Following the money

08/06/2008
NEWS STORY

In recent times, various people within Planet Paddock have made use of the media in order to spread their own particular message. The problem with this however, is that things can very often get out of control, and very quickly.

When talk of a breakaway series emerged, just days after Bernie Ecclestone had repeated his call for Max Mosley to stand down, just over a week after he warned the FIA President that if he wanted war, that is what he would get, it was obvious that some would take it seriously... after all, such a move has been talked about for as long as many of us can remember.

Yesterday, as talk of a possible breakaway series, free of the FIA, and, more importantly, its President Max Mosley, hit the headlines, Ecclestone was quick to play down the threat.

Keen to calm the situation, clearly mindful not only of the fact that Max is always up for a fight (especially now, following Tuesday's vote of confidence), but also that the FIA could make life very difficult for any breakaway series, Ecclestone made a rare trip to the media centre, where he told the assembled reporters: "Nobody has discussed a breakaway series. We have been discussing what we are putting in a Concorde Agreement, which we have spent two years trying to get signed."

Referring to Mosley, but carefully avoiding the recent controversy, Ecclestone added: "I think Max really would like a Concorde Agreement that is more suited to the FIA. However, the teams each want different things, big wind tunnels, small wind tunnels, no wind tunnels. It is never ending and has been like that forever. These guys can never make up their mind, one team wants something, another team something else and another team another."

Referring directly to the breakaway threat, he added: It wouldn't make any difference. There would still be arguing amongst the teams about what they want."

Of the need for a new Concorde Agreement, the F1 Supremo admitted: "It is really important we have one so everyone knows exactly what the rules are. The sponsors need stability, but the teams are in this championship and they have no idea what the rules are."

One would think that this was an end to the issue, but one would be wrong.

This ongoing saga, and its fallout, has little to do with what Max got up to in Chelsea in March, but rather his plans for the future of the sport. Speaking to Maurice Hamilton of The Guardian, a well-known F1 engineer - who opted to remain anonymous - made it quite clear why there is so much unrest regarding Mosley.

Referring to some of Mosley's plans for the future, most notably Kinetic Energy Reduction Systems (Kers), the engineer said: "We're saving costs with the engines - which is fine. But some of the larger teams are reputedly spending $70m (35.5m) on Kers in the hope that they will find a performance advantage. It means even the smallest teams have to look at spending between $5m-10m they don't have. One of the Kers systems uses batteries to store the energy. They cost 150,000 and would need to be thrown away after each race. Where's the sense in that? But we're stuck with it for as long as Mosley is in charge."

Once again, Mike Lawrence's mantra appears to ring true, ignore the righteous indignation over sado-masochistic sex and merely follow the money...

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Published: 08/06/2008
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