Bernie Ecclestone, Bahrain International Circuit, 2016

F1 expected to keep Strategy Group

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One’s Strategy Group, which ratified the short-lived elimination qualifying and double points regulations and includes representation from just half of the F1 teams, is expected to be retained when new commercial deal beyond 2020 are agreed.

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Comment of the day

Start, Valencia, 2012
F1 raced in Valencia five times
The European Grand Prix, previously held in Valencia, will be in Azerbaijan this year. But at least one Valencian didn’t think much of his local race:

Here in Valencia, Bernie Ecclestone conditioned the race to a victory of one of the political choices in the local elections. His choice won, and we had the race. Then in the next election his choice lost, and the new government ended the contract, of which, although I’m a big fan of F1, I’m glad.

The circuit was ugly, poorly designed and boring. The organisation was very poor, the track don’t showed the city, and the choice of date, completely bad (in August we have 35-40C every day, and there was no shadow spaces on the entire circuit). It was a complete waste of public money, while 50% of children of this city are studying in prefabricated classrooms without air conditioning or heating, because there’s ‘no public money for this’.

Of course, the track now is rotting into oblivion. Since the last race, has been done no maintenance, and no money for conservation, or use is intended. The housing area that was to be built around is deserted, with some half-built buildings, completely abandoned. A bridge over the river was built to improve access to the circuit (€1.5 million) and now the bridge is broken, abandoned and unused because the whole area is closed to the public and is forbidden to pass. Nevertheless, groups of people in need have been commissioned to steal all the copper cable installations possible without any action taken to prevent it.

I wanted the F1 to visit my country and my city, but not in this conditions.

If this happens in Europe … imagine how it can be in a place like Azerbaijan or Bahrain.
EsMiZ

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On this day in F1

An exciting round of the Formula 3000 championship at Imola 30 years ago today saw future F1 drivers Pierluigi Martini and Ivan Capelli separated by less than a second at the flag, the former taking victory.

Meanwhile in the CART IndyCar championship on the same day two more F1 names of the future enjoyed success: Michael Andretti triumphed at the wheel of his Adrian Newey-designed March in the Milwaukee 200.

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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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  • 64 comments on “F1 expected to keep Strategy Group”

    1. That piece about Caterham was certainly a very interesting read. One comment mentioned Ferrari being interested in getting a UK base. While it certainly isn’t something that is reliable in the slightest, it certainly makes for an interesting talking point.

      1. It was something Ferrari used to do in in the 80s and early 90s when John Barnard was their designer. He staunchly refused to move to Italy to keep his family localised, so he organised a UK design office with them, and would often design the ‘following year’s car’ from there in the UK. Jean Todt then brought the practice to an end around 1996, when he started better organising and centralising Ferrari at Maranello etc.

        So would be interesting to find out whether any such moves for it again in 2016 are out of a need of diversification or desperation at lack of recent success.

      2. I found it fascinating how big of an operation and good Catherham facilities looked. There was genuine investment there, but somehow things just didn’t work out in the sports sense. Always pictured them and Marussia as much smaller. Would really like to know how Marussia’s own compound compares to Catherham’s.

        1. @sergio-perez The problem was it was all pomp and ‘big investment’ to make the team seem secure and attractive for further investment. Anyone who picked under the hood could see it was all for show.

          After all, it’s less about the number of computers and more what is on them.

    2. Senna’s family has been making cash off him since immediately after he died. Didn’t they even pay for his nephew to drive in F1? This watch is just the latest money grab by his sister.

      1. @darryn – For sure, someone is going to make money out of Senna (I am sure a lot of people and companies are) I would rather it was his family than anyone else – I think Franchitti is being a little priggish, as dead people (or their image, etc.) are used to advertise things all of the time!

      2. That Senna add has been running around Asia for a while. The most morbid part is that, I believe, at launch, it was in the “don’t crack under pressure” marketing line, but someone got some sense and changed it to “remembering Senna”

        1. There is a chance that proceeds from this ad go to charity. That happens a lot with celebrities and musicians or their families, who don’t otherwise need the money, and whose ads you see and make you wonder why they would be doing that.

