Ecclestone & Mosley under fire (updated)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ecclestone's comments about Adolf Hitler have drawn widespread criticism
Ecclestone's comments about Adolf Hitler have drawn widespread criticism

Fresh evidence of the failures of the status quo in Formula 1 have emerged over the past few days.

Whether it?s the rumours about Max Mosley?s close ally Alan Donnelly?s involvement with Manor, claims the prospective 2010 entrants were denied a slot unless they elected to use Cosworth power, or Bernie Ecclestone praising Adolf Hitler, F1 is finding itself mired ever deeper in sleaze.

Getting things done

Bernie Ecclestone?s remarks to The Times over the weekend were certainly not the first occasion F1?s tycoon billionaire has criticised democracy and talked up the virtues of dictatorship. But it was the first time he tried to justify it with reference to Adolf Hitler, which is why he got his fingers burnt:

In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people able to get things done.

Last year Ecclestone gave more insight into his preferred form of governance:

I hate democracy as a political system. It stops you getting things done. I think people should have decisions made for them. Torture is just an old-fashioned way of getting things done.

The arguments about what exactly Ecclestone might have meant by his Hitler remarks have already begun in the forum. It?s not hard to see why Ecclestone’s words have been met with widespread revulsion – he is praising a man whose actions led to the deaths of millions. Ecclestone?s self-contradicting attempt to exonerate Hitler from his worst crimes is perhaps even more alarming. Nor is it any surprise that German politicians are now refusing to meet with him.

To the outside world, it now appears that F1 is run by a Hitler apologist and a son of a close friend of Hitler. Whatever spurious arguments are concocted to defend the supposed virtues of dictatorship, this is not a good image to project.

The Cosworth connection

The Daily Telegraph this morning reported that the F1 teams which submitted applications to compete in 2010 were refused entry if they did not select Cosworth as their engine supplier. Cosworth had previously won the FIA?s tender to supply discounted engines to new F1 teams.

Should we believe the story, which is based on quotes from an unidentified team principals?

I am inclined to. It matches another rumour I heard over the Goodwood weekend, that Prodrive?s entry for 2010 was rejected because the team had arranged a deal to use Mercedes engines instead of Cosworths. Added to that is this telling quote from Manor F1 team principal John Booth:

We wanted to be independent of a manufacturer because we don?t want to be used as a political pawn ?ǣ it was a conscious decision not to approach them.

If he?d said ??we picked Cosworth because they were cheaper?? I?d?ve believed him. Instead this leads me to wonder who persuaded Booth?s team that choosing a manufacturer?s engines would be a “political” decision? I certainly don?t think his team has avoided becoming a ??political pawn??. (Again, more discussion of this in the forum.)

The problem with dictatorships

On his blog, James Allen suggests we should look beyond Ecclestone?s eagerness to overlook Hitler?s crimes and instead take what he is saying at face value: that dictatorship has worked very well for Formula 1. Allen goes further, arguing this is and has always been what’s best for motor racing.

We could have an argument about whether a dictator?s touch was needed in F1 in 1982, or 1994, or 2005. But let?s stick to the present scenario. Is it working now?

I don?t believe it is. The dictatorial leanings of F1’s leaders is at the root of the problems the sport now faces.

Under the Ecclestone-Mosley hegemony, F1?s commercial rights were surrendered by the FIA for a pittance – compared to what Ecclestone then extracted from CVC for its stake in the sport.

CVC now need to make huge profits from F1 in order to pay for the loan it took to purchase it. And so the huge revenues F1 generates are returned not to the competitors or the circuits, but a private equity firm that brings nothing to the sport.

Would the teams have allowed this inequitable deal to go ahead if they had a say? I doubt it. Would Ecclestone have been able to execute it if he had been accountable to interests other than his own? Again, no.

Has dictatorship harmed F1? Yes it has.

Update: Ecclestone has done the sensible thing and apologised in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle.

151 comments on “Ecclestone & Mosley under fire (updated)”

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  1. Um, Mosley for Prime Minister?

  2. Isn’t the beauty of a democracy that things DON’T get done quickly. Rash decisions cannot be made which is a good thing. Multiple opinions get heard so a well thought out plan can be made as opposed to an ill advised quick decision? (sorry, BA in poly sci, couldn’t help it.) Go USF1!

