Williams says Parr is his “natural successor”

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Frank Williams says Adam Parr, the team’s chairman, is his “natural successor”.

F1 links

Williams: Parr is natural successor (Autosport)

“He’s a young man and physically fit like I was at his age. He’s not a racer but, in a way, that’s probably an advantage in these distinctly commercial days. He’s very good at making financial decisions and working out cost-to-benefit. And he can hold his own in the Formula 1 meetings.”

Analysis – Ferrari F2012 pull-rod front suspension (F1)

“Even though in theory the pull-rod link can be thinner than a push rod, its extreme angle here neutralises any potential weight gain. Furthermore, because the pull rod is mounted to the top wishbone, greater loads are applied to the wishbone, which hence has to be stronger – and heavier – than it would have been.”

Glock – A shame not to test (Sky)

“Of course it is a shame that we can’t test in Barcelona … [But] safety comes first,”

Stories about the French Grand Prix (Joe Saward)

“The arrangement would almost certainly be in alternation with the Belgian GP, with Spa getting races in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022; and there being a French event in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021.”

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Comment of the day

Few people agreed with Riccardo Patrese that Ferrari should push a young Italian driver into the team. Here’s a view from The Limit:

No one can fault Patrese for being patriotic, but Ferrari can only hire who they believe to be the best drivers for there team.

When one looks at Mercedes its a German team with two German drivers, McLaren a British team with two British drivers. However, out of those four men three of them are former world champions and that’s the difference. Being from the same country is nice but its strength in depth and quality that decides who goes where, as in the best footballers always end up at the biggest clubs and the best drivers always wind up at the best F1 teams.

For me though, I have sympathy for Massa. Too many of us are quick to forget the events of Hockenheim 2010, when Felipe, still getting back to form from a near fatal crash the year before, was ordered to allow his team mate to pass him in order to win a Grand Prix. Personally, I don?t think Massa has either forgotten or recovered from this event from the very team he almost won the title with in 2008.

Could you imagine the stink you would get if McLaren ordered Hamilton to give up a win to Button or vice versa, I doubt they would do it and rightly so. I am not belittling Felipe, he?s a good guy and has a lot of heart, but Ferrari screwed him over in Germany and thats all there is to it.

If I were a driver with prospects of driving for Ferrari, one of my questions would be if the team would put me in that position? They all do it, but Ferrari at the moment has the distinct impression of being Fernando Alonso?s team and I imagine that has not gone unnoticed by the other drivers.

If the Italians do decide to dump Massa, and it is a real possibility, they have to go with youth. I would personally put Sergio Perez in the car alongside Alonso and have done with it, mixing both youth with experience. Lets also remember the possibility that Fernando almost certainly has a vocal opinion on who his team mate should or should not be also, but Patrese is really living in la la land if he thinks there is an Italian driver of F1 standard out there at the moment.
The Limit

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Today is leap year day – so which drivers from F1 history can claim this date as their birthday?

One of them is Masten Gregory, who achieved a trio of podium finishes in the fifties for Maserati and Cooper. Gregory, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1965, passed away in 1985.

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79 comments on Williams says Parr is his “natural successor”

  1. So, who is the best Italian prospect for an F1 drive? Anyone got an opinion?

  2. F1andy83 said on 29th February 2012, 0:21

    I can’t wait to see if ferrari made a huge mistake on the front suspension.

    • Skett (@skett) said on 29th February 2012, 1:07

      Anybody who is claiming that it won’t work is clearly mistaken.

      Ferrari are the most famous and well established motorsport team in the world and I can guarantee you that they know how suspension works. It may or may not have an advantage over a front push rod but I’m sure they will have weighed up the pros and cons of the system before designing it (a costly process).

      It may not prove to be an advantage, but I’m sure it won’t prove to be a disadvantage.

      I’ve got to say I also love the fact that they’ve done something a little bit different, just like I love the Williams gearbox.

      • I fear there are so many unknowns with the Ferrari right now that while the car may be fast it will be difficult to set up correctly, I think they will have a difficult year this year, some weekends may go well while others they are completely off the pace. It will be interesting to see their rate of development. I fear they have mad a too radical change in one step to fully understand the car without at least one season under its belt.

