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How F1 could redeem itself next weekend

NEWS STORY
22/03/2009

Talk about Formula One to anyone for even the shortest time and sooner or later the subject of money will raise its ugly head.

Despite the much publicised drive to slash costs, despite the crowing to the media that the sport has grown up and is now aware of the need to set a good example, when the circus arrives in Melbourne this week, far less Monaco in May, it will be business as usual, with all the bling, celebrity bull and sheer in-your-face opulence we have grown used to.

When people in F1 say they are aware of the global financial crisis it is a relative thing. While many of those employed in test teams at Jerez and Barcelona will this week find themselves out of a job and worrying about how to pay their bills - note, the culling will take place while attention is focussed on Melbourne and Sepang - it will be business as usual in F1's corridors of power.

There will be much talk in the coming days of F1 needing to count the pennies, of needing to stop the waste, just as the drivers and team bosses will fall over themselves in their desire to tell us how glad they are to be back in Melbourne.

Just a few weeks ago however, we all watched the dreadful scenes as fires ravaged the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.

In a sport in which statistics are an integral part, here's a few more numbers.

  • Over 210 people dead
  • Over 100 people still missing

  • Over 2,000 homes lost
  • Over 7,000 people remain homeless
  • Over 400,000 hectares burnt across the state
  • 78 townships affected
  • 4 fires still burning
  • 2,000 firefighters still out in force
  • 5 relief centres operating
  • 1,200 kilometres of containment lines surrounding the fires
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