MAY 25, 2012
Money machinations in F1
Nestle's Peter Brabeck has been installed as Formula One chairman following a Monaco board meeting, it is being reported.
The news comes shortly after CVC Capital Partners sold a significant stake in the sport to three asset management groups, including BlackRock.
Brabeck's appointment may be interpreted as F1 furthering its quest for increased credibility ahead of a potential flotation on the Asian markets, perhaps as soon as next month, although some say that jitters over the markets may delay that.
Meantime, there is still controversy over deals that may or may not be offered to current teams, with Mercedes still out in the cold after strong commercial deals and board representation have been mooted for Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn declined to comment further on his team's position in Monte Carlo, but was asked his thoughts on a sport potentially ruled by financiers and effectively only three of the 12 teams.
"I think we've got a long way to go before we arrive at the final solution," Brawn said. "And I think what's got to be factored into all of that is the role that the FIA plays. They are involved in the sport and they've been quite quiet so far, but they will have an involvement and we're reasonably confident that we will find sensible solutions in the future, so I don't think things are closed yet.
"The sport can only survive if it has the life blood. Whatever we've had so far, which has perhaps not been the perfect solution, has been enough to sustain and maintain F1 in reasonable shape. It could always be better and it could always be a lot worse. There will need to be solutions found that make it work and I think we've still got quite a long way to go."
The FIA, which owns the F1 World Championship 'title' has long had a right of veto, the so-called 'Don King clause' over any sale that it does not believe to be in the best interests of the sport, and Brawn said that he could not envisage a sport run without the governing body's involvement.
"For me, the FIA is an intrinsic part of the sport," he said. "We need to have independence because there will be issues that come up that need to have an unbiased viewpoint as to what's right and wrong. And we can't do that ourselves, for sure. It's very difficult in such a competitive environment, to be self-policing.
"We have to have an authority to police the sport. I think we'll see in the next few months clearly where the FIA stands in all this. It might go on longer, but I think in the next few months it will become clear what the shape of F1 is in the future."
FIA president Jean Todt, who has been conspicuously silent, is due in Monaco on Saturday.