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How to save Formula 1

Discussion in 'F1' started by senna21, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    3,317
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
    As we all know Formula One is facing a bit of problem. I say “save Formula 1” and we all have some kind of image that the series is in dire trouble. That it needs to be resuscitated and have the paddles applied to it’s dying body. It doesn’t. CART does but, F1 doesn’t. So, what is the problem? The pink elephant in the room with us has this written on it “Formula One has gotten boring.” There are a myriad of issues that have brought us to this point some of which I’ll touch on others for the sake of time I won’t.

    For about the past ten years though someone’s always piped up and said the sports gotten boring. I had never agreed with any of them until I watched the Hungarian GP this year. For the first time in my life I could have turned the TV off and not have cared. Did you hear that? Not cared about F1. This is coming from someone who loves F1 more than any other sport. This is coming from a person who, couple of years ago watched probably 15 to 17 hours of the 23 hour telecast of the 24 hours of LeMans on Speedvision. The only time I was away from the TV was to eat, bathroom, and change the oil on my car. And that wasn’t even F1. What I’m saying is for me to get bored with an F1 race is really saying something. Costs are getting out control. The differences between the haves and the have-nots is getting too great. Something has to be done. Something drastic. And I’m the guy to fix it. Here’s my plan….

    Speed cost money. The more you spend the faster you go. Unless you’re Toyota and/or McLaren. But you get what I mean. Those that have the largest war chest will undoubtedly get their car sorted out and get to the front of the grid. By being at the front of the grid they can attract more sponsorship money thus increasing their war chest. The cycle continues and at the opposite end of the grid the opposite occurs. The fast get faster and the slow get comparatively slower. How do we fix it?

    Set the Formula One Payout system like the NFL draft. For those of you who are from other parts of the world and don’t know how the National Football League draft here in America works let me explain it real quick. At the beginning of every season a new crop of players gets out of college and are available to go play in the NFL. They are pooled together and picked by the teams just as many of you probably did when you were kids out on the school yard. One team goes first and picks a player. He goes to their team. Then someone else picks someone and he goes to their team. Now here comes the clever part. The NFL team that came in LAST place gets the first pick. Why? Because they’re last and they need help. This system helps to create a level playing field for all the teams. How do I apply this model to F1? Easy.

    At the end of the year Formula One awards travel money to all the teams based on where they finish. You finish first you get the lions share of the money and then it pays out less for each team on down the line. This goes hand in hand with the “winner take all” bravado found in all motorsports. But, it’s not working any more. It just goes to fuel the spiral described above. I say invert the payout system. Give the last place team the lions share of the travel money. The second to last should get what would have gone to the second place team and so forth to the top of the constructors championship. This will in effect help subsidize the lower teams and help level the playing field. It will also have the added effect of making the team more enticing to a sponsor. A lower level team can then make a pitch to them on the basis that their advertising dollar will go farther with them than a higher ranked team because they could offer them more advertising space on the car than they would get with the higher team. As the team progressed up the constructors championship final points grid they loose some of the travel budget money but then get to make the pitch of “our better results makes your sponsorship more visible” along with “your dollar spent with us still goes further than with a top team.” And if you’re a top team and for some reason have a bad season the sponsor, if he continues to stay a sponsor, gets the benefit not having to add in dollars to try to get back up top. Top Engineers might be more enticed to move to a lower level team if they felt they might have more control and have the funds to see their vision brought to fruition. Divers might also move more freely if they felt a team had a real chance to move up the grid. Board members at major car companies could then argue their case better for staying in F1 if their spending would be subsidized if results weren’t forthcoming. Closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots will help level the playing field and fuel competition, solidify the sponsorship dollars that are already hard at work and attract more as well.

    Also Formula One must take control of the direction of the television feed. Yes it will be more expensive. I would suggest that the host country still does the set up of cameras and wiring that goes along with it. Formula one would pay them a set amount for it. Formula One would then bring in it’s own directorial team and camera men to keep the language barrier from breaking down. The NFL did this with the Euro Football League. That League wasn’t any good but they showed it could be done. Why do I say this? Because I was at this years (2004) Japanese GP and had a wonderful time watching a wonderful race with the cars in the midfield. Later that evening I watched the recast of the race and was bored to tears as they missed every thing that was going on around the track. It should be the other way around. By taking control of the television feed Formula one will have a broadcast team in place that is better adept to covering the action on the track and not just the race leader and the host country’s driver. As the lower teams get more competitive with the increased funding the racing will get tighter and more on track action will need coverage. Also with this increased action at the back and proper media coverage will come better return for the advertising dollars spent there. If there is no action at the front and quite a bit in the middle or the back that’s where the cameras should be. And if a top team sponsor then scratches his head and say’s “I’m paying too much for what I’m getting” he can then either cut his spending to the top team (bringing them in line with the lower teams and handicapping them financially) or move to a mid field team altogether if the top team won’t give them a deal their happy with. It gives sponsors and manufacturers more bang for their buck. And as said before; It will close the gap between the haves and the have-nots and will help level the playing field and fuel competition; solidify the sponsorship dollars that are already hard at work and attract more as well.