    3. Bernie might be wrong on human rights, but he’s certainly right on human wrongs.

      1. I see what you did there.

    4. Why are we surprised, anyway, about all this human rights discussion? Look, F1 is no stranger to the modern world, even if Bernie’s mentality is all about money and he doesn’t care about anything else, there are organizations that are beating him.

      The European Olympic Committees is also going to Baku this month, with the first European Games. And where are they going next, in 4 years? Yeah, Russia! the home of the Winter Olympics not long ago…

      FIFA is going to Russia in 2 years with the World Cup, and then it’s time to go to Qatar, which won the bid to hold the tournament after what’s believed to be a complete fixation of the vote, with bribery and corruption at it’s highest levels, with also allegations of human rights violations.

      Never mind that these events often suck all the money and resources from countries and leave them in complete dispair, broken and in social crisis. The costs are running higher and higher. Every nation is trying to beat the previous one and they cannot afford it, while FIFA, the Olympic Comitee, Bernie and others take those bags full of money to their bank accounts in Switzerland.

      It’s the modern world, a modern world that isn’t that new. It’s propaganda before anything, as always.

      1. Very well put.
        It sort of ties in with the COTD and then it begs the question, what drives those ventures which are ab initio clearly going to end in dramatic failures? To what extent could greed and delusions of grandeur by the so-called elite be the driving force of such catastrophic decisions? Catastrophic when viewed in light of the social impact on needy local populations as funds are clearly misspent.
        I have wondered what could or may be discovered should there be an external audit or investigation into the management of F1 when Bernie finally leaves. To a large extent, there seem to be running similarities between what goes on in F1, FIFA and some of the big sporting organisations.

        1. The term you’re looking for is ‘Vanity Project’. They get pushed through by X politician/government and then promptly abandoned when replaced/deposed by politician/government Y.

          It happenes everywhere, cases in point being Circuit of the Americas and their funding issues after the local government changed and the communities around the London 2012 Olympics venues *still* being destitute because it was all for show at the time to gain votes for elections.

    5. the article about the Caterham base made me really really sad. More than I’ve been in a while. To see F1 factory abandoned and empty like this is devastating

      1. It’s such a pity. It’s always a sad day for F1 when one of its teams collapses. I certainly was. This factory hasn’t had much luck with its teams.

        1. Was it Arrows before?

          1. @alloythere Yes it was. The team that was always my 2nd favorite team in F1 because they usually had the best(or very close to the best) looking cars, at least in my opinion

            In the interim it was also a base for Super Aguri F1

    6. So wait, why is everyone up in arms about Human Rights in Azerbaijan when the rest of the calendar is littered with corrupt countries with draconian laws?

      What about..
      China – Not a democracy, ruled by an authoritarian Communist party
      Malaysia – Institutionalized racism and corruption. This is a country anyone can be hauled for bogus charges (if deemed to be depicting the government in unfavorable light) and be held in custody indefinitely with no trial
      Singapore – Similar to Malaysia, one can be held in custody without trial indefinitely
      Russia – Speaks for itself
      Bahrain – Also speaks for itself
      Abu Dhabi – The appalling treatment of blue collar foreign workers in the UAE is well documented

      These are governments that F1 has decided to get into bed with, so its business as usual. The press have nothing to get excited about. If Kim the Third is willing to stump up the hosting fees, we’d be watching The North Korean Grand Prix (and who is to say this wont happen??). Rightly or wrongly so, F1 does not have a moral compass. It (or Bernie) is driven by money, which transcends any political issue one can think of…but then again, isnt that how the world works?

