Bernie’s power has also been af­fected by an ap­par­ent in­abil­ity to work as closely with FIA boss Jean Todt as he did with Max Mosley. Plus, there’s an on­go­ing fight be­tween Bernie and the en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers, and con­tention be­tween the teams and the com­mer­cial rights holder about how F1’s in­come should be dis­trib­uted.

On top of all this there’s been con­stant mind­chang­ing about 2016 qual­i­fy­ing and the 2017 reg­u­la­tions. All of which is of lit­tle in­ter­est to the pub­lic, who just want ex­cit­ing rac­ing on TV. And now, when view­ing fig­ures are de­clin­ing, we are told there will be no more free live cov­er­age of all the races af­ter 2018. I have no crit­i­cism of Sky TV for us­ing their fi­nan­cial clout to mo­nop­o­lise live cov­er­age. They do a great job and they’ll gain some more view­ers from those who are pre­pared to pay, but, dependant on who, if any­one, is pre­pared to show high­lights, over­all view­ing will suf­fer. And if view­ing fig­ures de­crease, the fu­ture au­di­ence and spon­sor in­ter­est will do so, too.

So what’s the an­swer? I don’t know: I’m just glad I don’t have to try to clear up the mess. I’ll con­cen­trate on the up­com­ing races, which at least of­fer a glim­mer of hope for en­ter­tain­ing view­ing. Writ­ing just af­ter the Chi­nese GP, I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing whether Ros­berg can main­tain his su­pe­ri­or­ity over Lewis Hamil­ton (I doubt it) and whether Fer­rari can beat the Sil­ver Ar­rows of­ten enough (I doubt that, too).

Can the im­pres­sive Haas and Ro­main Gros­jean at last make Amer­ica, the mar­ket F1 needs so much, in­ter­ested in F1? How will wun­derkind Max Ver­stap­pen de­velop as his ex­pe­ri­ence grows? Can McLaren and Honda give their two world cham­pi­ons the tools to get the job done? That’ll keep me go­ing for now.

But, for the fu­ture’s sake, please Bernie Ec­cle­stone, please Jean Todt, please CVC, please the teams and the en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers, get to­gether and right the ship be­fore it sinks. For the sake of the sport, all the fans who are so con­cerned, and, of course, your­selves. And to those who think I’m a naïve old fool for think­ing it’s pos­si­ble, I say it’s been done be­fore and it has to be done again or we’re all in the soup.

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