    There you have it. Problem solved.

    Charles Wells
    (aka senna21)
    P.S.
    If Bernie wants to give me a job I’m willing to relocate.
     
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  3. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

    Jan 8, 2004
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    Payne
    Where is the incentive to improve? I like this distribution of money idea, but what if a team's goal is not to race, simply to make money?
     
  4. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    3,317
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    Charles W
    Have you ever been around racers? I've raced and been a mechanic and one thing racers don't come up short on and that's the desire to win.

    Ok, say they aren’t really spending the money they're taking in. Then they'll much farther back at the grid than the others. In theory. As such I don't think the sponsors would be getting their monies worth if they could just move to the next team up for maybe just a little more investment for greater exposure. And if they're in the middle of the grid and still mixing it up with the other teams then the viewer and sport still benefits. Ok, so they're not doing as well as they could. If their still competitive and are able to show a return financially and competitively then everyone gets what they want. Formula One teams are there to make money first and win races second. They need to pay the drivers, mechanics, engineers, chefs, marketers, travel agents, tire companies, fuel companies, etc...and team bosses. Edie Jordan didn't get to be as rich as he is because he was spending ALL the money on the team. Nor did Ron Dennis. That is built into the current model and I doubt you’ll be able to build it out of the new one.
     
  5. Trinacria

    Trinacria Formula Junior

    Aug 7, 2002
    665
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    Baldassare Guzzo
    Regardless of the drivers desire to improve and race, it would end up being a team (owner?) decision to never win.

    The spread of budgets for the winning (or losing) team can not be made up for in the pay out money. Why? There isn't enough. Do you know the difference between budgets at Minardi vs. Toyota? Toyota wouldnt care about the few pennies F1 gives them but Minardi would. Bottom line, I like your idea but it wouldnt work. I don't know the answer, but I am not ready to turn it off yet. This year I may be going to 2 GP's for the first time instead of 1.


    I think they should add stop signs, traffic lights, and pedestrian crossings to the tracks. That ought to make it more lively. Curbs? Make them cement and square.
    One more thing. If you want to slow down the cars ....... very simple.... put Michael Schumacher in a special F1 Police car equipped with radar. Install speed limit signs around the track. Then just let him position himself in different places around the track and when he catches someone "speeding", he can give chase and pull them over for a 3 second penalty. If he catches you with the radar gun, then you get black flaged and have to come in the pits for a 3 second stop. This would only cost a few thosand dollars instead of millions. The driver champion would have to be the "police car" for the next year.

    That would be fun.
     
  6. tatcat

    tatcat F1 Veteran
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    Sep 3, 2001
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    rick c

    i'm still waiting for the loop de loop ala hot wheels. maybe at cancun.
     
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  8. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    2,187
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    Anthony Currie
    Maybe they could just leave the money side of things as they are. As Trinacria says the top teams only receive a tiny proportion of their budget from the F1 authorities. Maybe we go for your NFL draft type idea like this:

    All teams pay every driver the same amount.
    Each driver can then 'top up' their income through personal sponsorship. The drivers own their overalls and space on them. The drivers also own 25% of the advertising space on their car for their own sponsors.
    At the end of season the FIA decide which drivers are eligible for the next seasons championship. There should be enough drivers eligible so that each team can have 2 drivers and 1 test driver.
    The team with the lowest number of points picks their first driver - so Minardi pick Michael. They only have to pay him the standard flat rate. Minardi can attract more sponsors for the 75% of the car available to them as they have such a big name in the car. their budget is boosted so the car can go quicker.
    The next worst team picks whatever driver they want etc etc. Once all teams have picked one driver it goes back to Minardi to choose their second driver.
    Ferrari will end up with the 10th and 20th best drivers in the world. They will probably not win the Championship, but next year they will get better drivers as they will not be the top team.

