Liberty made a bold statement of intent last night, removing Bernie Ecclestone – widely regarded as Mr.F1 – from a throne he had occupied for four decades. A seismic shift that I have been slightly sceptical of thus far.
However, Liberty has followed up yesterday’s bombshell with a number of lines that have had F1 fans grinning from ear to ear.
None more so than the announcement that Ross Brawn is to take up a role as Managing Director of F1. Sliced bread comes to mind…
Wowzers. Liberty have dropped their first bombshell in F1, as the group have ousted Bernie Ecclestone from his role as CEO of the sport.
The 86-year-old has been the sport’s circus-master since 1978, taking F1 into the modern era and turning a largely European audience into a global audience and in turn, building one of the world’s most recognisable brands.
Bernie’s influence on F1 has been hugely positive. Those that suggest that the current state of play and negativity within the paddock is Bernie’s doing are undoubtedly missing the bigger picture.
F1’s political war over qualifying looks set to be resolved, as the governing body seem poised to return to the 2015 format. Fans, media and the teams have been lobbying to scrap the much maligned elimination qualifying format after two hugely unsuccessful sessions in Australia and Bahrain. Despite two weeks of political gridlock, common sense has prevailed and it seems that Saturday’s will once again end in a crescendo.
Just one day after the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) released a damning statement in regards to the political structure of the sport, F1 has found itself hamstrung once again. Following an anti-climatic and uninspiring qualifying session in Australia – which debuted the brand new for 2016 elimination format – teams, fans and drivers have lobbied for a change back to the 2015 rules. However, a lack of unanimity has stopped such a change from happening.
F1 is left with egg on its face once again, as Bahrain will play host to a decidedly below par qualifying event.
F1 is adept at shooting itself in the foot. Following a 2015 season admittedly lacking in intrigue, the winter has been filled by discussions regarding how to improve the sport. The F1 Commission unanimously voted for a new elimination qualifying format three weeks before the start of the season in an attempt to spice up the action on a Sunday.
With today’s qualifying session being the debut for this new idea, it is evident that a rethink is required. Missing a crescendo, void of surprises and short of laps, calling it a shambles would not be too far from the truth.
As fans of the sport, we always yearn for more action. It seems there are never quite enough races to fulfil out appetite and it seems that in 2015, we will have to deal with one less event, as the German Grand Prix is reportedly off the negotiating table, with it now being “too late for a deal.” Hockenheim are seemingly unable to pick up the event which the Nurburgring were forced to lose.
With Formula 1 being such a fast-paced world, news stories come and go instantaneously – this week’s major headline has been no different. As identified in a previous post, the Nurburgring’s financial issues seem to have reached a pressure point and with the circuit CEO highlighting the lack of a contact to hold the 2015 German Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone yesterday revealed that the event is likely to be held at Hockenheim.