JANUARY 7, 2005
F1 boycotts and other rubbish
Although the world of Formula 1 on the web continues to reduce in size as the non-sustainable sites go out of business, there are still a number of websites which are keen to push up their hit rates with sensationalist stories designed to attract the interest of any web surfer with a vague interest in F1. The fact that more than one website run a story proves nothing as there are all manner of websites which are trying to appear professional and connected when in reality all they are doing is copying from rivals and cribbing from magazines around the world.
Alas, these sites are often run by people with little or no grasp of the realities of Formula 1 and so anyone in the sport who wants to exploit this innocence can create what appears to be a big story.
The suggestion that Ferrari is going to boycott the French and British Grands Prix is a work of lively imagination. The innocuous piece of knowledge that Ferrari and Bernie Ecclestone are quibbling over how much the Italian team should be paid to take part in the two races this summer, which was prised from Frank Williams at the Royal Bank of Scotland launch, has been blown out of all proportion.
The other teams have each agreed to take part in the two events for only $3m. This agreement means that most will lose money because of the costs involved but the teams accepted the deal to ensure that the traditional races at Silverstone and Magny-Cours were not lost to F1. Because Ferrari was sulking about the recent political battles and did not take part in those negotiations, a separate deal was necessary and, inevitably, Ferrari has a higher opinion of its value than does Bernie Ecclestone.
The fact remains that the two races were listed on a calendar approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council when it met in Monaco on December 10 and, unlike in previous years, there were no conditions attached to any of the dates. In other words there will be 19 World Championship Grands Prix and Ferrari must compete in them unless it wishes to pay substantial fines and miss the opportunity to score World Championship points.
Ferrari itself says that it will be competing and so if there is a little bit of pushing and shoving over cash between Ferrari and Ecclestone it is, in this case, completely irrelevant.
End of story.
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