    This will make all the racing closer and will shrink the financial gap between the top teams and the bottom ones.
    There will still be incentives to do as well as possible. If a team manage to win consecutive Championships they can truely say that it's the best car rather that made the difference. The driver in the second year will become much more in demand as he was obviously better than most people thought.

    I'd also ban re-fuelling, but that's for another thread! ;)
     
  9. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    7,800
    Central Texas
    A good thought on saving F1 would be a reduction in the cost of tickets. A problem which has been mentioned many places. Make the races possible for those folks who are fans but find their monthly pay less than the cost of a one day race ticket.

    In the 2004 season we went to San Marino (Imola), Indianapolis, Magny-Cours and Belgium. Where did our ticket proceeds go? This year at Spa at least they had a few more port-a-potties (the guys just use the trees), it always rains and the tunnel to the merchandise area was still a muddy mess, they had only about half the stands at ***nes (big improvements underway for more covered seating for '05) and parking in the soggy fields was horrible (we now get there really early and park on the road up to the entrance). We paid right at USD 1000 for our seats at Magny-Cours (mind you they were excellent) - that section was almost full on race day - that equals major $$$. We had pre-paid parking in France at est VIP and it was great - didn't have to walk far at all. Indianapolis was the cheapest tickets of all a whopping $85 for race day seats (parking free because we participated in the Car Corral). In '03 we went to Hockenheim - again expensive seats but at least there's bathrooms at each section that had toilet paper when you needed it. No complaints on Imola - good seats, good parking, added personnel at the toll booths coming and going at Imola got you off and on the autostrada with little difficulty.

    One might say we are hooked on the sport despite any problems at locations otherwise we wouldn't already have tickets purchased for some of the 2005 races. But, nevertheless, the question remains - who gets all the ticket proceeds?

    Carol
     
  10. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
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    Sheffield, UK
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    Anthony Currie
    I have just found this on my PC. It's a proposal from Max Mosely called 'Improving the Spectacle'. I saved it onto my PC on 10/10/02. Makes for interesting reading:
     
  11. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    2,187
    Sheffield, UK
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    Anthony Currie
    #9 Anthony_Ferrari, Nov 19, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    The circuit owners getthe ticket proceeds. However this is the only income they get. They pay Bernie a huge amount of money to stage the race. The only way they can get any of it back is through the ticket price. They get no TV money as that goes to Bernie. Bernie owns all of the sponsorship around the track. All of the stalls and burger vans pay a fee to Bernie.

    As Jackie Stewart said yesterday:
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
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  13. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
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    Anthony C.
    Another big part of the problem is that Bernie E. is taking a lions share of the profit Formula One is making.
     
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
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    Andreas
    Oh so true. It is discouraging for the teams and deprives them of some of their operating budget. That's the part I don't understand about Bernie. When does the guy ever give in and admit he had enough? He claims to love the sport (and to some degree I believe that), but he sits on his money pile like Dagobert Duck.
     
  15. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
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    Exactly, he and his duputy (Max Mosley) should be out enticing and promoting more manufactures or sponsors in order to help the sport grow. I can't help but feel that the only he cares about is money in his own pocket.
     
  16. F40Lover

    F40Lover Karting

    Mar 28, 2004
    203
    And Bernie is in deep trouble because of it. He has had to sell his home in London to meet bank payments, house sold for 120 MILLION US$ and that was not enough to satisfy the banks so this may get very interesting this year. We will have to wait and see.
     
  17. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    Nov 11, 2003
    12,859
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    Anthony T
    He never lived in that home in London, he bought it as investment which used to be I believe the Russian Consulate for about $80 Million and made a profit in it. Eccelstone is a Billionare and has no money troubles. The only problem he may have is the banks suing for more control on the board of SLEC.

    He did n ot sell his house because of meeting bank payments thats for sure.
     
  18. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    13,337
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    Jack
    It's not a horrible idea to re-allocate the season's spoils, but like was alluded to, the bigger problem is that not enough is making its way back to the teams, period. They should drastically increase the amount everyone gets--equally. Say, for argument, $25million or whatever. Then they should pay out beyond that based on performance. Seriously, if NBC can afford to pay the cast of Friends $150million a season, how much revenue is Formula One generating?! And while socializing the governance of a sport is a risky slope, perhaps that money could be used as some type of a driver kitty.
     