      • and just a little PS
        Ferrari while ‘the most famous and well established motorsport team in the world’ it doesn’t mean they are immune to making errors. While i’m sure they know how, mechnically, the suspension works, there are alot of unknowns that lay ahead for them throughout the year, if not what’s the point in testing…

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th February 2012, 7:10

        Well @skett, I am with you in liking the fact we see some different solutions on cars this year.

        But as Ross writes, the fact they are establishe etc. does not mean they can’t come up with something that just doesn’t work. Or at something that in theory is good but they just fail to make work reliably for them on track (I recall quite some of those unhappy creations).

        The problems they were having so far in testing show, it’s not that easy to get everything working as planned on Ferrari’s new car.

      • Dave (@davea86) said on 29th February 2012, 7:11

        Also the quote used at the top of this page is the paragraph that focuses on the downsides of the layout, which could make it look like Ferrari made a mistake. In the original article it also says:

        “With the pull-rod layout the springs and dampers are positioned lower in the chassis, which reduces the front suspension’s centre of gravity. Also, in the case of the F2012 the pull-rod link is angled almost horizontally, which may help aerodynamically.”

        This is just my guess, but I don’t think Ferrari’s success or failure this year will be attributed to the suspension layout. F1 is too aero dependent.

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 29th February 2012, 8:57

        In the end, something that is not an advantage on the car cannot be described as anything but a dissadvantage.

    • JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 29th February 2012, 8:36

      You’d think that with their low chassis and nose, that actually McLaren would gain more of a benefit from having front pull-rod suspension than any other team on the grid this year.

  3. Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 0:28

    The Limit’s criticism of Ferrari is valid to a point. However, I can’t imagine a scenario whereby a driver worth his salt and without a contract would turn down the Scuderia if it came a-knockin’ at the door. I’d also say that it’s not necessarily Alonso, or Schumacher previously, who gets preferential treatment; it’s whoever has the best chance of winning the title that year.

    As a Ferrari fan, I was very pleased with McLaren’s 2007 decision to allow Alonso and Hamilton to determine their standings on-track. And I hope they continue with that policy for a long, long time to come.

    • Rob Haswell said on 29th February 2012, 1:08

      “However, I can’t imagine a scenario whereby a driver worth his salt and without a contract would turn down the Scuderia if it came a-knockin’ at the door.”

      Perhaps if that driver wanted to be allowed to win some races?

      • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 1:25

        Who’s the last full-time Ferrari driver to not win a race during his time with the team?

        • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 29th February 2012, 2:08

          well if you consider Barrichello’s several wins when he was granted just leftovers… you can say a win is a win but that’s not the point. There should be respect between teammates and from the team as a whole. Massa has lost it and he should consider lloking at somewhere else. Or from the other point of view, Ferrari should look for somebody who can really back the team constructor’s points with a couple of victories a year at least.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 3:37

            Do you think that Ferrari would stifle drivers like Barrichello and Massa if they thought for even a second that they could mount a more credible challenge for the title than their more heralded teammates? The fact of the matter is that Barrichello and Massa are the direct result of Ferrari hiring drivers “to back the team with constructor’s points and a couple of victories a year at least.”

          • NomadIndian said on 29th February 2012, 6:16

            The fact of the matter is that Barrichello and Massa are the direct result of Ferrari hiring drivers “to back the team with constructor’s points and a couple of victories a year at least.”

            I agree a lot with what Ben says above. I am sure Ferrari drivers like Barrichelo/Massa (when Schu was still there) knew they were no.2 drivers when they signed up with Ferrari. They were hired to partner the number 1 driver who the team felt was the strongest to mount a bid for WDC and along the way haul enough points to help win the WCC, taking wins when the no.1 could not take it.