  3. B.E. and M.M need to be replaced by younger men (or women) that haven’t been corrupted yet, then when they are corrupted, we get rid of them too. No matter who leads F1, that will be the cycle. But we still need to put and end to M.M and B.E.’s reign of terror.
    I’m convinced that if enough fans get together and show their distaste for B.E. and M.M. they will step down. They don’t have to leave the sport entirely, but just let other people take over.

    1. No they need to be removed from all involvement in the sport. They have created this sense of emergency and financial problem. They created the enormous bond for teams to even be considered. They created the absolute rule with an iron fist and if you dont play by the rules or criticize them, then look at Mclaren.
      No they need to be completely removed from the sport and only allowed to by general admission seats in the grandstands at best.

  4. Great post, once again Keith. One of the many things I really appreciate about your blog is the freedom to express opinions that might be considered controversial on other more “official” sites. I was censured in the beginning at Saward’s blog for questioning Max’s sanity, and just recently on James Allen’s blog for saying Bernie’s words were the mark of a senile old fool, an opinion recently shared by a higher up in one of the teams.

    One important point that I hope does not get lost in all of this is Max’s conduct in the new teams selection process. I think this really should be pursued and brought to light as the scandal that it is. Donnelly would do nothing without Max’s instruction (or, being kind, permission). This is clearly an ethical and legal breach, and may open the door to a challenge to Max’s leadership. Talk about bringing the sport into disrepute: start selling investment into a team that legally hasn’t earned the right to compete yet. Giving select investors a heads-up like that is akin to insider trading.

    Then there’s the Cosworth angle. This was a clear ploy against the manufacturers-who, it has to be said, Mosley courted to start with. But in doing so, the playing field was far from leveled, and it is becoming clear that not only were the teams that Max wanted told ahead of time that they would be using Cosworth engines, but apparently USF1 had other plans as well. When will this corruption end?

    And to add fuel, German Jews are calling on Germans to boycott the race:

  5. What an idiot thing to say. Another Nazi reference by a top F1 person in 2yrs. Might as well get Basil Fawlty in for a nazi comment too.

  6. height of madness. what was the little troll bernie thinking? how dare he make references to that murderer mf hitler. has bernie forgotten his history? hitler was responsible for the death of 6 million jews in europe alone, not to mention the poles & the gypsies he massacred. This clearly shows bernie & max are out of their minds. they’ve lost all rational thinking. Hitler imo never commanded respect, he demanded it. These 2 old idiots have lost their marbles. They are going gaga over each passing day. reading ridiculous quotes from max & bernie has become a regularity for me. What do these 2 idiots want? FOTA, i’m sorry to say, urinated all over themselves. They had a golden opportunity to break away. Maybe if Ron was theboss of FOTA he would have certainly put an end to all this nonsense & broken away. but since is luca & not ron who is the boss, there seems to be that little loyality towards max from luca. after all it was the FIA at the instructions of max that allowed ferrari to walk away with all those titles. maybe max has promised the another one next year, which might have prompted luca to stay with the FIA. for an effective solution to the current ridiculous problem, luca must be replaced by ron imo. luca i belive still has some loyalty & a sense of obligation toward FIA & mosley. Ron will put an end to all these problems.finally i wanna ask a question. being a non-european. i wanna know why haven’t some Europeans gotten over the facist hangover? particularly people who hold high administrative position in europe seem to be fascinated about hitler & his rule of law. hitler is the personification of evil & bernie endorses him. so what is bernie? mf?

    1. @mp4-19b: I think you should ditch your opinion… though you’ve the right to think so, you’re completely wrong to think so. You’re seriously mixing things here, I’m not responding as a Ferrari fan, but as an F1 fan who doesn’t want to hear baseless theories about FOTA’s decision. You never know, on which circumstances the decision was taken. And the promises given by FIA was good enough to answer their demands (speaking about cost-cutting and regulation freedom and Max’s commitment to step-down). To say with hindsight, or to mock someones decision will always be easy :) With all due respect, nobody knows what Ron would have done if he acted as president of FOTA on that occasion. So, if you’re listening to me, I place humble request to you… not to play favoritism here. You’re questioning FOTA’s unity, which also includes McLaren.
      For your information, I’m no enemy to McLaren… I like Mika, Ron, Lewis and McLaren for their profession and talent.

  7. “finally i wanna ask a question. being a non-european. i wanna know why haven’t some Europeans gotten over the facist hangover?”

    Please explain mp4-19b?