      1. @jaymenon10 Plus there are plenty of coutnies seen as “fair democracies”, the so called “free world” that oppress the poor countries with their policies, deals, wars, and so on…

      2. The truth is that no country is perfect, far from it. But as long as there’s a fan base and audience for a race I think we all agree that it should be given a chance, look at Brazil and Mexico, corruption, social problems, etc but no one is saying F1 shouldn’t be there.

        The problem is when there’s zero fans or tradition for motorsport and hosting a race is just a means to a political end.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          8th June 2016, 12:48

          I’d prefer the sport/us to acknowledge the existence of political issues and where possible engage them rather than (call for a) boycot. This is often a first step to true change (see @drycrust’s comment a few days ago).
          I’m critical though of F1 being used to prominently showcase a specific leader. Let’s hope that Baku remains an F1 spectacle without the cringeworthy elements of Socchi.

    7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      8th June 2016, 1:39

      Wow, that Sports for Rights tweet is astonishing. I’m almost speechless.
      What are they just going to line the entire track with pictures of fake buildings?

      1. I look forward to seeing them fluttering in the wake of speeding cars. So tacky.
        Green screen fabric might have worked better. Then Bernie could project whatever he wants onto our TVs.
        Sigh.

        1. Curb (@curbshifter)
          8th June 2016, 8:23

          Oh no! Dont give them ideas :s with the hubbub about VR coming in the mix I could actually see this happening.

        2. @scalextric Material facades…not unlike what one might do around one’s slot car layout.

      2. So is that a “Facade” or a “Farce-aid”.

      3. Lest I forget, the entire Baku race track is lined on both sides by buildings some of them historic. So how smart is it to cover those beautiful structures with fabric? How much does it cost to shield the entire 6kms or sizeable portion of the track and put up the fabric and take them down? Maybe cost of living is low in Baku and labour is cheap. If that is the case how long are the race organizers willing to do that? How many races before they say the cumulative costs and labour is high?
        Then you have the remote possibility of one of those things coming loose while cars are on track.

      4. William Jones
        8th June 2016, 11:04

        Singapore did the same thing with it’s court building when it was under renovation, there was no great outcry then. That building is covered in scaffolding, and is not on the circuit, so I really don’t understand the problem, plenty of building sites beautify in this way when tourists could see it.

        1. +1 for William. Why are we concluding that Baku will cover the entire city? Many buildings in London are covered in the same way…

          I’m not a fan of Azerbaijan but sensationalism like this just shades the more genuine concerns by association.

    8. I´m surprised, my comment is the “comment of the day” so I want to puntualize some data that it’s not 100% accurate in my first comment.

      1) Government: The contract was ended by the same political option that was signed it. But not by the same man. President Camps was the signer of the contract, and the man who ended the contract was President Fabra. Why this change of President within the same party? Because Camps was accused of corruption in some other cases and was forced to abandon the government. When Fabra took over as president, He was forced to end the contract because of the bankrupt of the administration.

      In fist time, Camps promised the citizens that the F1 is costing “0 €” to valencians. A private company called VALMOR was going to be the organizer of the event. Actually, that company was bankrupted in no time, and the government purchased it for 1 €, assuming all debts (46 million €).

      Finally, all costs were paid by the administration, and the 5 years GP organization cost us near 300 million € (Bernie’s canon: 110 million + cost of the track: 89 million + organizing costs: 46 million + VALMOR’s debts: 41 million + Local TV contract: 22 million). And we can thank Bernie forgave us the termination clause of the contract, valued at 56 million.

      To this day, all council members of the political party that were in the time in government are accused of corruption. Yes, all. However, again they won the elections in 2015 and if they do not govern, is thanks to the coalition of two less voted parties.

      2) The percentaje of children studying in prefabricated classrooms is not 50%. I have done research but I can’t say the exact percentaje. I can say Valencia is a 800.000 inhabitants city in a 2,5 million inhabitants province. The number of children studying in that type of classrooms is 18.000. Some of this classrooms are running for more than 7 years now, when these clasrooms was intended to run a maximum of two years while new schools are built. Very few new schools were built in the last 10 years, and, of course, even the building of that prefabricated classrooms (Which are basically shipping containers) is now under suspicion, because inflated prices.

