Site logo

How the times can change

NEWS STORY
21/05/2013

Mat Coch writes:

It is well-known that some people have short memories although experience teaches us that this is far from a useful attribute. This sprung to mind whilst reading yesterday's follow-up reports about Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone's comment that he "would be surprised if we don't see BMW again."

Business editor Christian Sylt reported Ecclestone's comment in an article for the City A.M. newspaper and it came just four days after Honda announced that it will return to F1 in 2015 by supplying engines to McLaren. Soon after Ecclestone's comment was published BMW issued a response saying that it has no intention of returning to F1.The big question is whether this gives us a good indication of what will happen.

As Pitpass pointed out in our report on Ecclestone's comment, BMW bought Sauber in 2005 and spent an estimated 505m on its bid for F1 victory. It only won one race and in 2009 the recession pushed it out of the sport. BMW ended up selling the team back to its founder Peter Sauber but Ecclestone said "the amount of money they spent was not significant in the grand scheme of things. It makes sense for them to return."

In response, BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt told another motorsport website that "we have absolutely no intention of looking at other categories. We made a conscious decision to withdraw from Formula One. We orientated ourselves around that which our customers recognise as being BMW. There is no reason to alter this concept. It is currently running very well."

Marquardt was referring to ALMS, GT sports cars and DTM which BMW returned to last year. He added that it would only consider a return to F1 if it felt that the timing was right.

"There are always good timing points at which to enter something. For example, we chose the right moment to make our entry into DTM because new regulations were on their way. Now F1 has new engine regulations. That suits Honda and has been noted. However, we have not reacted further."

This denial brought back memories of November 2011 when a report in a German magazine suggested that Honda was in talks with McLaren about supplying engines to the team. F1's official website asked the McLaren team managing director Jonathan Neale about the report and he responded "that's all wide of the mark. We are very happy with and enjoying our partnership with Mercedes-Benz. We aren't quite sure where that story came from in truth. But I can stop the rumour and say that we are entirely focused on out Mercedes-Benz relationship. It is a long one spanning many wins and championships and long may it continue."

Just to hammer the point home, in November 2011 Takanobu Ito, Honda's chief executive, described the report about the engine supply deal with McLaren as "a complete unfounded rumour. Of course we are interested but we think there are higher priorities than Formula One."

Presumably these priorities have changed dramatically in the 17 months since then.

In a nutshell, as any experienced newspaper reporter will have spotted, the ‘news' in this case is not that BMW is returning to F1 but that Ecclestone says he thinks they will return. Ecclestone is one of the few people in global sport whose comments are of interest to national and international newspaers simply because he said them. As this example shows, things Ecclestone says can have such significance that they lead to responses which in turn become follow-up news, whether they are in a newspaper or on a website.

Ecclestone is certainly well-placed to know about the motorsport plans of major car manufacturers but simply because he said he "would be surprised if we don't see BMW again" that doesn't mean to say that it will return to F1. Likewise, simply because Marquardt said "we have absolutely no intention of looking at other categories," that doesn't mean to say that BMW won't return to F1. Anyone with a long memory will be well aware of that.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms