Ecclestone “made us look like idiots” – Malaysian GP boss

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In the round-up: The promoter of the Malaysian Grand Prix, which will hold its final F1 race this year, criticises former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone for saying he charged them too much.

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Andy takes issue with Honda’s defence of its engine programme for this year:

I would say that Honda’s approach has been, at best, a “huge mistake”, and at worst, a complete disaster.

To me, it looks like they need to make significant progress just to complete a whole weekend reliably, let alone be competitive. I find it highly unlikely that they’ll be able to make enough on an in-road to their deficit to make a meaningful difference to Vandoorne’s season. So, yeah. Honda have dropped the ball. Massively.

It’s also worth considering just how deeply this situation affecting McLaren’s engineering development of the new chassis regulations when they can’t push their car to the fringes of the performance envelope without fear of the PU exploding in some way, and thus, incurring more penalties.

Even if, by some miracle, Honda provide McLaren with a power unit that can run at the sharp end, McLaren are well behind on chassis development because they haven’t been able to run at ‘full chat’ for a while now.

I hope a solution is found soon, but it doesn’t look like McLaren will be knocking on any doors any time soon. The new season is barely in to it’s full stride and I find myself already crossing my fingers for McLaren in 2018.
Andy (@Andybantam)

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36 comments on “Ecclestone “made us look like idiots” – Malaysian GP boss”

  1. Just a quick thought, who else has noticed how spectacular this year’s cars look going through turn 3? That’s one place where the extra traction is really noticeable.

    The article about the Malaysian promoters is sad. Behind F1 having new bosses, I understand it is still the same people who are keeping the sport running from day to day. As fans, we never hear much about this aspect of F1 but it definitely exists. I can’t blame Liberty themselves for not being too interested in arriving, seeing a venue leave, and then helping them in doing that. However the point is interesting because the relationship was between the circuit and the sport, as much as it is with the owners, so I understand their anger in the lack of recognition.

    It will be interesting to see what becomes of the plans they will put forward in Spain.

    1. @strontium Turn 3 looked great as always, but I can’t say the same for the camera work.

    2. @strontium, surely it is not a surprise that many of the people behind the scenes are still the same. Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport was not formally completed until the beginning of this year, so they’ve really only been in charge for a few months.

      Given that most fans seem to complain about botched changes being rushed in as a knee jerk reaction, surely having Liberty Media suddenly making swinging changes without really understanding what might happen behind the scenes is the last thing that you’d want.

  2. Wow. Are you surprised? Suckering people is one of the many things Ecclestone and CVC did to F1 for 11-12 years.

  3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    29th April 2017, 0:46

    Why do some journos keep commenting on Ferrari not declaring to the press? I’ve seen many interviews of Ferrari staff (drivers included) on Maybe it refers about other (non) official press reporters? Please explain.

    1. Fake news. Alonso left, he wasn’t fired, bad hombre’s.. Prepare for war- Donald Trump.

  4. @omarr-pepper It’s exactly as you said. There’s the mandatory press events then there’s the team’s own press events and then there’s what you see on that tweet, allowing people to be interviewed.

  5. “They need to fix the sport,” he said. “MotoGP is so successful because of the product… you don’t have to look far.”

    Thats a pretty damning statement.

    I also remember reading an interview with the Sepang Circuit’s CEO a few years back, where he stated that FOM were too rigid on how the event should be marketed. However, Dorna on the other hand, were very open to how the event was sold to the public. This in my opinion, has had a massive effect in the growth of F1 in places like Malaysia.

    KL is my hometown. I remember back when F1 first started running at Sepang in 99, the fanfare was amazing. It was very obvious when you walked around that there was a race coming. This steadily eroded over the years. I still remember sitting in a pub a few years back when I was still in KL on a weekend before the race. Apart from me, nobody there knew there was a race coming up, simply because it wasnt made obvious to the casual viewer.

    Further to that, after 2008, none of the teams/manufacturers, baring Petronas did sponsored events round town. Around 2006/2007, there used to be so many events around town in bars, clubs, malls etc on the eve of race weekend. Obviously, FOM cant be blamed for the global economic climate, but I suspect their rigidity on how the event should be marketed did not allow the local promoter to be more creative in the efforts.

    I’m going to miss Sepang, sentimental reasons aside, it is without doubt one of the best tracks on the calendar. Back in the V10 days, it was just spectacular. The atmosphere in grandstand K1 and F, where the hardcore fans typically find themselves, was always enjoyable.

    I’m hoping to make the trip in October if circumstance allow it!.