      This is just a sample of how things are here. Not only schools are in trouble. The administration is virtually bankrupt and new corruption cases emerge every day.

      3) Track design, organization and maintaining.

      The track layout was a typical tilkodrome. We have Ricardo Tormo’s track, that is used in MotoGP and in the early 2000s was used in F1 to test before Monaco and Hungary, when in-season testing was allowed. It’s a very curvy track, but with few changes I think it could be a decent F1 track. But hey, we need to show the city, no? Let’s build a track in the port. Not a bad location, although slighty far from any remarkable point. Let’s contract Norman Foster to build some expensive buildings with no established use to beautify the location. Probably not that bad idea if we show it on TV and people of other locations see it and want to visit us. But the TV transmision don’t showed it much at all, and the boring track layout made the f1 fans to hate this race, that only produced a decent race in 2012.

      The organization and attending was bad too. I struggled to explain to my no-f1 fans friends that a F1 race is one of the most viewed events in the world and there is going to be a very big amount of people visiting us for the GP. But no. I attended the race for 3 times, and most of the people was local people with free tickets (like me). The organization gave many tickets to local businesses, so they pass out to their employees and the circuit will not stay empty.

      Since the last race, in 2012, no manteinance was done in the zone of the track. A part of it, the part that not run through the port, was closed by fences and, althought it’s guarded by police, some people have managed to sneak in and steal copper wire and the few valuable things that was here. Now this part of the track is growing plants in the kerbs and the whole zone seems to be a post-apocalyptical zone. If you want, I can go this week to the zone and take some pics.

      Sorry for that long post, but when this race was announced I was very excited and the thing that was resulted of it, was a very dissapointing thing to me. Besides having to give reason to my non f1-fan friends who always thought it would be a failure.

      And sorry if I made spelling mistakes, I’m still practicing my English ;)

      Greetings from Valencia

      1. Your English is very good. No worries. Thanks very much for your insight, it is good to hear a perspective from someone who is personally affected by these things.

      2. A good perspective coming from someone whose community is directly impacted by the ever expanding F1 franchise.
        It is noteworthy that your 1st point above noted that the government which signed the agreement with Bernie to bring F1 to Valencia was staggeringly corrupt. Who would have thought?
        Reading your comments, one can see your concern about the plight of the innocent children of Valencia living through the harsh realities of the outcome of Spanish politics. Your description of the fate of the children studying in makeshift container classes without the comfort of heating or Ventilation is sad to read. Could it be that Spain has not fully recovered from the housing/property crisis or simply no political will to help the poor kids?
        Here is to wishing something is done soonest for them.
        300 million Euros to host a motor show while innocent children are made to study in such conditions is a no-no for me, no matter how much I like F1.
        And don’t worry, your English is a lot better than most. Good luck on your practice:)

      3. Thanks for the extra information there @esmiz. I would love (or is it really love? Maybe more great interest, love seems too positive an emotion for a track laying in disrepair) to see some pictures of what the remains of the track now look like!

      4. @tata Well, the new goverment is making efforts and they promised they want all children in the province studying in “normal” schools before the next election in 2019. But the lack of money is big. And… we know the politicians, one thing is to promise, and other, to made it. For the moment, it seems that they are paying more attention to these things.

        Luckily we have great professionals in education, and they strive to make these classrooms are appropriate as possible for children. If you go into one of those classrooms you can see the teachers get nice places filling them with drawings, posters, etc. And there are always people willing to help and where there is no air conditioning or heating, a parent, or the teachers themselves take some from home. Fans, heaters, or portable air conditioning machines. Luckily the weather here is very favorable, in winter the temperature rarely low of 10 ° C and the months of July and August, children have holidays.

        In the world there are many children in worse conditions, crime is that, when there was money, rather than spent on this, was spent on other more superfluous things, or directly, was stolen. And now there are no money.

