Carey denies that "cash is king"


Whatever way you look at it, it was censorship pure and simple.

Having asked Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Nicholas Latifi and home boy Daniel Ricciardo all the easy questions - never once mentioning the C-word - as the press conference was thrown open to the floor TV screens around the world went blank.

At first a 'temporary fault' message was shown, before switching to an entirely different programme altogether.

On social media, when asked why the critical 'open floor' section of the press conference had effectively been pulled, @F1Help helpfully advised that it had been "embargoed".

However, the press conference had gone ahead, and the main topic was understandably the dreaded C-word.

Soon the media had its headline as world champion, Lewis Hamilton, a man who has forged a public image well beyond the paddock gates, admitted that it was "shocking" that F1 was in Australia, that (under the circumstances) it shouldn't be there.

While Daniel Ricciardo opted to remain silent, when asked why he thought F1 bosses had chosen to press ahead at a time all manner of other sports were cancelling events, Hamilton simply replied: "Cash is king".

In three little words, the Stevenage Rocket had summed up what many had felt for weeks, as the sport insisted that it was business as usual, that it knew best and that F1 was untouchable.

As the backlash over the sport's handling of the debacle begins, Chase Carey has denied Hamilton's claim that money was the driving force behind the decision to go to Melbourne and possibly the reason for the long delay in officially cancelling the event.

"If cash was king we wouldn’t have made the decision we did today," said the American. "I have addressed this so I can keep saying the same thing, in hindsight obviously things look different, events evolve situations change we made a decision which given the lead time to come here and hold the event when major events were being held here it was a different situation in the world.

"As the situation changed day to day in some days hour to hour we continued to evaluate that and make the appropriate decisions going forward," he continued. "We were trying to digest a lot of different information to make the right decision at the right time and I think we did that.

"I think we made the right decision as it evolved," he insisted. "I think we feel we worked well with all of our partners to make that decision.

"Obviously we don’t control how various events evolve, specifically some of the infections and some of the illnesses. We felt we made the right decision when we moved here.

"In hindsight you’re always going to look at things differently. So it’s difficult to go back and look at it moving forward.

"In many places around the world clearly the situation in just 24–48 hours is very different than it was not that long ago.

"People were traveling through Europe and the United States, within 24 hours they are no longer traveling between those countries. So I think these are issues that you have to deal with in real time, make efficient, effective decisions and try and make sure you’re getting all the input and expertise you can to do the right thing. I think we got to the right place."

Whatever, Carey might think, the pulling of the open floor section of the press conference said it all, F1 seriously thought it would get away with it, that by not mentioning the C-word it wouldn't happen. That by somehow shutting out talk of it, it would be business as usual. And the overriding factor in F1's determination to press ahead - especially at a time the stock price is falling through the floor - was cash.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 13/03/2020
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