    1. i didn’t mean every european. for example in some parts of germany,austria & Switzerland, people(few, maybe in 100’s) regret the fact that poland, russia & other countries were not captured by the nazis. they still believe that under the rule of hitler all of europe would have been unified & the total elimination of non-aryans would have resulted in total domination of the aryans. i find it very strange that many top personalities find hitler & his way of governing fascinating. For example a few years back the ex-austrian body builder & the present Governor of california, Arnold Schwarzenegger openly admired hitler & prasied him for no good reason. even a few years back an ex- italian prime minister openly justified the holocaust. i find that very disgusting. holocaust is the worst thing, the single most shameful thing to have happened in this history of humankind. the present day terrorism is nothing compared to the holocaust. just read the diary of anne frank & u’ll have tears in your eyes. yet many europeans find the idea of hitlet facinating. its quite unbelievable as to how they are so naive. what bernie has said is a disgrace to entire mankind. i believe he’s a jew, i dunno how he mad such stupid comment on a man who almost drove his race into extinction. bernie must be ashamed of what he’s said. he should think twice before letting stupid words out of his bitter tongue of his. i dont blame europeans for thinking what they are thinking. its people like max & bernie that makes them think in that way. its high time europe denounces fascism in any form. imo bernie must be sued for those irresponsible words that he uttered from his stinking mouth.

      1. Thankyou. Would it surprise you to find out that the Politically correct brigade in europe are trying to have the Holocaust removed from the School curriculum. The likes of Max and Bernie must love that idea.
        At least with Bernie saying the things he did it let’s people remember how bad things were 70 + years ago. I am not sure how much the americans know about the holocaust. Some know but not all. mY wife is american and doesn’t know much, but i try to educate her. i feel it’s a bit late to educate Bernie and Max. They know exactly what they are doing though, even if they may not truly realise that most of the world despise what they say and do.

        I wonder if others in FIA and WMSC are of a similar ilk to these guys?

        1. so they are trying to rewrite history. fine. so what does hitler become? a catholic priest? or perhaps the founder of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile ? that would be convenient for history re-writers i guess. but i must admit that hitler would have done a better job as prez of FIA than max.first thing he would have done was to get rid of the dwarf bernie(for obvious reasons). its better to deal with one tyrant that two. we could have taken care of hitler later. perhaps take the help of the russians or americans to git rid of him.

      2. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in Switzerland that has publicly expressed the views you accuse all German speaking countries of harbouring, small though that faction may be. Switzerland has been officially independent since the late-1800’s if I remember my history (I am a dual Swiss/Canadian citizen). They are content to let any storm blow around them and take advantage where they can. A Hitler or a Mussolini on their border was simply an opportunity, not a threat. Hitler knew he had nothing to gain and everything to lose by “annexing” Switzerland. Every mountain pass, bridge and tunnel was (is?) wired to explode should any outside force intrude. There was no love for Hitler and his thirst for “lebensraum,” only an eye on where to make a buck. So, if you want to paint the “Germans” with the same broad brush, leave the Swiss out of it, although I can say that, my other half being Austrian, they pretty much fit into that camp.

  8. Fascist hangover hardly begins to describe the scars left by Adolph, Benito, and don’t omit Francisco Franco.

    Possibly the greatest group to suffer from Adolph’s dementia were the German people themselves. Granted, nothing can compare to the atrocities suffered by the victims of the camps, but the German people and culture were nearly obliterated by a lunatic who happened to be in the right place at the right time of history to dominate a country and lead it to it’s ruin.

    Kinda sounds like what Bernie and Max are doing to F1 now. And Bernie has the effrontery to throw it in our collective faces. It’s truly mind boggling that CVC haven’t terminated him already.

    As big a question as “who will replace Max” is, the bigger question is who would replace Bernie? The devil you know conundrum. Regardless, the little tyrant has to go.

    1. Fascist hangover hardly begins to describe the scars left by Adolph, Benito, and don’t omit Francisco Franco.

      Franco has his own history for not being remembered as a good thing for a country; he doesn’t need to be attached to any other.

      You should talk about Stalin, whose records in killing people are at least at the same level of Hitler’s one, more than trying to make Francisco Franco guilty of Hitler’s genocide.

      but the German people and culture were nearly obliterated by a lunatic who happened to be in the right place at the right time of history to dominate a country and lead it to it’s ruin.

      Hitler was democratically elected by German people. They were as guilty as Hitler, and thanks they have not forgotten that, now Germany is a fantastic and deeply democratic nation.