        To give you an idea of ​​the state of corruption, there is a case where one of these politicians spent 15 million € to help Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in buying homes in Valencia to speculate.

        And no, Spain has not recovered from the crisis. In fact, it hasn’t even improved a bit. Probably yes for large fortunes and large companies, but for the ordinary citizen, things are not changing. To give a figure, the unemployment rate in Valencia is around 20%, 46% if we talk about young people of 25 or less.

        I do not like to speak ill of my country or my city, but hide things is not going to help.

        @bascb I will try to take some pics and upload. Meanwhile you can see some photos in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cfnvQh5QI

      5. I’m not surprised it was comment of the day – fascinating insight.

      6. Andy (@andybantam)
        8th June 2016, 10:32

        @esmiz

        Fantastic read. Thank you.

      7. It’s it amazing how despite all of the problems, despite kids going to school in shipping containers, despite the city effectively being bankrupt, Bernie still wanted 56 million just to get out of the contract – something which benefitted him anyway because he could sell the spot on the calendar to another corrupt regime.

        When I say amazing, I of course really mean exactly what I would expect from one of the worst people in the world.

      8. Whats wrong with pre-fabricated classrooms! My school (in the UK) had a pre-fab classroom for the entire time I was there 30 years ago! My sons school, a very high achieving school (in the UK), also has a pre-fab classroom. It is just a space like any other! Damn you Silverstone (Northhants County Council(?)), sucking the life blood out of our youths!

        Honestly, instead of blaming Bernie for Spain’s economic problems, you should look at the idiots who convinced everyone that it had a strong enough economy to join the Euro.

        1. @asanator If I understood you well, your son’s school is a private school. You decided that your son is going to that school. It’s your decision. I´m talking about public schools. Entire public schools. And as I said, in the world there are many children in worse conditions, the problem is that we had the money to build proper schools, and we wasted it in other things, like organizing the European GP for 5 years or the America’s Cup and many other things.

          I´m not blaming Bernie for that, or for our economic problems, or for our corrupt politicians. I´m blaming Bernie for conditioning the event to a victory of a certain political party. Bernie came to Valencia in 2006/7 (I can’t remember exactly) and said “If you want F1 in Valencia, you have to vote Mr. Camps”. The rest of the comment is only a description about how the things are here, and how bad the things was made.

          You can think that this is how the world works today: money rules. But I´m not fine with that.

          As for the last sentence, it is quite debatable, but it’s a political discussion that has nothing to do with Formula 1 and I’d rather not have it here.

        2. @asanator, There is absolutely nothing wrong with prefabs or container buildings. In fact containers are increasingly being used in design and construction of buildings. Beautiful homes and commercial projects can be conceived and developed with containers as a major design statement. Containers certainly have their shortfalls which included but not limited to insulation and ventilation but they are also durable, significantly strong and easy to work with leading to fast project executions.
          So prefab container buildings are inherently not a bad idea.
          But you can agree with me that buildings which were concieved ab initio to provide temporary shelter, 2 years in this case as @Dani pointed out, but have gone on to become almost permanet fixtures on the landscape are not in the same league as those conceived to function as permanent fixtures irrespective of the materials used.

          * I have no idea the story behind the prefab schools you attended in the UK 30 years ago. I wonder if they still exist. If they do, then either some politicians have failed to do their job or the buildings were not meant to be temporary structures.

          @Dani, Spain for many years led Europe in the area of architecture and design and so today hosts some of the most intriguing contemporary buildings in the world. It is a shame any of those buildings as you pointed out is wasting away near the track in Valencia.
          Could they not be re-purposed as educational buildings for kids, if say proximity and other factors are carefully considered?

        3. Valencia has a quite unique financial and political structure even within the ‘global’ Spain economy. Spain as a whole was more than able to take its place at the EU table. In fact it largely assisted in propping up those that were not.