            I am sure if the no.2 driver performed better right from the go & was ahead of the no.1 driver by mid season, he would get enough backing he required to win the WDC. e.g. MSC supporting Ervine in 1999. This must have been like Alonso not knowing Hamilton’s potential signing up with McLaren and when Hamilton performed better & the team backed him, they fell out.
            Barrichelo/Mass never were better drivers than Schumacher to deserve preferential treatment/equal. Barrichelo whined a lot about Ferrari’s treatment, but when he & Button got the Brawn car, it was Button who performed better to take the WDC & Barrichelo could manage only 3rd, not even 2nd.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 6:45

            One also can’t forget about 2008 when Kimi Raikkonen, the defending World Champion, dutifully assumed a supporting role when it became obvious that Massa simply had the advantage that season.

            I think it’s easy to knock Ferrari for being Ferrari – in fact, supporting the “bad guys” has a lot to do with why I’m a fan – but, more often than not, they’re just like every other team in F1 that does what it can to try to win.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th February 2012, 7:13

          And which top driver would you think would be there without a contract when Ferrari call @dysthanasiac?

          The closest contender would be Webber, or theoretically, Hamilton could be interested.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 7:19

            I don’t know. I’m horrible with making driver predictions. But, I’d say the team’s in pretty good hands until at least 2015 with Alonso. The “other guy” is of little consequence, to put it bluntly.

            I’ve got no problem with Massa, really. I’d rather see him in red than Webber or Kubica, even though I really want to see the latter back in F1.

  4. as per massa 2010 germany. time to get over it. can no longer be a serious excuse. and it wouldnt stop him being naturally quick, which currently compared to fernando he is not.

    time to get your head down and get on with it.

  5. John H (@john-h) said on 29th February 2012, 0:57

    It’s nice to know Parr can hold his own in the Formula One meetings, Jeez. Call me old school but I really think the man at the top of an F1 team should have at least some history in motorsport. It’s kind of like putting a football club chairman in charge of managing the team.

  6. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 29th February 2012, 1:02

    Adam Parr. I’m not totally surprised, but… I am not very optimistic about Williams’ long-term future with him at the helm.

  7. nefor (@nefor) said on 29th February 2012, 1:23

    I just noticed the Formula1.com season summary video is up, hadn’t seen it before today.

    Naturally heavily Vettel focused but generally pretty good. Not quite as good as the 2011 vid though. The fact they completely skipped the races after Suzuka shows how heavily influenced it is by the current World Champion.

    http://www.formula1.com/video/race_edits/

  8. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 29th February 2012, 1:58

    Just hating to think that Spa one of the best race on the calender will be rotating it’s race with the French GP.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 2:44

      Spa cannot have a yearly race. The organisers cannot afford it.

      • I Love The Pope said on 29th February 2012, 3:27

        Then F1 is too damn expensive.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 3:43

          It’s simple economics – supply and demand. There is only a limited number of races that can be held during the season. With more aspiring host nations than there are available calendar places, the price will naturally be driven up.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 5:40

            There’s also only one or two circuits on the calendar that are widely considered favorites of fans and drivers alike. Yet those factors are meaningless to FOM, whose concept of supply and demand is Bernie Ecclestone demanding a circuit’s supply of money.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 5:51

            [FOM's] concept of supply and demand is Bernie Ecclestone demanding a circuit’s supply of money

            That’s what supply and demand is. There is a limited supply of available calendar places, even before you consider the demand from host nations. With supply low and demand high, the price is naturally driven up. When these circuits sign a contract with FOM, they know exactly what they are getting themselves into – because similarly, that’s what a contract is: a legally-binding document that outlines the expectations of obligations of both parties, in this case FOM and the organisers of each race.

            Sentimentality and fan favourites do not affect the relationship between supply and demand.

          • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 29th February 2012, 6:28

            @prisoner-monkeys

            While I believe you are correct in saying that the current demand for a Grand Prix have driven the prices up, I think you are overlooking the most significant factor: that there is something very wrong with FOM’s business model.

            We have to face it that FOM charges circuits with abusive prices. While there are some rich governments out there willing to throw money at Bernie for a Grand Prix to gain a bit of worldwide exposure, many of the classic Gran Prix venues do not enjoy of the same situation. Their main source of income comes from the fans who pay to watch the race, not from national governments.