  19. Gatorrari

    Gatorrari F1 World Champ
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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Jim Pernikoff
    I say limit the wing size to the tiny wings used at times in the Indy 500, whose purpose is solely to trim the car, not to provide downforce; that will have to come solely from the car itself.

    Also ban carbon-fiber brakes and impose a rev limit of, say, 14,000 RPM. This will not only cut power but make the cars nicer to listen to! (In the "old days" I never needed earplugs.)

    And I would consider banning pit stops. Nowadays drivers often don't try to pass because they know they have a chance to do that with pit strategy. If there were no pit stops that would increase attempts at on-track passing.
     
  20. HIGHROLLERM85

    HIGHROLLERM85 Karting

    Jul 17, 2004
    223
    Full Name:
    Matt
    I agree with you. Formula 1 has gotten very boaring. It would be so much better than Nascar,cart,IRL ECT. if it were more competative. They've got to stop Ferrari from over dominating the sport. I don't know why Ferrari would want to over dominate it. They have got to come up with a system where the teams basicly get equal cars and driving skill is what determines the winner of the race. JPM and micahel schumacker are both good drivers but if they had bascily equal cars I would bet that JPM would be able to beat schumi most of the time. It seems that JPM always gets a bad car that burns out before the end of the race and loses through no fault of his own.
     
  21. Tifoso1

    Tifoso1 F1 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2003
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    Just wondering, how long have you been following Formula One?
     
  22. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    May 14, 2004
    2,892
    Ferrari waited for almost two decades before it could win the F1 world championship title again. You should stick to Nascar as the choice for your motorsport because you obviously know nothing about F1.

    JPM is the most reckless driver in the world. If you call the Williams cars he has driven over the years bad, I wonder what you would call driving a former Jaguar racing car or a Minardi. JPM is a the one race wonder. He constantly whines and is a disgrace to F1. In other words, compared to Michael's seven world championships Montoya will always have none.

    Ferrari deserve winning the F1 championship every year. It is the other constructors that cannot compete so don't blame Ferrari for making F1 boring.
     
  23. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    7,800
    Central Texas
    The F1 cars are VERY nice to listen to - if you've never been to Spa on a cool, foggy day and hear the cars on the track as they go thru the forest, you are truly missing out on one of the most beautiful pieces of racing music.

    I am in total agreement with imperial83's post - you hit the nail on the head! Bravo!!!

    Carol
     
  24. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Pete
    Senna21,

    I've read you suggestion and the only negative I can think of is the anti-incentive this money sharing would (or could) set up, ie. you are paying slack teams the same as teams that are trying extremely hard.

    While I am sure they are all out their doing their very best, I am not 100% sure that all teams are really in it to win, Jordan for example.

    Previously I have suggested that the TV monies are evenly spread, because this still allows the top teams to attract sponsors who are interested in being involved with winners. I can though see no reason why the top teams should get all the TV money. Yes they get more coverage, but really the TV money should just go back into the sport ... and thus all the teams and probably the tracks.

    What I think really hurts the F1 world is the enormous R&D costs, and we just cannot limit R&D because that is anti-F1.

    Thus I propose this:
    • All teams finance a single wind tunnel facility that they share. They are allocated X number of hours per season.
    • All teams finance a single technology centre which enables all teams to submit complex designs and the final product is CNC machined and returned to the team. It's sole aim to meet the manufacturing requirements for ALL teams.
    • All teams finance testing sessions, ie. money into the pool and then an even amount of testing time is distributed via some complicated calender for all test tracks and for all teams.

    Maybe the testing session suggestion is the only one that could be practically implemented without sharing of information issues, but we need to create a more level playing field. Currently when a team wins they can invest more money into the resources, manufacturing technology and TESTING, etc. that further distances them from other teams. This ofcourse is good business sense, but anti-competitiveness.

    I guess also I have done a complete circle and some would say that I have created an anti-incentive process ... ;). What I have suggested though ensures that the money is spent wisely, ie. on the sport and improving the cars ... not on better looking girly models for Eddie Jordan to dribble over, or Bernies next hair cut, etc.

