for the F1 reporters to ignore talking about issues outside F1.

      5. @damonsmedley
        Just a vote of confidence. Don’t let the boneheads get to you, they’re just afraid someone’s going to make them have to care about something.

        Personally I can’t say it’s clear yet, but certainly the Bahrain episode, everything surrounding it and the fact that the ruling family own a large stake in McLaren has left an unsavory taste… and made me remember also the way Todt was elected and just proved once and for all, not that I needed anymore proof, that F1 under Ecclestone is a dirty business. I’ll still watch the season, but somehow it feels like now if I miss a race I won’t care all that much. There are sports out there that don’t prostitute themselves like this. I’ve been watching for some 30 years, but it’s starting to feel pretty icky.

        1. @Maciek Thanks, but I do keep trying not to be dumbfounded by the attitudes of some!

          And I agree completely. I’ve been watching F1 for only 10 years, but this is the first proper controversy I’ve read up on (Crashgate, Spygate et al I was not so active online) and it’s given me quite a shock! I know the feeling you describe, too. In 2010 and for the first few races of 2011, I’d sit around waiting for F1 as if it’s all my life revolved around. Now I barely think about it (apart from when on this site, obviously!) and I don’t miss it during the breaks. But I don’t want to lose my love for F1!

    12. Regarding blocking, I think Alonso was being hot headed.

      He should take a lesson of F1 and pay a bit more respect to drivers before by not complaining about something that is obviously part of the game. What next? If driver is with in .5 you must let him pass?

      This is kind of non-sense Bernie is trying to keep out, but since there are so many people he have to please this is slowly getting out of control.

      You want manufactures having a stake in F1? Well then you will see artificial racing, cause no matter how good intentions are they will always be overshadowed by shareholder’s interest.

      All the companies already getting enough from F1, their exposure is at record highest, no need for them to decide what else should be changed.

    13. Oy vey – two Ecclestone things:

      I unfortunately agree with him on Montreal – I mean the need for modernization, not the threat of pulling the race. I know the race is super popular and so people don’t really want to hear much anything negative about it, but being a Montrealer who’s been to the race a few times – the facilities do need upgrading. Montreal is notorious for bad asphalt and it’s no different on the track, and the amenities for fans and teams are not what you’d call world class. Unfortunately, local willingness to invest in the race beyond the race fee is very limited, so we’ll have to see how it pans out.

      Second thing is: do I have this straight, that Ecclestone owns Paul Ricard? And that he wants a (government subsidised) fee for F1 to race there? So basically he wants to skim tax off the French public, disguised a race fee paid to some holding company that will funnel money into his pocket….?

      1. @maciek – Yes, Ecclestone owns Paul Ricard. However, it is only a problem if he owns the promoter. The promoter is responsible for organising, hosting and promoting the Grand Prix. They are the ones who pay Bernie and FOM. I very much doubt that Bernie owns the promoter for the new French Grand Prix, because he didn’t get to where he is today by making business decisions like that.

        1. @PM So how come he was publicly declaring they were close to a deal with the French government last week.

          Oh I see that was wearing his hat as F1 commercial rights holder – not race track owner.

          @PM has strenuously argued for the separation of power in F1 – can’t be right to own a track and do the deal to race there!!! Appears dodgy at best.

      2. @maciek actually its not completely clear who owns Paul Ricard currently, as its through some tax heaven, to hide the details. But its likely Bernie has influence (possibly its largely owned by the Bambino trust, i.e. Bernie’s ex-wife and lovely children).

    14. I can totally understand where Mercedes are coming from. They really ought to be on the board with the other three teams. Their lack of history is what goes against them (as far as a racing team is concerned) but given that Ecclestone is wanting to reset a lot of the Concorde agreements it makes no sense to omit Mercedes.

      1. given that Ecclestone is wanting to reset a lot of the Concorde agreements it makes no sense to omit Mercedes

        If he is resetting various aspects of the Agreement, then it makes perfect sense to omit Mercedes. They haven’t done anything to merit a share in the sport. They have only owned their current team since 2010, and in that time, they have scored one pole position and one race win. They might have supplied engines to cars that have won multiple races and Grands Prix, but they have never formally owned a stake in any of those teams. The sporting regulations are very clear on this: results are credited to the constructor, not to the engine supplier. To offer Mercedes a stake in the sport would mean overhauling the sporting regulations as well as the Concorde.

        And for what? Mercedes’ attitude seems to be “We’re a car manufacturer, so we deserve the same as other teams who have won titles, even though we haven’t won any ourselves”. Yes, they won titles fifty-seven years ago, but Bernie hasn’t offered a share in the sport to Williams – and they won titles fifteen years ago. If fifteen year-old titles don’t count for anything under the terms of the new Concorde, then fifty-seven year-old titles certainly won’t.

        1. @PM So by your own admition – its all wrong, murky and corrupt

        2. As said before, Mercedes were at the birth of the automobile, and were into racing over 50 years before the first FIA championship. Not to mention that they have been back in the sport for 25 years now, supporting teams to win some 80 races and several world championships.