            In order to make a profit, race organizers have to sell tickets at a very high price, otherwise they are not going to balance the income with FOM’s fee. What we have now are prices that are rising every year, which end up turning fans down. The end result is that tracks are struggling more and more to keep their races – this planned alternation of Belgium and France being a prime example. It’s a lose-lose situation for circuits and fans, while CVC sucks the money away from F1.

            50% of what F1 generates goes to CVC’s pockets. If race fees and, consequently, race tickets were 50% cheaper, I doubt Spa would be hanging in the balance like this.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 6:34

            The point of the high fees is to guarantee commitment to the championship. FOM is trying to prevent countries from signing up for a year or two, then forgetting all about it once they’ve gotten a bit of exposure. It’s designed to create stablity from year to year.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 6:37

            A more conventional definition of supply and demand would likely see China, Turkey, Bahrain, Malaysia and a couple of others lose their races because the public does not demand them, as is obvious by all of the empty seats every year. FOM money is tied to the stupidity and pride of circuits and emerging nations who are willing to tolerate Ecclestone’s boorish tactics.

          • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 29th February 2012, 6:45

            I seriously doubt that’s their logic.

            The fall in attendence is clear to see, as is the rise in ticket prices. It makes absolutely no sense to try to create a short-term “stability” (which doesn’t exist, just look at Korea) while endangering the already stable events in the long run. Spa has hosted 43 F1 Grands Prix. You’d think that by now they would have proven their commitment…

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 6:50

            The rise of ticket prices in spite of falling attendance is proof that supply and demand do not dictate F1 business practices. F1 would look a lot different if it had to play by the same rules as everyone else. But, that will never, ever happen as long as there are suckers willing to pay.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 6:50

            A more conventional definition of supply and demand would likely see China, Turkey, Bahrain, Malaysia and a couple of others lose their races because the public does not demand them, as is obvious by all of the empty seats every year.

            Sorry, but you couldn’t be more wrong. That is not a “conventional defintiion” at all – it’s an agenda. You’re obviously trying to twist the concept of supply and demand to justify getting rid of unpopular races because you disagree with Spa stepping back to a rotational event with France and you want to attack Bernie for it.

            A circuit needs a Grand Prix before it can start selling tickets to that Grand Prix. Therefore, the supply and demand of vacant calendar spots can and must be applied before the supply and demand of vacant grandstand seats.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 6:58

            The point of the high fees is to guarantee commitment to the championship. FOM is trying to prevent countries from signing up for a year or two, then forgetting all about it once they’ve gotten a bit of exposure. It’s designed to create stablity from year to year.

            And I’ve got some great oceanfront property in Oklahoma that I can let you have for a sweet, sweet price.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 7:03

            Now you’re just being silly.

            You’re obviously trying to attack Bernie for business practices that you do not agree with (and probably don’t understand), and in doing so, you have demonstrated a lack of understanding as to how the basic rules of economics actually work.

            You also seem to pride yourself on your cynicism, which is not nearly as impressive or clever as you think it is. The ability to tell when someone is lying to you is good. The ability to assume everyone is always lying to you is not. The belief that you are the only person capable of telling when someone is lying to you (ie, all the time) is downright insulting.

            So before you reply to this, how about you go and do a little research on the subject first? After all, empty vessels make the most sound.

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 7:08

            That is not a “conventional defintiion” at all – it’s an agenda. You’re obviously trying to twist the concept of supply and demand to justify getting rid of unpopular races

            With all due respect, that’s not an agenda. If those races were popular, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But, we are because the organizers of those races, for whatever reason, have taken the lie – hook, line and sinker – that F1 is somehow beneficial to them. Well, their public doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, so all that’s left is that the price of F1 is being driven up in the places that do care.

            FOM sole business purpose is to service the massive debt it took on when it acquired the commercial rights for F1 from Ecclestone. They’re just lucky that there are fools around the world willing to support it. But, this will catch up to them in the end when they realize they’ve completely forsaken the long-term, legacy markets in favor of short-term windfalls from places where F1 has zero staying power.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 7:21

            If those races were popular, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

            You’re acting as if ticket sales are the sole factor that the model of supply and demand can be applied to. This is untrue. Like I said, a circuit needs a Grand Prix before it can start selling tickets. Since there are only ever a finite number of calendar spots available, the economics of supply and demand have to be applied to vacant calendar spots before they can be applied to tickets.

