My title says it all. Except it should have been stoods and not stood perhaps if you consider both the FIA and F1. Oh, and if you include the extra space and the spelling mistake 😉
On first hearing of the ruling from the Stewards at the San Marino Grand Prix I thought they were being picky and had rightly reversed their initial decision to exclude BAR from the race results.
When I then heard that the F.I.A intended to appeal the stewards decision and have the exclusion reinstated I thought it was a case of the F.I.A flexing their muscles at BAR since relations between both F1, the F.I.A and BAR were not always at their best during the close season.
I’m not going to go into the politics that is currently going on between BAR Honda and the F.I.A. but there has been bad blood between them since discussions about the possibility of a break away group to set up a rival Forumla One Championship.
If you read the F.I.A report, it basically calls the BAR Team cheats. If you listen to the statements on TV made during the pre-race interviews, they too seem to slam BAR’s actions. But on reading the BAR report, it all becomes very confusing. They appear not to have hidden anything, and there is evidence in their to suggest that they are not the only team to use such methods. They have provided information to state that at no time could the car have fallen below the required weight and therefore could not have used it to gain an advantage during the race. In fact, the most important part of the report clearly states that in order to cheat and lower the weight of the car to below that of the required limit, the amount of fuel that would need to be within the tank would not be enough for the fuel pumps to operate. So in that case it wouldn’t matter that the car was underweight and able to gain 3/10 of second per lap, because at 0mph you don’t tend to put in very good lap times at all.
The more I read into both reports, the more certain I am that this is all down to politics. The request/statement by a group of other manufacturers today to ask for an independent agency to perform such reviews seems logical to most outside of the sport, but the F.I.A seem to be taking the view that it is yet another BAR Sponsered attack on them.
I have long since been amazed the amount of control that Bernie Ecclestone has had over the control of F1, and the way that he has gained so much financially from the whole thing. I don’t disagree with the amount of work that he may have put in to the sport to build it to what it is today, but all that power under control of one man makes me think of a script from a Bond movie, or a former newspaper owner (both involved yachts). I fear Max Mosely to be heading in the same power crazy direction of dictatorship.
When I was in the US I obviously followed a lot more NASCAR and CART/INDY and although there were incidents, they were always dealt with faitly and quickly by independant agencies. Both the F.I.A and F1 seem to be very much of the ‘Old School Brigade’ and it seems obviously personal against BAR Honda.
What ever the outcome, F1 has suffered again and I have a feeling all they have done is suceeded in the speeding up of a breakaway group of real F1 teams. Then perhaps Bernie and Max can realize their ambition of a Ferrari only race weekend.