F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stated that he believes it is time that the FIA and Formula One Management (FOM) once again took control of the sport, stating that he believes it is time to end the F1 Strategy Group.
Speaking in the build up to the Canadian Grand Prix, Ecclestone commented that he believed that F1’s leading teams held too much influence over the sport’s future, with their own self-interest delaying firm decisions being made.
Speaking to Autosport, Ecclestone commented: “We should stop mucking around and asking for opinions. The problem is we are running something that is too democratic, and Jean (Todt) won’t go along with things.”
“I said to him the other day ‘if you come up with something sensible, on whatever it is, I’ll support you. The same thing – if we (FOM)) come up with something sensible, you should support it. Between us we should say ‘these are the rules of the championship, if you want to be in it, great, if you don’t we understand’.”
“At last month’s Strategy Group meeting nothing was decided – not even the date of the next meeting. We could have voted on something then and put it through, but nothing.”
Dictatorships in sport
With the current allegations made against football’s governing body, FIFA, many of which have stemmed from the sport’s dictator, Stepp Blatter, now is not a wise time to be talking about removing democracy from sport.
Of course Ecclestone commented that it is ‘too democratic’ but when couple with his comments about Jean Todt and the FIA ratifying any ideas that Bernie and FOM generate, it does not make F1 look like a forward-thinking sport.
Sure the Working Group has faced its own issues and placing competitors alongside one another to find a common good is difficult when they are fighting for championships – and in some cases their very existence. However, the teams are what make the sport. Without them there is no entertainment and there is hardly a queue or replacements banging down the FIA’s door for entry.
In Formula E, Alejandro Agag has floated the plan for teams to collaborate on technology development, pooling their resources and knowledge for the good for the sport and the series’ relevance to road cars. This is a positive step, and one that F1 should take note of.
As ever, I fear far too many discussions about the pinnacle of motorsport are taking place away from the track. Let’s hope F1 puts on a good show in Montreal to quell these negative stories.