Bernie Ecclestone: The Tie-Breaker
If all this drama surrounding Formula One lately. One would think Formula One is a two-party system. Only the FIA and FOTA have horses in the race, but the most important actor in this farce, because we all know its a farce is...Bernie Ecclestone.
Formula One exists because of his entity, Formula One Management is the corporate face of Formula One. It signs the contracts so Grand Prix can be held, allows the races to be broadcast and holds the rights to the Formula One name.
FOM is the money making arm of the Formula One equation, it is what makes it a mutually beneficial enterprise to the teams, the fans, the FIA and the broadcasters, it is the glue that holds Formula One together.
So except for the showdown at the Heathrow "corral" and last week at Monaco, Bernie Ecclestone has staid surprisingly quiet. Whenever Bernie has interjected in the meetings compromise seems to come from it. In a stale-mate he is the tie breaker.
Bernie seems to be a pretty smart guy, so he must remember the last time Formula One was in a struggle between the governing body and the teams. About a quarter century ago during the FISA-FOCA War.
In those days Bernie Ecclestone was playing the role Luca Di Montezemolo is playing today, the main stalwart for the teams against the dictatorial FISA. In the end it was inconclusive, both sides to had to make concessions to the other, but, ultimately intransigence was not rewarded. Compromise prevailed.
So Bernie's choice is to chose a side. Either the teams that make him money or his old friend, ally and confidante, Max Mosley
The choice is clear, FOTA. He has the most to gain to by supporting the teams against Mosley. Like I said in an article some time ago people don't watch Formula One because it's regulated by the FIA or because it is the so called "official" "World Championship".
They watch it to root for their favorite teams and drivers. That is the drving force of Formula One and Ferrari is the steam of that locomotive.
As somebody put it, either Briatore or Di Montezemolo, with the quality of the teams that are applying to be in the championship you might as well call it "Formula GP3". I think it's in Bernie's best interest to side with the teams to keep Formula One intact and keep his empire growing.
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