      1. yeah! and they’ve got a female vampire as their chancellor. omg! angela merkel is one scary looking woman.scares the hell out of me when i look into her eyes. she could have acted in the exorcist without any makeup! she has the scariest eyes in the world!

  9. we don’t need dictators, we need reformers & certainly max is not a reformer & must be shown the door. max is really a pain in everyone’s you know what! max will not let his soul to rip. he along with that dwarf bernie will device a plan to stage a coup & take over europe?? what nonsense!!!! this is formula one!!! what does that mf hitler have to do with it. what bernie has said is completely out of context. this clearly shows that bernie is an attention seeking prat, who is lost in a reality forgotten “land” or must i say “fatherland”!! this is all a ploy to divert attention from the core issue. but i must admit bernie has failed miserably :))

    1. guys, these two are inseperable. You cant have Max without Bernie. Or Bernie without Max, that is the way they operate. If Fota doesnt take this episode of this incredibly tasteless soap opera and use it as a reason to leave and form their own series they are just empowering the 2 little powermonges to continue.

  10. question: when does one know someone is schizophrenic?

    answer: when they start praising hitler & the Third Reich.

    would bernie have praised hitler in the way he has, if his mum or dad or sister were one of the victims during the holocaust? does bernie know the kind of torture those innocent souls suffered? no,he does not. it shows total insensitivity on the part of bernie. this sport is a cursed one. we don’t have people stooping soo low, indulging in out of context references & mud-slinging in other sports. only god can save formula one from the evil power of max & bernie.

    1. Maybe now we truly know some of the reasons why Bernies wife lef thim and divorced him.

  11. Amazing, how in mass media Hitler _must_ be portrayed as an epitome of evil with _nothing_ human left.

    This is a short-sighted idiocy! He was just a man. Sure, a man who started a devastating war, but then, the same can be said about many a king or emperor. And now self-serving politicians compete in earning cookie-points faking outrage at Ecclestone’s remarks. Silly, really.

    And finally: yes, dictatorship may well be a good solution for F1. It’s just that somehow it has to be ensured the dictators don’t remain in position for more than 10 years or so. Else we get the M&E catastrophe.

    1. Tell me… which Kings and/or which emperor have executed ove 6 million people and countless other atrocities?

      1. Well, offhand I can think of several leaders. A number of the Roman Ceasars, Hannibal, Alexander the Great…they were all responsible for countless deaths under their rule…but of course the deaths were soldiers in battle, not civilians rounded up like cattle to be gassed then burned like so much trash.

        I think Janis1207 is not cognisant of that difference, scunnyman.

        And I’d like to nominate Janis for the Totally Insensitive & Politically Incorrct Award for the month. Any “aye” votes?

        1. aye aye aye!!!

    2. totally insensitive remarks to make. but fortunately you are in a minority group of hitler supporters. may god show mercy on you janis1207.

    3. What’s silly, really is your superficial and facile explanation of a man who, human though he was in terms of being a mammal like the rest of us, was clearly not human like the rest of us in terms of possessing a conscience.The psychopath has no remorse, no voice of reason, only their selfish goal based in a psycho/spiritual soup of mental illness.

      Hitler was not just a man. He was a man who created/seized an opportunity to inflict his twisted world view on a country that was ripe for being taken for a ride. Germany was poor and insecure after WW1 and it was ripe for the taking and manipulating.

      Janis1207 you could probably benefit from reading a little history. “Mein Kampf” and “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” would be a good start.

      As for dictatorship being good for F1, obviously that model has been tried and has brought us to the brink. And how would you ensure it doesn’t last longer than ten years? A vote? Well, that wouldn’t be a dctatorshipthen, would it?

      1. maybe he suggests a referendum. thats what dictators all around the world do. just to show the rest of the world that they have absolute support of the entire nation. but usually such referendums are usually rigged up. they are not free & fair as in a democracy. but with all its flaws, democracy is the only way forward in this 21st century.dictatorship is dangerous, especially if you have a man like max mosley at the helm. and yes janis needs to read both the books that you suggested. i’ve read mein kampf & find the first volume” A RETROSPECT” particularly disturbing. The man is such a evil. he’ll never be forgotten in history, even if they do away with the holocaust in school curriculums, he’ll go down in history as the man who destroyed humanity & so will max & bernie as the men who destroyed formula one.

  12. European Member of Parliament and former WRC driver Ari Vatanen has said he will run agains Mosley if he doesn’t step down.