    Pete
     
  25. LopeAlong

    LopeAlong Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    461
    West of St. Louis
    Full Name:
    Jim
    AAARRRRGHHHH! THis situation is more than just rules and regs! It has been ongoing since the beginning. Only now that Ferrari are ruling the roost is everyone in a tizzie. We heard the same thing when McLaren was killing everyone in the 80's. We heard the same thing when sponserships started making an impact in the 70's. We heard it when the factory participation was hot an heavy in the 60's. I know I am being general here, but there has always been a crisis "that is destroying the sport!" I think we are heading for an adjustment in participation and spending. Heck, it might even start with Ferrari. Fiat is sucking air and I'm sure they could use a little capital. I can't see Toyo and Honda spending hundreds of millions much longer for just a short spot on Bernie TV. THere will always be enough sponsorship to keep the Saubers and Jordans afloat. Let it happen. When it hits the wall, we will see who out of the big boys still wants to play. It will be uncomfortable, but I am not worried.

    Just about everything that has been suggested has been SO not F1 (sorry, sounding like my 12 yr old daughter). What needs to be addressed is this.... When 70% of the tracks have as many passing opportunities as Monaco, we have a problem - Houston!!! Hello!!! Earth to Bernie! Put them on slicks, take the wings off, put blindfolds on the drivers, who cares!!! It doesn't mean jack diddly $heeeit when at the end of the day Bernie and Co. want to leave Spa, rework the Nurb, or play footsy around the infield at Indy. Yawn, wake me up when they cross the finish line! Granted, some of those "new" rules will help. But a 60 page hunk of crap from Max that resembles the current tax code is certainly not what I would consider productive. Team domination comes and goes and one of these days Todd and Brawn will have creased brows and MS will be less than friendly. What really bothers me is that when this happens, we will have to listen to Pete crow on and on and on about the superiority of Ausie drivers and how Mark Weber used to live down the street and ............

    Jim
     
  26. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
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    Jack
    Oooookay, before this turns into a one-on-one spitting match, I agree that the tracks are much to blame. I guess I'm having a hard time mustering enthusiasm this time around because fans like us tend to be in agreement about what needs to change, yet those in charge rarely listen. It's called hubris, the notion that, because they are in the position of power, only they know what people want.
     
  27. LopeAlong

    LopeAlong Formula Junior

    Mar 29, 2004
    461
    West of St. Louis
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    Jim
    Gilles27,
    My rants were directed at only Bernie and co.. I consider all you guys my race buddies and we all want the same thing. But after watching this sport for so many years, I do not think it is ready to crash down around us. I DO think that an attempt to change the rules on a weekly basis for consumer appeal is a HUGE mistake. Bernie has lost direction and Max needs to retire. Just one little example: Did you know that a total of only 1000 Europeans attended the Bahrain GP? Do they really have enough oil sheeks to keep it afloat? Do you think Bernie cares? Hell no, he got his payoff and I'll bet in 10 years that track will be burried under the sand (where it should be). And all he can talk about are leaving the "old" tracks, (which just happen to offer the greatest racing action) for these gawd awfull, dinnerplate flat, no imagination, excuses for race venues. Oh, but they do have terrrific vip facilities! The answer is staring him in the face and I guess the $$$ are keeping him from seeing it - that is, if he wants to. Maybe there is a grand plan, besides Bernies wealth, that we are not privy to. The point I am trying to make is that the problem lies with the management. And no amount of new or additional rules and regs is going to fix anything.

    BTW, my comment about Pete (PSK) was definately tongue in cheek! He knows what I am talking about! ;0)

    Sorry if I came off sounding like a twit. It's just that it pi$$es me off to see such a great historic tradition of racing being treated this way.

    Jim
     
  28. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    46,660
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    Andreas
    Although I agree with a lot mentioned here, I don't condemn new circuits like Bahrain. I don't like the fact, that they're all flat, agreed on that, but the rest I do like.

    These new tracks offer several advantages: They're safer without being chicaned to a crawl (e.g. Imola). They have better amenities, not just for the VIP guests, but all around. As a visitor I do appreciate a working bathroom and I would think that with the high tech of modern F1 the teams do prefer standardized pits over some cramped shacks.

    Also F1 is a global sport, not a European championship. It is sad enough that the USA calls themselves "World Champions" in sports they play against Canada or not even that. F1 is truly a global sport and hence should have tracks around the globe.

    I want F1 to be the pinnacle of motor racing, which does include high tech and hence high costs. So if it takes tobacco money to pay for the bill, then that is ok with me. If Europe has an issue with that, well, then let's take the show to a country that doesn't. BTW: I'm not a smoker and don't care about tobacco advertising, which IMHO does not necessarily make more smokers, but get the smoking folks to pick a certain brand.

    So debating rules changes and the monetary distribution, I'm all on your side. But don't get me started on the new tracks. I like them and won't cry over loosing some of the old tracks (not all of course).
     

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