          Certainly looks to me like a car company one would like to have on board in the top rank of motorsports.
          And its quite a strange thing to word the new arrangements in such a way to allow for LotusF1 to get a nice bonus (who have not won anything lately, and are being well remembered for Singapore 2008), but leave out the winners of both titles only 3 years back.
          This had nothing to do with “wanting to reset aspects of the Concorde Agreement”, but far more with Berie having very intricate ways of doing business and getting deals done.
          None of us knows exactly what his target is here, so let’s refrain from making definite statements on his targets (the only thing sure is, he wants to get the best possible deal for FOM, at least the best seen from his view).

          1. Exactly. Mercedes played a big role at McLaren- they were a significant share-holder, rather than simply an engine supplier. So they were very much involved in the 2008 WDC.

        3. @prisoner-monkeys But if he is wanting to reset it to make it more rewarding for teams with recent success he surely has to factor Mercedes into that equation? Sure, they haven’t set the world alight yet but there’s nothing to say they won’t be at the top for quite a while.

    15. I found an article suggesting that the Mercedes sticking point was a slightly different issue. It could be either on or the same this, I don’t know if getting on the board, (as stated as the reason in the Reuters article), is the same thing as appointing a new managing director, but this is the article:

      Mercedes On The Verge Of Quitting Formula 1 ?

      “Mercedes is “on the verge” of quitting formula one.” – That is the alarming claim of the London newspaper The Times, in an article written by its authoritative F1 correspondent Kevin Eason.

      Eason wrote that while rival top teams Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will get to appoint directors once F1 is floated on the Singapore exchange, Mercedes has not been extended the same offer.

      “Why should Mercedes have the same deal as the others?” F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as saying. “What have they done in formula one?

      “They won a race and that is it.”

      That attitude, Eason argues, has left Mercedes “on the verge of quitting formula one”, having apparently conducted a study into how its Brackley based works team could be withdrawn.

      Eason also quoted Ecclestone as having “scoffed” at the suggestion Mercedes quitting could wipe 20 per cent off the value of F1’s stock market floatation.

      1. If Mercedes were to withdraw from the sport, they would easily find a buyer. If they withdrew their engine supplies as well, the teams could easily switch to an emergency last-minute Cosworth deal for 2013 and then either stay with them in 2014 or switch to PURE.

    16. I know I’m adding nothing new here, but Schumacher really was in a league of his own in his first career.

    17. F1F has improved over time as far as quality of content goes @keith, but the comments pages are being bludgeoned and have been for a long while now. I imagine that regular posters who are contentious yet stay within the bounds of blog rules help boost site traffic. But there is a glaring gap these days, in my view, between the quality of site content and the quality of the exchanges on the site. You know, on a human level. Reading the comments on F1F used to put a smile on my face. not a satisfied ‘I won my argument’ smile, but a ‘man, what a cool site with cool people’ kinda smile. One reason why that’s much more rarely true these days is that many good natured people who used to come around don’t anymore. Doesn’t mean they haven’t been replaced I guess. But the vibe here has changed and not for the better.

      1. I have to say I strongly agree. I’ve noticed that a number of posts have been removed from this articles comments section today – and approriately so.

        My humble offering is that there are a small number of contributers – some registered and some guests – who seem to dominate certain discussions.

        My observation (which is only my view) is that it appears that a certain registered user feels it necessary to place a large number of comments accross multiple threads and also within a single thread. The style of these at times can appear authorative, abrasive, and negatively critical.

        This has engaged a number of other contributers to react – rightly or wrongly.

        The impossible task for Keith and the team is to monitor the spirit of what’s being said. It may be that if a contributor has a style as I suggested above, they attract attention and people merely wish to engage that person ad infinitum.

        But hey, the debate over internet freedom/censorship has been raging for years. So what do you do?

        1. bernieslovechild
          11th May 2012, 21:03

          I want to apologise. I have been engaging the individual mentioned above – and probably at times inappropriately. I suppose the best way to allow my irritation at certain things said is to allow them to be seen for what they are – rather than engage them to the nth degree.

          This is clearly the best F1 site around in both quantity of editorial produced and the quality therein.

          I want to support keith in his endeavours not create problems for him.

      2. @maciek When I last caught up on this comment thread I was unhappy with what I found. As @aj13 pointed out quite a few comments have now been removed. I never like removing comments but some of the contributions on here simply weren’t up to the standard that’s expected. People who want to troll and insult others can go elsewhere.

        1. @keith
          I certainly appreciate that it mustn’t be easy to manage the comments sections while maintaining as much freedom for everyone to express their views as possible. And lord knows that everyone can come off abrasive once in a while, myself included. But beyond comments that may come off as directly insulting to others or as various forms of trolling, the daily F1F comment threads have become dominated (over say, the past year, or so) by commenting that is formally within the rules, yet – in my own personal, one guy opinion – has worked to the detriment of people interested in pleasant exchanges with other fans and to the advantage of others whose attitude tends to be hostile and domineering. And sometimes I’m left feeling slightly puzzled that that’s tolerated. Of course this is wholly subjective on my part, and it’s easy for me to talk when I’m not the one with the responsibilities, but there you are.

          1. @maciek I’m not commenting on individual user/s comments. I’ve explained a bit more about the thinking behind comment policy here:



            At the root of it all lies the conflicting demands of allowing free expression and encouraging open debate while preventing abuse.

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