    Too bad I’ve never heard of him.

    [quote]Vatanen throws gauntlet to Mosley -Reuters

    7.7.2009 at 9:23

    Ari Vatanen, a Finnish former rally driver, was quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday he was considering standing against Max Mosley should the Briton seek re-election as head of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of motorsport.

    “At the moment I am consulting the member clubs and am already seeing positive feedback,” the former Euro-MP was quoted as saying by the news agency.

    “I am considering standing. I think the time has come for a change. I would go for it, even if not sure of winning.”

    Mr Mosley had said in June after a row with the Formula One Teams’ Association he would not stand in October but has said since that some members of the FIA wanted him to seek a fifth term.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      7th July 2009, 8:40

      Ari Vatanen may stand for FIA.
      That’s the best news I’ve read here.

      I’m not going to mention political figures or concepts or history again here. This is Keith’s racing blog.

      1. me too! i’m sick and tired of this dirty politics. this is what the FIA wants. to convert a wonderful racing blog into an ugly racist one,one fully filled with hate comments.this is one of the way to divert attention from the core issue. we as f1 fanatics must stand together & not give into the FIA & bernie. but bernie has failed to understand that the f1 fan is more smarter,cleverer than he thinks.

  13. Great to hear that Ari will try to compete with Mad Max in the FIA elections.
    After reading all the previous comments here, I have to ask – has Max’s and Bernie’s dictatorship of F1 (and presumably European motorsport in Max’s case) actually benifited anyone apart from themselves?
    Sure, Max is the man on safety and ‘green’ issues, and Bernie has taken F1 to places it has never been before. But overall, has ‘dictatorship’ worked?
    1.I think we have seen with the rise of FOTA that most of the teams are unhappy.
    2.From what we seen in the media, there are a lot of disgruntled and annoyed local politicians and race-track owners.
    3.There are not that many happy fans about either.
    This is just a snapshot of 2009, but I think this situation has been getting worse as the Bernie & Max Show has continued over the years.
    But I cannot decide if these are two old men with so much power they know they can say what they want and offend whoever they like, and know they will get away with it; or if they are two stupid old men who say the first thing that comes into their heads, and are surprised when people don’t agree with them……
    By the way, if Keith or anybody on this blog said the things that Bernie has just said, do you think we would survive the political backlash?

  14. Bigbadderboom
    7th July 2009, 9:22

    I always had a respect for Bernie, he has transformed our sport and delivered it as a fantastic spectacle to the masses, it saddens me that someone who I respected continues to make this kind of remark. Initially when I read his thoughts last year I presumed he was either being taken out of context, manipulated or simply mis-quoted. This recent interview enforces strongly his beliefs. A megalomaniac surrounded by sychophants in his professional life, and now sadly nobody to provide balance in his personal life, he should have all his influence over F1 removed before any more damage is done. CVC need to act against their employee.

    As for Cosworth being a “preferred” engine manufacturer by the FIA. This absolutley bewilders me, had the current manufacturers been able to supply engines this would have given F1 an instrument in which to exercise some cost cutting, which Mad Mosley seems so desperate to enforce. Current manufacturers would have been able to provide technical support, development support and even components, but oh no, Mad Max has to introduce another company (Cosworth) who will need financing from F1, will need to do their own research, restart their manufacturing of F1 engines and set up more departments all which would be charged to the new teams. Mad Max has cut the nose off dispite the face of Formula 1…….TWAT.

    1. The ‘Cosworth’ story has,so far,been nothing more than a bunch of unsubstantiated rumours.Nothing since the article in the Telegraph has changed that.

      It may be true,it may not be.But so far it isn’t ‘fact’.

      Under the original 2010 regulations it would have been a ‘no-brainer’ decision to choose the Cosworth engine.Why would anyone choose the ‘slower’ more expensive options ?

      1. Bigbadderboom
        7th July 2009, 10:01

        The fact it is rumoured and not fact is still worthy of us voicing an opinion.. FOTA had offered substantial assistance to the new teams as part of its own cost cutting suggestions. I personally see the evidence as fairly conclusive. I can understand why Max would be reluctant to hand FOTA/Manufacturers any more leverage, but my argument is more about Max sacrificing the good of the sport to protect it’s governance, and the power the FIA seem desperate to retain.

      2. has a cosworth powered car ever won a championship in the modern era? does max think cosworth are better than bmw,mecedes,honda,etc? max is a blind man.

