Entries in India (2)

Wednesday
Aug032011

Silence is Golden

Some people just do not know when to shut up. We have some great examples today.

Bernie said that his mate Briatore was "In no shape or form .... involved in this." He then went on to tell the Daily Express. "He did make a payment for me but only because I asked him." ? I know when to say nothing.

Then there is Adam Parr, he who is telling disgruntled fans how expensive it is to run a team. He does it again today and I'm sure the fans appreciate being told that if they just accept the need for budget cuts in F1 then the teams would not need all that money and the TV and admission costs would go down. Well, he did not actually say the last piece, and we all know that the money will just go somewhere else. The teams could reduce the cost of the show whenever they want, just getting rid of those monstrous "hospitality" units would save a few million, each. No, Adam goes on to say that if each team spends 100m pounds a year to run then the cost of the show is 1.2 bn pounds. Well it is a lot more than that Adam if you add in the cost of building the tracks and staging the races, but let's just look at his maths. Each team has sponsors who foot part or all of that 100m pound bill, but let's say half, so now we are down to 600m pounds by his reckoning. Then there are the fees paid by the poor promoters, say 25m each by 20 races, that nearly covers the rest. You could almost put this on TV for free, but that does not include Bernie's cut or the CVC rape.

Adam continues with his "racquets and plimsoles (tennis shoes to you and me)" analogy, and then makes it worse by comparing the cost of admission to Crique de Soleil" at 100 pounds to the local circus for 10 pounds where you only get to see "a couple of mangy elephants and a rather droopy clown." Nice one Adam, just endeared yourself to the circus industry. Anyway Adam believes the fans will understand. I would not bet on it. At least F1 does not have a slogan of "For the Fans." The next FOTA forum in England should be a doozy, they could sell the rights to that for a lot of money, help defray the cost of running the races. 

Then there is India and the GP, which yesterday had 6000 workers going day and night with 250 engineers to finish the track. Today we are told its all done bar the top layer of asphalt and they were ready for and expecting Charlie last Monday, but he decided to leave it till August 30th. Now I am happy it is ready, but why tell us a story?

Last but not least we have another reported intent to stage an F1 race in the streets of New Jersey with Manhattan as the backdrop, with a race in 2013. Bernie and Martin Whitmarsh must be pleased. It is a private investment, so the question must be why? These are smart businessmen and must know what the costs are, but perhaps know better than I what the income will be, but I would check with Melbourne first. It is one thing for the City to fund this and reap the "economic benefits," but unless these guys own a bunch of real estate in the area it is hard to see the rational.

Wednesday
Aug032011

Holiday

With F1 off on its summer break for the next three weeks some of my fellow bloggers are also taking a vacation. As you know I write about any form of motorsport that interests me, so I will try and amuse you and prompt some critical examination of what others say and do.

On that note there is a piece today following up the protests by farmers at the loss of access and land for the building of the Indian GP track and access expressway. Eager to assure us all is well and that a repeat of Korea will be avoided we are told there are 6000 workers toiling around the clock to finish this, with 250 engineers! Well, as the race is scheduled for late October then one would hope that the engineering has been finished. Not sure what their definition of engineer is, but I cannot imagine you need 250 of them to design and build an F1 facility, however complicated. Speaking of late October, the FIA inspection is supposed to be 90 days prior, which by my calendar was three days ago. And what do you do with 6000 workers, groom the runoffs or mix cement by hand? No offence to my Indian friends, but a few photos are worth thousands of words.

The Sky TV rumblings continue, with the Crash.Net site running a poll which presumably is taken by people really interested in F1 and racing. So far 95% of respondents have either said they will not watch or F1 will lose audience. So 5% think it's "super for F1." Not the sort of numbers to warm sponsors hearts. 

On the home front Race Resorts of America is moving forward and is in discussions with a number of resort type tracks to become part of the RRA "family."