Formula One's Demise Felt Worldwide
I've always been intrigued with Formula One.
Growing up in Michigan is hardly a hotbed for getting into car racing and for that matter a racing series, which at the time, took place entirely outside of the United States.
However, on Sunday mornings, I sacrificed my day of sleeping in and rolled out of bed at dawn and raced downstairs to hopefully catch the start of the race. My dad usually excused me from church and I think he did so, partially, because he wanted to hear all about it when he returned home.
Each course was unique, the rivalries between drivers were captivating, and the strategies and racing was so different than anything in the United States.
It's safe to say that I'm still a pretty big fan years later, even if I don't catch every race anymore.
That makes the recent hairpin twists and turns in the current Formula One series all the more disappointing.
This morning, I awoke to find news that high-profile teams such as Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, BMW-Sauber, Red Bull Racing, Renault, Toyota, and current series leader Brawn GP were threatening to form a break-away series beginning next season.
This isn't just two teams trying to pull away. This is just about everybody.
Including Ferrari and McLaren.
Arguably the two ring leaders in all of Formula One, these historic teams are ready to move on and create some new history.
McLaren head man, Ron Dennis, and Ferrari boss, Luca di Montezemolo seem to have been the most outraged when FIA chief Max Mosley set a spending cap of $60 million for their teams.
Yes, $60 million.
I bet powerhouse Ferrari spends more than that on tires alone.
I know cutting costs seem to be a worldwide phenomenon, but you can't expect that many teams to cut their spending ten-fold.
Mosley and Formula One rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone need to do something.
They're supposedly threatening to sue all the teams involved if they do indeed part ways, but to me, that's not the way to cure this.
Instead of burning bridges, come up with a better, more considered and thoughtful idea that caters to the ideals of every team in Formula One.
This is heading down the wrong path and it doesn't sound like it's getting any better. They need to put the grudges aside and try and uphold the traditions of racing.
Save Formula One and continue the historic traditions from years past. It's popular all over the world and that's what makes it so special. No other racing series hits as many continents and countries and that's what makes it great.
I will say it again, someone needs to patch up these communication lines soon.
Otherwise, the threats will become a reality.
Instead of watching the familiar red cars of Ferrari pour through the scenic streets of Monaco or Jenson Button trying to repeat his sudden success at the season-opening race in Australia, the world will be watching with bitterness as new drivers and new teams try and continue a dying series.
Goodbye Fernando Alonso. Goodbye Lewis Hamilton. Goodbye Felipe Massa.
And, one more thing is for sure.
I may be getting up early on Sundays, but it won't be to watch Formula One.
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