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Purnell slams "ugly" and "scandalous" F1

NEWS STORY
05/07/2010

The FIA's former technical consultant Tony Purnell has launched a scathing attack on F1 saying that its "cars are ugly and don't race well," and the sport is "synonymous with scandal."

Purnell, the former team principal of Jaguar's F1 team, was appointed as the FIA's technical consultant in December 2006 but left this position earlier this year. He is now a member of the advisory committee which will select the IndyCar chassis of the future. He says that F1's reporting lines are less clear.

"Today no one is too sure who is in charge of Formula One: is it the teams; the FIA or FOM?" asks Purnell in the July issue of The Paddock magazine. He adds, "the cars are ugly and don't race well; the platform for sponsors is tarnished and out of tune with mainstream values; the sport is synonymous with scandal. Yet the public still love the product."

Purnell's comments are not without purpose as he says that "the message here is one that is skated over by the average MBA programme, that if the product is good and the money flows in then a business can still be highly profitable despite uninspired, disjointed and disorganised leadership. It is only when better competition gains traction that one has to worry. Conversely, brilliant leadership will not result in profits if there is no demand for the product."

His conclusion isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of F1's qualities: "The public will tolerate an awful lot if you give them what they want and they can't get it anywhere else," he says, adding "to be fair, FOM do a good job in selling their product around the world, but do they have any strong competition?"

It may be harsh but if F1 wants to remain the pinnacle of motorsport this is the very kind of criticism the sport needs to address.

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