            They’re just lucky that there are fools around the world willing to support it.

            Well, thank the stars you’re the only person who can see this for what it is. I’m sure that the many hundreds of people involved in the organisation of races around the world are completely oblivious to this.

            this will catch up to them in the end when they realize they’ve completely forsaken the long-term, legacy markets in favor of short-term windfalls from places where F1 has zero staying power

            These so-called “long-term legacy markets” are currently under threat from the delicate state of the European economy. If the Euro collapses, very few countries in Europe will actually be able to hold a race – even at a dramatically-reduced rate. Formula 1 needs to expand outside Europe because Europe is in serious trouble, and if the sport has too much reliance on the continent, it could be torn to shreds if the Euro goes.

          • Nick.UK (@) said on 29th February 2012, 9:11

            @PrisonerMonkeys I think in your first comment on this string you missed a core concept of supply and demand. Fan favourites do have an impact. If every race turns to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain esque tracks, the fans will have less interest, viewing figures will decrease due to the prossetional style races. With less viewers, sponsorship valuation is affected. In a spectator sport, with less sponsorship, the overall value of the sport would nose dive.

            There needs to be a balance with what the spectators want to see, and what the management provide. Bernie has this in balance at the moment. I can deal with a 50/50 ratio of ‘money tracks’ and ‘race tracks’ but every year for the last 5 or so, proper tracks are dissappearing. Istanbul park most significantly in 2012 for example.

            I guess we just have to deal with it in the end :(

          • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 29th February 2012, 9:45

            Painful as it is to agree with PM, he is right. The “demand” from the fans has nothing whatsoever to do with which races make it onto the calendar.

            If I won the lottery every week forever, built a track on a man-made island in the middle of the North Sea and paid Bernie £100m a year to host a race there, he would host a race there. No question. Because he needs to demonstrate to CVC that he is making the best possible return on their investment.

            The only way this will change is if F1 becomes available via pay-per-view (not impossible given the Tata Communications deal) – where the broadcaster would start to have an influence based on higher revenues for more popular circuits.

          • John H (@john-h) said on 29th February 2012, 13:12

            The point of the high fees is to guarantee commitment to the championship. FOM is trying to prevent countries from signing up for a year or two, then forgetting all about it once they’ve gotten a bit of exposure. It’s designed to create stablity from year to year.

            Hmmm, where do I start with this one PM? Well then why don’t they just draw up longer binding contracts? You really think the primary reason for high fees is to create stability?

            Of course it has nothing to do with Tamara Ecclestone’s insatiable demand for more diamonds.

          • phildick (@phildick) said on 29th February 2012, 14:30

            I agree with you here, @jonh-h.

            @prisoner-monkeys – you make valid points on supply and demand, but I don’t understand your persisent belief in this argument for high fees. Being (as you) an advocate for Occam’s razor principle I think the high fees are for the purpose of having a regular high-level cash flow to FOM’s accounts.

            And don’t worry so much about the Euro collapse – the F1 hosting countries will survive. Another question is whether the track owners will be able to pay higher and higer fees when it’s clearly visible that they make losses.

            And thinking of the stability of FOM’s F1 contracts – I won’t be surprised if Bernie in some way cancels the Hungaroring contract to make place for Putin’s GP ;)

          • @prisoner-monkeys true but sad, especially in a time when the economic situation in Europe is so bad. I wish FOM had a heart and chose circuits based on their heritage and meaning for fans rather than the amount of cash they bring. :)

    • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 29th February 2012, 4:26

      as long as they dont swap good tracks with tracks like valencia or india where everyone just follows everyone else…

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 4:43

        @hatebreeder

        What is it about this that people don’t understand? Only three circuits have a contract up for renewal at the end of 2012: Spa, Suzuka and Singapore. If the French want in, and if they want to alternate, then they can only deal with those three circuits, since Bernie doesn’t like circuits trying to alter the terms of their contracts in the middle of their agreement. So, France’s options are to alternate with Spa, to alternate with Suzuka, or to alternate with Singapore. Of those three, Spa are evidently the only ones willing to do it.

