The Guardian has reported that talks yesterday between the FIA and FOTA were among the best they’ve ever been, and that everyone attending these talks was immensely pleased at their outcome. Which is well and good, but are they telling us what they talked about? Not yet; apparently, the official revelations will be made public on Friday, after one further meeting amongst members of the FIA. Will the suggestions of standardized gearboxes and engines across the board be made law for 2010? I’d say I’d never seen press releases make such a big deal out of containing absolutely no news at all…except it would be a blatant lie, as I’ve followed F1 for quite awhile.
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Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone has waxed surprisingly sentimental about the passing of Honda from amongst the ranks in the paddock currently in testing at Jerez. Calling them things like “no great loss” and “a bad example” shows the kind of deeply introverted contemplation and keenly heartwarming gushing for which Bernie is justifiably famous. He also still insists that F1 is not in any great financial trouble, despite rampant financial world speculation that Honda are merely the first to go.
Maybe Bernie’s right, though. After all, the world does turn rather quickly in F1. Why, it was just 2005 when the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve hosted what was ranked as the most highly-attended F1 event on that year’s calendar, and indeed it was 2008′s Canadian GP at that same circuit that saw Robert Kubica take home his very first Formula One win. And it seems like it was just yesterday that the organizers of the Canadian GP issued the following statement:
The executives of the Grand Prix of Canada have learned via the media of the omission of the Grand Prix of Canada from the F1 Championship 2009 calendar. Therefore, the organization will issue no comment until having spoken to Formula One Management (FOM) and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.
Now that there’s no race at all in North America, and the global financial crisis has got everyone in its pincers, who’s going to pay for our plane tickets and accomodations at another Grand Prix? Probably not Bernie, especially not with divorce proceedings underway. Striking the USGP from the calendar wasn’t surprising in the least, but Canada? Will this go down in history as having been exactly where F1 jumped the proverbial shark? The paddock at Jerez are already anxious that up to 50% of their jobs may be cut once the formal declaration of new rules for 2010 is announced.
Stay tuned to this station for updates. Same bat…er, sorry, Bernie-time, same Bernie-channel.