“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.

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