          To reduce the OP’s arguments to ‘what’s wrong with prefabs’ because I had them 30 years ago given the climate and housing issues, is pretty crass. Actually knowing the area and Spain as I do, it’s frankly offensive.

          Bernie did well out of an area that apart from being inherently corrupt, has left a stain unlikely to be removed for a few generations. He did not cause it but had no issue profiting from it while running some of the worst races ever seen.

          You may feel this is ok. I really hope you do not run any form of business or employ people. Your heading down a rocky road if you do with your pull up the trap door, I have done ok attitude.

          Baby boomer at a guess.

          Never mind it takes all sorts – back to the racing…

    9. A note on the Forbes article & Canadian viewership: I’m not 100% sure about RDS, but TSN broadcasts the Sky F1 feed with commercials interspersed in via split screen: race in one, commercials (with sound) in the other. I’m assuming RDS does it the same way as to the best of my knowledge it’s just the Quebec version of TSN.

      Why is that interesting? While F1 entrenches itself further behind a paywall in the rest of the world, us Canadians get F1 on regular sports channels, and Canadian viewership is up while it falls elsewhere. I myself am a relatively new F1 fan, largely because I was able to turn on TSN one day and casually watch a race. I can only speak for myself, but if F1 was behind a paywall in Canada I can say with some certainty that I wouldn’t be an F1 fan: I never would’ve became one.

      1. Its funny how FOM and the powers that be keep changing the cars, the tyres, coming up with new gimmicks to fight the decline in audiences while at the same time the most obvious thing to do is ignored and they keep signing more and more of the paywall kind of deals @ogopogo.

        I think you are perfectly spot on there. If F1 wants to attrackt new audiences (and keep those that are watching) they should focus more on how people are going to “stumble” upon F1.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          8th June 2016, 9:46

          I’m here to corroborate, as recently paywalls have come up in a discussion on this site. Before 2016, F1 on TSN would use the BBC feed, but now it’s the Sky feed. I guess that means Sky wins even if I don’t pay for it.

          Regardless, I think both are good for F1. Free airing of all races is important, just like it is for every other sport. Some fans are willing to pay more, and that’s fine. The big issue is when paying is the only option.

          If F1 was behind a paywall in Canada, I would never have become a fan. I became one when I was going through my channels and saw the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix on SPEED.

    10. Re: Hissing Sid from Jordan. I always thought Jordan had the most fun designs in the late 90s, hence why my first ever F1 merchandise bought was from them, and not, say, Ferrari. Although I preferred the Buzzing Hornet design better.

    11. I have to say, this whole European GP thing isn’t quite working out how Azerbaijan planned it!

      Before the race was announced, I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot about the country. I thought it was relatively small but had heard it was worth a visit.

      Now, I think of it as a crazy little place that hides human rights abuses, pretends it’s in Europe and is hiding it’s buildings to pretend it’s something it isn’t. I wouldn’t even dream of travelling to Azerbaijan now unless I had to!

    12. Hallo, new to this site, having previously been (and remain in part) a jamesallenonf1 site user. Appreciate the detailed and leftfield stories that this site throws out, that link to the Caterham abandoned premises being a classic (and somewhat sad) example.

      1. Welcome! Always great to hear from a new reader.

      2. Welcome. This is the only place where drivers are not piled on, abused and cursed by people who claim to be fans. We may disagree here but we are civil in our disagreements.
        Yes, that was a touching article to read. I wondered how Keith found that.
        Very good work @keithcollantine.

    13. Well nothing new then… Strategy group decides to long live strategy group after 2020.

      Sauber despair over unfair distribution of F1 wealth and being excluded from decision process.

      Story of the times.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th June 2016, 13:04

        And Sauber again late paying their May wage bill. (@jureo)

        1. Poor team. Bernie should sponsor them. Write big FOM logos on the side.

    14. Derek Edwards
      8th June 2016, 12:32

      A strange quirk about “On this day in F1” s that both Martini and Capelli had been F1 drivers at that stage. Capelli had started a couple of races for Tyrrell in 1985 and Martini had ambled his way through the same season with Minardi. He had also filled in for none other than Senna in 1984 when Toleman stood Ayrton down as punishment for signing with Lotus (if I remember correctly), although he failed to qualify.

