A few quick news and notes on Formula One for today.
First off, the “lie-gate” scandal has come to a sort of close today when the WMSC (World Motor Sport Council) handed down their ruling on McLaren. Essentially, they can continue to race without penalty as long as no new information comes up about what they did after the Australian Grand Prix. If some new information does surface, the team will be forced to sit out three races. What I would like to know is how this actually does anything? Of course it’s a harsh punishment, but that is only if new information comes to light – which it probably won’t. In essence, the team gets off with a warning, and that is actually fine by me. I don’t want to see a team have to sit out for three races when their parent company (Mercedes) is having a hell of a time trying to make money to keep on financing the racing operations. The company posted a huge loss and is looking into ways to save money. Much like Honda already did, this means that the Formula One team is going to come under heavy speculation. But for now, all is safe in Woking.
What isn’t safe, though, is this swine flu scare. Sure it will probably amount to nothing, but so will the Spanish Grand Prix grandstands. This is because the Grand Prix organizers are looking into running the entire Grand Prix without any spectators. They feel that a bunch of people together during this “outbreak” is a bad thing. In this economy though, I wonder how much money the sport, the teams and the actual venue (not to mention the city) will lose if there are no fans in the stands? Of course, TV broadcasters and advertisers will be all for this as their ratings will soar because all those people will have to watch at home, but this really isn’t a good situation. It will be eerily quiet out there and the whole thing will look like a big joke. I guess this is what we get for letting pigs sneeze on us though.*
And the final bit of news is also troubling. In 2010, the British Grand Prix is supposed to move from Silverstone to the Donnington Circuit. I am not a big fan of this move, but of course, Mr. Ecclestone is behind it. However, it seems that there are many problems brewing for the circuit including actually getting the finances in order to make the renovations needed for the track. Bernie does not want to deal with the owners of the Silverstone Circuit (they being the BRDC or British Racing Drivers Club) but he has now been forced to look up their number again because he can’t see his precious country lose their Grand Prix. By the way, this is the same guy who said Nuts to North America and France. Oh yeah and he even actually mentioned that if Donnington wasn’t ready, there would be no Grand Prix in Britain at one point. I guess he is going to have to go back on his word though, huh?
The next race in Spain should be an interesting one so look for it on May 8th.
*This is not the actual cause of swine flu.