        1. Right here goes mp4-19b.

          1968 Graham hill won for Lotus, and the top 3 constructors were Lotus.

          1969 Jackie Stewart won and Matra won constructors

          1970 Jochen Rindt won the driver’s championship posthumously

          1971 Jackie Stewart won and Tyrrell won the constructors

          1972 Emmerson Fittipaldi won and Mclaren won constructors

          1973 cosworth won all the races

          1974 Emmerson Fittipaldi won

          1976 james Hunt won

          1978 Mario Andretti won

          1980 Alan Jones won and Williams won constructors

          1981 Nelson Piquet won and Williams won constructors

          1982 Keke Rosberg won

          1994 Michael Schumacher won (huh!!!!) Benetton won constructors.

          Or is that not modern era? I guess if your old like me lol then it’s not. But yes nothing since 94′.

        2. Bigbadderboom
          7th July 2009, 11:10

          Most succesful independent engine manufacturer in modern times.

          1. And if Red Bull hadn’t dumped them and switched to overheating Ferrari engines in 2006 there would probably have been a couple of podiums for them that year – it was a good car and the Cosworth started the season the best engine, so they’ve not been that far from the top step very recently.

  15. i would suggest mika hakkinen as one of the candidates. he is a sensible man & adored by all the teams. he has fair bit of experience in rallying as he is from finland & he has also won races in DTM. MIKA FOR PREZ!!!!!!

  16. When it comes to the new entries I’m amazed that Mosley’s old Simtek partner Nick Wirth getting a ticket has gone unnoticed.

    Prodrive & Lola have everything in place to build a car & yet others, with nothing but plans on paper,got the nod?

    1. i hope we don’t have another roland ratzenberger in 2010. i fear the worse, if mosley is still there in 2010. he’ll resign only if a driver is killed or something?

      1. He’ll never resign mp4-19b He didn’t after Ratzenberger and Senna so why now?

    2. The Nick Wirth thing was commented on a few time earlier this year.

    3. By no means has it gone unnoticed, my friend. I had mentioned this when first it was announced that Manor had received one of the three new berths. Though it was in another Comments section in the then-current article.

      Also worthy of mention is the fact that Wirth was aerodynamicist for March Engineering, of which Max Mosley was part owner.

      And, as to the question of why Cosworth was getting such a favourable nod from Max? Remember March? March ran Cosworth engines. Max and Cosworth go waaaaaay back.

      Manor’s berth and FiA/Max touting Cosworth as the way to go on engines simply stinks of pork-barrel politics and feudalism.

      And one other possible conflict of interest possibility, or at least a pork-barrel sort of thing: In 2006 Wirth worked for FiA at Casamuro, designing the split rear wing design FiA proposed for the 2008 season.

      There’s enough favouritism in that mess to choke a good-sized horse.

      1. This has the stink of insider trading. I don’t know that much about it but i’m sure there has got to be some rule against that sort of thing, even in F1.

  17. Keith, thank you for making this article and an accurate analysis of the situation. I agree with all your views and comments.

    1. maksutov are you russian? if you are russian, what is the opinion of russians about the current state of f1? the russians have this great ability to analyze politics better than most others. including you. ur posts are really good.

      1. wow.. Thank you for your comments mp4-19b. I have lived in Russia and have Russian background … im not sure if all Russians could analyze politics well, but the ones that have that job… well I guess that remains to be seen :). I can tell you that the new resolutions between Russia and US are very positive for the world and for everyone. And it is nice to see them trying to work together, as they should. But this is entirely another matter.

        I guess analyzing these matters including those in F1 applies to anyone anywhere in the world. Everybody has the equal opportunity (or almost everybody) to learn and gain knowledge. I very much believe in democracy for life, in sport and in everything, this means sharing ideas, debating as a team, making decisions as a group, just as it applies in the scientific world and community where everybody works together regardless of which country or place they are from, and this is such a great environment to be in. As the very famous saying goes “two heads are better then one”, or “five heads are better than two” and so on, this will apply forever on any matters involving political or humanitarian grounds anywhere in the world. So only the system that instigates this ideology, working together, will win. That is why dictatorship can not prevail. Dictatorship is a historical flaw from which humans are still growing. It might have worked in the past in some places, but not in the world as it is today. Dictatorship is a rather inefficient system regardless of whether it is exploited or not.