        Alternating with Valencia or with Bahrain or Abi Dhabi or whoever is not an option because those circuits need to agree to the proposal put forward by the French. And since France is looking to alternate with Spa, those other circuits haven’t agreed to anything.

        • Or they could look at circuits whose contracts are up in 2013 if they want to alternate. You know they start in 2014, skip 2015 etc. Just saying that there are probably a couple more than 3 circuits to deal with.

          Realistically France and Belgium make sense as a pairing. I just hope they choose a French track with character, and preferably some history.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 5:28

            Or they could look at circuits whose contracts are up in 2013 if they want to alternate. You know they start in 2014, skip 2015 etc. Just saying that there are probably a couple more than 3 circuits to deal with.

            There no doubt are – but the French don’t want to wait. They want in from 2013, and not a moment later if it can be helped.

            I just hope they choose a French track with character, and preferably some history.

            History is over-rated. Just look at the race at Indianapolis – it was run around the infield of one of the most famous circuits in the world. And it sucked.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th February 2012, 8:17

            Just look at the race at Indianapolis – it was run around the infield of one of the most famous circuits in the world. And it sucked.

            Which is probably why they don’t run the Indianapolis 500 on the infield circuit.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 8:31

            Which is probably why they don’t run the Indianapolis 500 on the infield circuit.

            The history of a circuit is to be embraced. But it shouldn’t be held up as the reason for a circuit to be kept on the calendar. I’m pretty sure that, fifty years from now, there will not be a chorus of “Abu Dhabi deserves to stay on the calendar! It has so much history!”.

        • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 29th February 2012, 7:24

          @prisoner-monkeys
          you seem to be in a bad mood! :P
          Yeah I understand that. But that only means there’s a good chance there’ll be more boring tracks built and the good ones will be swapped with those as their contracts terminate. And I dont want to see that. I dont watch F1 to see how every f1 driver drives out perfectly behind another car in harmony. I want to see action and overtakes. and I wont get to see any of it if good tracks are replaced with the boring ones.

        • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 7:44

          Yeah, F1 presents itself to a virgin market, touting itself as “the pinnacle of motorsport” and then offers the whole experience for the low, low price of a week’s pay, and you think I’m cynical?

          F1 is a microcosm of European financial problems, and I’m not attached to this game nearly enough to keep me from laughing when F1 crumbles. And that WILL happen. It’s inevitable.

          • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 29th February 2012, 7:57

            How did you end up on a site called F1 Fanatic, then? :P

            And PM, I think you both have a point, but even if he is wrong, do you need to be rude about it? Calm down a bit please! Where’s the love? :P

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 8:19

            How did you end up on a site called F1 Fanatic, then?

            Ha! Fair point.

            I love F1. I really do. At its essence, there’s a purity to it that’s rarely present in other sports. That’s why I get so irritated when it’s patently obvious that F1′s curators have something other than the sport’s best interests in mind when it comes to their business practices.

            FOM has set F1 off on an irresponsible course because it’s one that is not sustainable. I’ll be sad when it collapses, but there will always be a part of me that applauds the result when greed comes back to bite the greedy in the…

          • Ben (@) said on 29th February 2012, 8:29

            And to be fair, I should say that F1 is not alone when it comes to greediness. Here in the States, almost every city with a presence in any of the “Big Four” sports has been bamboozled into paying for sports infrastructure under the dubious notion that it will somehow “help the local economy.” Economists up and down the ideological spectrum will say that such claims are pure fiction.

        • bearforce1 said on 29th February 2012, 9:56

          PM I think it is you that just doesn’t get it.

          It is really simple. People don’t want to lose Spa. Or they would like to have both Spa and a French Grand Prix.

          These folk are expressing their opinions. It is called a matter of opinion. As opposed to matters of fact there is no right or wrong when considering matters of opinion.

