JULY 8, 2010
Tractors banned at Silverstone!
Silverstone is fast gathering a reputation for being the centre of political intrigue. In 2007 Spygate had just kicked off, in 2008 Donington was announced as the new British GP venue on the occasion of Silverstone's 60th birthday, last year was the FOTA breakaway and, now, the F1 teams have been told to remove their motorhome tractor units from the paddock.
It's all about branding on the units, with Allsport claiming circuit advertising rights and the teams warned earlier in the season about displaying excessive branding.
Interestingly though, the move to eject the tractors from the Silverstone paddock comes just as Bernie Ecclestone told Gazetta dello Sport that there is no place for the Formula 1 Teams Association in F1.
"It (FOTA) will never work because it is made up of teams that fight against each other," Ecclestone was quoted as saying. "When they look at the rules, they all try to get an advantage. The teams wanted to divide F1 but now they understand that it is good to give importance to the money that they get. There is no space for FOTA."
Ecclestone has said that the branding dispute is a matter between Allsport and the teams, which were busying themselves with ways of making the virgin white fronts of their trailer units look more attractive at the British grand prix.
One team member, however, commented that that the dispute could be a muscle-flexing exercise and F1's commercial rights holder (Ecclestone) reminding everyone who is boss and where the money comes from, ahead of negotiations over the 2013 Concorde Agreement...