        But regarding Bernie’s overly twisted views which are certainly fueled by Max Mosley, this is unacceptable. This does not belong in the sport nor in the business of the sport. they need to be removed. I have very similar views to you and scunnyman on that…

        1. Thankyou Maksutov for including me in that group. I would also include dsob, Gman and persempre(to a lesser degree, she is a ferrari fan after all lol) to the group of people who have very very similar, if not the same views as myself.

          Also Keith does have those kind of views too it seems.

          oh and maksutov i agree we could done without the love triangle image lol

          1. oh and maksutov i agree we could done without the love triangle image lol

            haha.. ooops, I think that “somehow” slipped out, ; I’ll have to try extra hard to keep my fingers from tying the damn thing, but I should manage :)

            Thanks for letting me know on the other people, i look forward to reading their posts :], certainly dsob and Keith of course I know :)

  18. Has dictatorship harmed F1? Yes it has.

    It has also helped it. I’m not trying to defend or justify Bernie’s remarks about Hitler, which were foolish in the extreme. However, I can understand why he argues for dictatorship in certain circumstances and it has had significant benefits for F1 as well as the downsides.

    When Bernie made his entry into F1 as a team owner in the early 1970s the sport was still basically the pasttime of wealthy amateurs, drivers and team owners both. Sponsors advertising on the cars had only just been permitted, circuits were fairly ramshackle and television coverage was a million miles away from where it is now.

    The then teams’ association (the name of which temporarily escapes me) was supposed to negotiate on behalf of the teams but couldn’t do so without discussing and agreeing it with all of its members. It was unwieldy and, as a consequence, it stayed an amateur sport.

    Bernie organised the teams into a more effective group with him at its head. The teams were happy for Bernie to represent them and he’s played a huge role in turning F1 into a global sport watched by millions. A single-minded vision achieved that, not management by committee. Can anyone seriously imagine that the FISA/FOCA war would have had a better outcome had the teams not been represented by a cunning and forceful individual against JM Balestre? F1 has made Bernie rich(er), but not for doing nothing and it works both ways – how many other team owners in the 1970s would have sacrificed a massive technical advantage (the Brabham fan car) for the sake of FOCA unity?

    It would be difficult to argue in favour of the CVC rights sale, but F1 would not have been in a position to sell its commercial rights for anything like that sum without the input of its dictator.

    1. Tim, i would just like to say, It has been said by many commenters recently including me that the safety issue in F1 would have come about after Senna’s death no matter who was president.
      So in the same vane it could be said that F1 would have evolved into something similar to what we have now even if Bernie had not been there.

      1. Had it not been for that pesky Issac Newton I would have discovered gravity…

        Perhaps you’re right, but we’ll never know for sure will we? And following your logic it could equally be argued that the present issues facing F1 would also have come about in more or less the same way without Bernie, too? Ecclestone would probably argue (as he has in the past) that he took on the risks when no one else was prepared to. Blaming the man for his failings while denying him any credit for his very real achievements is a bit too simplistic an argument, I think.

        After all, Jackie Stewart’s safety crusade of the late 1960s/early 1970s also seems like a complete no brainer in hindsight, but Stewart was very much out on a limb at the time. Would you argue that Stewart deserves no credit because someone else would have done it if he hadn’t?

        It’s easy to berate Ecclestone for the selfish, short-sighted things he’s done to F1. It’s less easy to take a more rounded view of how he has changed the sport. The fact remains that it was Bernie who seized the opportunity to transform F1 into what we see today, for better and for worse.

        1. Agreed Tim. But if bernie wants to take all the credit for the state of F1 as we know it now, then he should be willing to take some of the blame too for how bad the way things are. But he just won’t do that. I mean even when the man apologises for something he does it in a backhanded way, so he isn’t really apologising at all.

          And think of this as an analogy. Take a guy doing a protection racket. He will say he is making things better for those concerned, but he is still taking your money and not giving that much back.

          I’m just not sure i agree that Bernie has done sufficiently enough good to say he deseves as much credit as he wants and how much money he takes out of the sport.

          1. I’m just not sure i agree that Bernie has done sufficiently enough good to say he deseves as much credit as he wants and how much money he takes out of the sport.

            I’m not sure I agree with that either – all I was suggesting was taking a more rounded, balanced approach to assessing Bernie’s impact on F1.