          Almost every post you write try you try to find fault with their words.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 29th February 2012, 13:07

      @ WasiF1 I agree with you. It’s a shame that the best track in the world can’t/won’t afford a yearly race.

      I know about all the contracts, the interest CVC needs to pay etc etc. But I hate the consequences.

      And I still hope Valencia will simply stop their contract to create a spot for France. Korea bailed out, so Valencia should be able to run as well.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 29th February 2012, 13:18

        It’s a shame that the best track in the world can’t/won’t afford a yearly race

        That’s the whole point. People understand business PM, they are not fools, but they also would like to watch F1 cars around Eau Rouge and not ‘Turn 14′.

        Long term it does not make business sense to forget about tracks like Spa and race on Abu Dhabi Oil Tilkedromes because in time people will just switch the TV off.

  9. Sushi Meerkat (@sushi-meerkat) said on 29th February 2012, 2:51

    I’ve been very quiet but now I feel the need to let out, Keith, you’ve always been great and the people who comment here are fantastic, but your link to Joe Seward…. my god, who does he think he is?

    Don’t comment on French politics just because some bloke told you them, that was not F1 news, that was Joe telling people how French ballotting and voting system works with no bearing on whether or not a race in France could happen…. it wasn’t subjective, it was purely “this is how voting in France works oh and some politician might vote for a French race”. That’s not journalism Joe, that you throwing a dart and hoping it sticks.

    I care if Spa and a French race happens, don’t you dare say you “saw it” Joe just because you told the English speaking world how the voting system (which has nothing to do with racing) in France works.

    • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 29th February 2012, 3:35

      All credit to you Joe, that’s one of the best summations of the French Presidential electoral system I’ve read. Brilliant, clear and straight-forward, like the rest of the your blog!

      From his blog’s comments. Why not go post there? Criticism on this site in the comments’ section is meaningless when Joe nearly always has a response for commenters on his own site.

      • Sushi Meerkat (@sushi-meerkat) said on 29th February 2012, 8:21

        I’ll never help out with Joe’s pageviews and adclicks thank you.

        • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 29th February 2012, 13:14

          I like Joe’s blog very much. It’s different from F1fanatic, which in turn differs from James Allen’s.

          Each has his own charm. Where James and Joe are the old hands with all the contacts, Keith is establishing himself with F1 journalism 2.0 – creating a community, instead of ‘just a read’.

          I like to read all three of them and I don’t agree with everything written on either of them. That’s part of the fun.

    • topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 29th February 2012, 9:50

      Just a quick quote from Joe Saward’s blog…

      The blog is run by a professional motorsport journalist with 29 years of experience, the majority of which has been spent in Formula 1. Joe is not a stay-at-home commentator. He attends all the World Championship Grands Prix, and has done for 24 years. He is accredited as an FIA Formula 1 Permanent Passholder.

      Oh, and that is pretty much how the voting system in France works.

  10. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 29th February 2012, 5:38

    I see the point of Spa and France alternating. Formula One should do everything to keep Spa and also France, the latter of whom we owe the term Grand Prix. Maybe having Spa every second year will maintain or increase its mistique and charm.
    Formula One needs to hold onto its classic circuits which I think help maintain the history and itegrity of the sport. There’s enough vested interest in economies that are obviously only interested in making money (Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Bahrain..), flash-in-the-pan races.
    In this economic climate, Formula One need to do all they can to hold onto the classics and keep the balance between charm/history and financial gain.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th February 2012, 13:56

      @nackavich Agreed. If alternating races is the way forward then so be it. Even if we didn’t have the massive global financial crisis there would still be interest from other countries and circuits, perhaps even more so than now, so of course things would be tightened.

      It’s good for the sport as a whole ultimately. If Spa cannot afford it year in, year out, it is a shame. But allowing another country into the fold is not a bad thing for a world championship.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th February 2012, 7:15

    There has been a serious accident during construction of the Circuit of the Americas: a worker was critically injured after a tractor rolled over onto him and went into cardiac arrest, though emergency crews have reportedly restarted his heart. Nobody seems to be entirely sure what happened or how it happened, though an investigation is underway.

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