  6. Hamilton “nah Mercedes don’t sandbag, we magically get a second quicker as soon as qualifying starts!!!”

    1. This is not sandbagging. This is just how they turn up engines for oil burn in quali :D

  7. Lewis is sooo touched by Billis Accident
    “It Hit him really hard”
    Apparently not hard enough to make a donation

    1. You Hamilton’s accountant? Sshh.

    2. Maybe not a public one, but privately he may have. You don’t know so cannot make a call like that. A load of other “notaries” did not make a public donation either, but may have made pledges to make it easier for the young fella in the future. Not necessarily monetary ones either.

      1. Gerrit, I do have to agree that it is quite possible that Hamilton may have chosen to take any action in private instead of making a public donation.
        After all, there have been times when he has taken part in charity events, particularly for charities supporting those with dyslexia and related learning difficulties, which have been semi private or private meetings and fundraising events, so it is possible that he may have chosen to do the same in this instance as well.

    3. Disgusting comment.
      Who are you to question if his feelings are genuine?

    4. I’m pretty sure that Hamiltons feelings are genuine. Most accidents of a serious nature within Motorsport bring the racing community close, acting as a reality check regrading the dangers they face.

    5. @prelvu And how do you know whether he’s made a donation or not? Many contributions were made anonymously.

      Let’s keep things in perspective here. Billy Monger has suffered extremely serious injuries. To exploit that as an opportunity to take an ill-informed cheap shot at someone you don’t like is low.

    6. Actually he made the SAme donation as Jenson but don’t let the facts get in the way of your twisted little commentary….

      1. @Drg. I thought he had made a similar donation…

        I’ve actually got time for Hamilton this year, so far, he appears to have matured and become more focused. I hope he can continues keep the same current composure.

        1. Yeah such a shame! The entertainment has moved to the tarmac.

          I was also really looking forward to take one or two shots at Lewis’ music, but I guess I’ve been too busy watching a great battle of racing teams.

    7. Fukobayashi (@)
      29th April 2017, 12:08

      @prelvu Had he made his donation as public as Jenson did, trolls like you would be bleating about how he supposedly did it for the good publicity. Absolutely no justification for that comment, disgusting.

    8. How do you know whether he donated or not, somwe people keep that kind of thing private … your assumption and your attitude sucks.

  8. With Sepang, IndyCar has one great venue to branch out to. IndyCar desperately needs some international exposure, and though they once had races in Australia, Japan and South America they currently don’t have any venues beyond North America. They must exploit the Alonso factor and look to host a round in Malaysia and get McLaren and Alonso to race there. It wouldn’t be nearly as costly as hosting an F1 race, it offers tons of action, and with Alonso onboard the crowds would flock to see a different kind of adventure. Malaysian race organizers are now burdened – they want a break but they’d still be missing some action here. IndyCar would slot in just fine – hope Mark Miles is reading this!

  9. And in other news…

    CVC Capital Partners have bought a controlling stake in Breitling. Looks like the money from the sale of the rights has been used.

  10. Hard to believe any press coming out of Malaysia, one of the most corrupt countries on the planet.

    1. According to CPI less corrupt than:

      1. India isn’t on that list? Maybe they bribed someone in the CPI to take them off.

        1. @todfod
          India doesnt have F1

    2. Dumb comment, not everyone in Malaysia is corrupt, I’m an expat and I live in Asia and I have seen just as much corruption throughout sport in the so called civilized west.

  11. “Ecclestone “made us look like idiots” – Malaysian GP boss” This exactly this…

    In the olden days being a shrewd dodgy car salesman was a good way to go about your business. Your clients would pay you way to much for the product you offer, often with built in flaws etc… and they then look like idiots.

    But year is now 2017, selling a dodgy product at sucker prices… gets around to you and bites you in the rear. Word gets out people know, and Bernie was well known around the world for this. In fact exceptionally well known.

    How can any state official afford to look like an idiot before his voters? How can countries sponsor this kind of event? Naturally then only dictators sponsor this kind of thing, because they do not care about looking like idiots, or rather state sponsored media shows them to not be idiots via propaganda.

    But in all democratic nations race promoters were in trouble. All bar none. Infact most European races either got discounts or were taken off the calendar.

    In short, never make your clients look like idiots.

  12. No F1 race in India this year, @todfod (as for Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, etc.).

  13. Question to Lewis. You never sandbag like you never use team orders?

    1. Nah he’ s just a horribly inconsistent driver is all…

  14. I’ve criticised Bernie plenty in the past, but those comments about promoters paying too much for races were one of the most beautifully executed ‘leaving grenades’ for the new owners of F1 that I could imagine being hurled.

    ‘Oh hey guys, I overcharged you. Just so you know for when your renegotiations with Chase and his buddies comes round…’

  15. This:

    I completely agree with EJ here. I think this is a very likely scenario.

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