        2. I do give alot of credit to Jackie as a soundboard for safety when no one else wanted to hear about it.
          Bernie as head of Foca did negotiate for the group as that was what he was good at and he let others run Brabham.
          As time went on and Brabham became uncompetitive than you saw the focus of Bernie change from team owner to becoming the only person to negotiate deals for the track as we as being the promoter for several of the races. As time has gone on his grip on this has gotten worse.(So have the tracks he has chosen)
          Bernie being the point man for negoitiation was ok for a while but he should have been kept on a short leash and the teams should have had better foresight and they wouldnt have beem put in this situation.
          After his latest set of comments I dont know of any track in the US that will negotiate with him due to the fallout associated with his comments. People in the US are to PC(especially the news) about others making these kinds of comments.

    2. Formula 1 was anything but an amateur sport when Bernie bought the Brabham team in 1971.

      Major factory teams included Ferrari, Renault, Alfa Romeo, BMW, and Ford supplied engines to several teams. Not amateur groups by any means.

      In 1971 the Grand Prix Constructors Association represented the various teams. And yes, it was unwieldy, but amateur?…No. Mosley was the March team’s representative at meetings between GPCA and FISA, and first met Ecclestone at one such meeting.

      By 1974 Bernie had convinced GPCA to re-structure as Formula One Constructors Association(FOCA).

      In 1978 Bernie became Chief Executive of FOCA. True, Bernie was a shrewd negotiator, and proved just how shrewd a few years later.

      The FISA/Foca War is the stuff of legend, but when it all comes down to tallying up, neither side really won. The whole thing ended not with a bang but with a whimper, as both sides agreed in the wake of driver deaths and loss of one of F1’s major sponsors that they should bury the hatchet before they all lost a fortune.

      And so,the first Concorde Agreement took effect for the 1981 season. Even at that there were still some rough patches and hard feelings.

      In that respect, the teams balked at the terms of the Concorde renewal and in 1987 that Concorde expired. Bernie dropped both FOCA and the Brabham team like a hot potato to cut a deal with FiA and form Formula One Productions and Administration(FOPA), which later became known as Formula One Management(FOM). FOPA would now negotiate TV rights for the teams.

      The split was 50% to FiA, 49% to FOPA(read that Bernie Ecclestone), and 1% to the teams. Also, FOPA would receive all fees paid by promoters. In exchange, though, FOPA would pay the prize money to the teams. FOPA set the amounts the teams would be paid.

      Yessir, Bernie was a shrewd negotiator.

      Yes, it’s true that in 1978 the teams were glad to have Bernie as head of FOCA, to conduct negotiations on their behalf. But none of them realized that at an opportunity for his own huge gain that he would abandon them and then treat them as he did through FOPA and later through FOM. Had they any inkling, I doubt if they would have elected him head of FOCA in 1974.

      To this day, Bernie still owes money to the teams from the arrangement reached at a later Concorde agreement, though Bernie denies this vociferously.

      Please don’t ever believe that anything Bernie ever did in the sport was of an altruistic nature.

      Yes, I’ll agree that Bernie really did put F1 on the global map, mediawise. Recently though, it seems his decisions on venues are based more on how much the venue can pay rather than on what is good for the sport.

      For that reason alone, all thinking people have to wish for Bernie to step down.

      There is much more to all this, and I have over-simplified some things for the sake of trying to make this post not hugely long.

      But I know what when on. I was there for much of it, and have dear friends that saw the rest of it.

      Bernie is no one’s friend but Bernie’s….he isn’t even really Max’s friend.

      1. Very well and eloquently put dsob. And do Max and Bernie have any real friends or just hangers on i wonder.

        I guess it does help sometime if you live through a period when things happen , rather than read about it afterward. Of course not everyone can have the benefit of age.

  19. I can’t wait to get old. It’s a magical age; you can just say whatever you think or want, because you just don’t care anymore. Just a bunch of hypocrites, the people who criticize Ecclestone for his opinions. Everyone is entitled to have one and everyone should be entitled to speak their minds. As J Allen said, the really important thing is not his opinion of Hitler (we all have one, why should we all have THE SAME one?), the really important thing is his view on dictatorship and if it really works for F1, because that’s what he’s doing. He’s running F1, not Germany.

    1. While I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I find that opinions reflect ones values and ethics. Perhaps even one’s morals.

      Also, I find that the importance of who holds what opinion differs with the position the person holds.

      Were it the teacher who had your child’s class who espoused such opinions, I wonder if your comment would be the same.

    2. Yes well, do enlighten us – what is your opinion of a man who preached hate and violence, and installed a system of industrialized, mass-scale, racial murder? Hm?

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