“Now, here’s a declaration of passion from me. I Formula 1. And here’s why…”
I love it for the skill and bravery of the men who risk their lives in 200mph (320km/h) wheelto-wheel combat. I love it because the cars are marvels of advanced automotive technology. I love it for the joy of being part of a globe-trotting sport peopled by outstanding individuals. I even love the drama of the political cut-and-thrust for power. It is a fascinating world, but at the moment it is in a worrying delicate state.
F1 has always been a hotbed of disagreement. As long ago as 1961 there was uproar when the governing body changed the engine regulations. In 1982 the drivers went on strike against a superlicence requirement that adversely affected them. In fact, the early 1980s were a constant battle between the teams, led by Bernie Ecclestone, and the governing body, and there have been plenty of confrontations since. But today’s situation is especially challenging.
The sport’s complicated governance system has led the normally apolitical drivers to call for reform. Major considerations are that the FIA seem unable or unwilling to lead from the front. Bernie Ecclestone, who for so long ruled the sport with a rod of iron, seems to have lost his omnipotence since selling the commercial rights to CVC, who seem more interested in maximising their investment than in promoting the sport.