      In actor-speak I guess they were “between F1 jobs”, but both found their way back into F1 and stayed there for a while.

    15. No talk of the rumoured big sponsorship deal for F1? If it doesn’t happen then I won’t be surprised.

    16. I’m ok with TAG Heuer using images of Senna to flog their watches. I am always very proud when I see their F1 related ads because it puts our sport in full view of the public, which is can only be a good thing (even if one of their ads showing Kevin Magnussen in an MP4-29 forced me to give a rather apologetic explanation of why the car looked like it had a “member” attached to the front of it).

    17. Regarding the Comment of the Day, I just wanted to point out that the “people in need” who “steal all the copper cable installations” are most likely gypsies. We have those in Italy too, here they steal the copper cables from railroad lines. Just thought it would be useful to point it out, lest people thought that it was Valencian locals who were stealing the cables.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th June 2016, 15:58

        And next you’ll accuse Hamilton for this – he was there in 2012!

        Why patronise Azerbaijan if we can still learn from our own preconceptions.

        1. How much money are you willing to bet that it was the gypsies?

      2. Have you noticed the cardboard cities under the tunnels?

        No one is accusing anyone – only the fact a civilised region has allowed itself to get into this state following an astronomical investment into F1 and anything else that looked good.

        I worked across all of the ‘stans’ and across the Middle East – for 30 years. They all start out with issues that need resolving. And should be given the chance rather than a boycott.

        To find a civilised industrialised occupied region of an EU member getting itself in such a mess?

        Not so much and it certainly was not all the gypsies fault!

    18. Duncan Snowden
      8th June 2016, 16:44

      Ah, Leafield: Technical Centre of Doom.

      Arrr, I warns ‘ee, Mister Arrivabene sir, if ‘ee be thinkin’ o’ usin’ that accursed pile as a UK base, think well! It be an ill-starred place, with many a tale of woe to tell. No good has ever come of a team that ventured there, mark my words!

      (Seriously, though, it’s sad to see it like that. But as a bit of an Arrows fan, I’m still not over the feeling that moving there was going to be the start of Big Things. I wanted Caterham to do well, too, if only to stick it to Dany Bahar. And who could dislike Super Aguri?)

    19. Also on this day in F1: Daniel Ricciardo took his maiden F1 race win at this weekend’s venue.

    20. re: cotd. Regarding your last statement, the thing is, bahrain and azerbaijan have way more money to splash than a local spanish council. (I’m afraid to say!)

    21. Yes, Claire. The Strategy Group really is great. They have a history of brilliant decisions, like waving through the brilliant qualifying system that transformed the sport at the start of this season. I can think of nothing better than having a bunch of people decide the rules who can’t see any further than their own interests and who completely discard any wider implications of their choices, such as their impact on the sport as a whole. I particularly appreciate the lack of outcry from the teams about the imminent loss of free-to-air coverage in the UK and the placing of the sport behind a (Murdoch) paywall.

      F1 doesn’t work as a democracy, Claire. The teams – including yours – only care about themselves. They don’t care about the other teams, the sport itself, or the fans. You let Bernie take the sport to distasteful places like Russia and Baku and when pressed about such things in press conferences, you fob off the questioner with bland statements like it not being your position to get involved in politics (when the sport is already doing so by allowing Putin into the drivers’ cool-down room and allowing him to prance about on the podium, for example).

      1. there is nothing wrong with caring about yourself, and I dare say you will be up a creek with out a paddle if you try to prove that the teams only care about themselves. They have other interests besides themselves. The problem with F1 is that it has been handed to the engine manufacturers, and they are running the little guys out so they can have a bunch of people on their knees begging for product.

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