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Former Pirelli F1 boss hits out at sport's leadership

NEWS STORY
29/04/2020

Former Pirelli F1 boss, Paul Hembery has joined Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley is calling for the 2020 season to be officially cancelled. However, he goes further than the former F1 supremo and FIA president by questioning the motives of F1's management.

"F1 looks at best desperate and misguided, maybe at worse misleading," he posted on social media in reaction to Chase Carey's statement on Monday that he is pushing ahead with plans for a 15 - 18 race schedule, "or was this for the shareholders and the stock market?

"When the world is in lockdown, and no-one is able to understand or predict the next months, F1 announces it will try and start the season in July," he continues. "Whilst the financial challenges are enormous for the sport, and the viability of teams, promoters and the rights holder itself a big question, today was not the time to announce anything but the cancellation of the F1 season."

The Englishman questions whether the move was a genuine attempt to get the sport going again or merely to appease shareholders.

"F1 is a multi-national, multi-cultural sport, that even in a reduced format would be taking thousands of people across the globe," he wrote. "They escaped Australia by a fine margin.

"It is clear from almost all governments that the exit policy will be based around the introduction of a suitable vaccine. We are a long way from general availability of that.

"Maybe F1 knows that there is almost no hope of this calendar actually happening, maybe."

Like Ecclestone, Hembery believes that the sport could actually benefit from the ongoing crisis, suggesting that someone with the correct sized gonads could help re-set F1 at a time it is in danger of imploding.

"It is going to need great leadership and clarity to manage this situation, creative solutions to normality, and a radical rethink of the sport and the calendar to match the real world constraints and the need to generate the finances to keep F1 alive.

"With the 2021 commercial agreements still not signed, the sport has no competitors for next season, and a very notable risk of the car manufacturers participation ending. With this unprecedented situation to deal with, it places a spend in F1 for a car producer at a very low priority level.

"Renault are requesting state support to deal with crisis. This situation is going to get worse before it gets better. For the world in general as it deals with the consequences of Covid-19 and its impact, but also for a sport like F1 that has to navigate this new scenario.

"But from crisis can come some good, and much opportunity. The possibility to build a more compelling and financially sustainable sport that provides greater spectator interest and places the drivers at the forefront. It's going to need some big bollocks and vision to do it though. It won't be easy, far from pretty, but it needs confronting now in an honest and transparent manner."

With Ferrari opposed to Toto Wolff taking Chase Carey's job, similarly Christian Horner, Liberty Media would be well advised to take a look at Mr Hembery's CV.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by trackrecords, 30/04/2020 7:17

"Rushing into re-starting any Motorsport abroad or in the UK does seem optimistic at the least and rather callous if being honest. Even if run behind closed doors it still requires all the Race Control timekeepers and admin staff to work in close proximity. Let alone the vital marshals, many of whom are pure volunteers. That's before you even consider the engineering side of the teams involved. All these people are going to have to put their health and ultimately lives at risk all because of the series organisation's impatience. It says 'Motor racing is dangerous' in the raceday programme, but it doesn't refer to a vicious pandemic disease."

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