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Sir Rols

F1 2008

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I'm not a great follower of Formula One (I can't see the point), and I was going to post this in the 2007 thread, but I guess it's time for a new one for this year's circuit.

Anyway, I've noticed in the old thread that Ecclestone's often threatening this country or that to withdraw the race unless he gets his way. Now it seems it's Australia's turn:

Melbourne Formula One future in doubt: Ecclestone

18 hours ago

SYDNEY (AFP) — Organisers say the Australian Formula One Grand Prix will not bow to pressure from F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and switch to a night race, reports said Monday.

Ecclestone said in weekend reports Melbourne was in danger of losing the event it has staged since 1996 when its contract comes up for renewal after 2010 with more lucrative host cities being touted.

Part of Ecclestone's pressure on local organisers and the Victorian state government is his reported demand for the race to be staged at night and made suitable for European television audiences.

Singapore will stage the first-ever Formula One night race on September 28 on a circuit of public roads.

But Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker said there will be no night race in Melbourne amid mounting financial losses.

The Victorian government lost almost 35 million dollars (31.6 million USD) on the 2007 race and is budgeting for a blowout of more than 40 million dollars (36 million USD) for the season-opening race at Albert Park on March 16.

State Premier John Brumby has already cast doubt on the future of the race, saying it could become too expensive for taxpayers.

"If the Victorian Government can't negotiate an economical settlement of this (new) contract, then there won't be a race," Walker told The Australian newspaper on Monday.

"When it comes to paying too much money for an event the Victorian Government just won't wear it.

"Everybody would like to keep the F1 race, but if it's not viable, it's not viable, and the government has to be responsible to its constituents. There will not be a night race."

Walker said his corporation had already reached a compromise with F1's world governing body by pushing back the starting time of next month's race 90 minutes.

"(But) to spend $60 million on lighting in Albert Park is just not on. If it's all about money, then clearly Melbourne will lose the race," he said. "There comes a time when you can't afford to pay these huge amounts of money for these events."

Walker said the possibility of a night race has been discussed with Ecclestone "a number of times and he knows we will not be doing a night race."

"Bernie is a great guy but also a very shrewd businessman. He's fired his first shot in negotiations."

Victoria's Major Events and Tourism Minister Tim Holding said the GP would stay in Melbourne provided it continued to represent value for money and was in the state's best interests.

Other reports have said he's keen to switch the Oz GP to Russia or India, and Sydney (predictably) has made noises about stealing it from Melbourne. It would be a blow for Melbourne _ they would lose one of their much-touted monthly big events. But what is it with Ecclestone _ is he really such a jerk?

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Given the way he's whinged and whined about Silverstone for years, shown little or no regard for the history and heritage of sport and generally appeared to chase the dollar, yes.

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Hold on, what about Asian and Australian TV audiences, or don't they matter? We have plenty of Grand Prix in Europe which aren't at great times for other parts of the world. If a country puts on a Grand Prix, it should be up to them when it is held and they certainly shouldn't be held to ransome on the basis that European viewers don't like it (although I'm not sure this is true; it hasn't seemed to be a problem for the past 20 odd years has it?)

I know F1 is Euro-centric, but this move doesn't make sense. If the European TV audience is that important, why give China or Malaysia a Grand Prix?

I have some (not a lot but some) sympathy towards Ecclestone's POV regarding Silverstone. Sub-standard facilities are, on paper at least, a good reason to threathen to withdraw a race (this does of course ignore the history and importance of Britain within motorsport etc.) But his reasons for threatening Melbourne are not even based on concerns over facilities, they are based purely on $$$ and a selfish attitude.

In fact, the very fact that Ecclestone pretends to speak on behalf of European audiences annoys me a bit. I wouldn't want you to go out of your way, inconvenience your own F1 fans, cost the state millions just so I don't have to get up early in the morning to watch your race! Don't think, just because Ecclestone says this, that this is what Europeans want; your grudge is with him, not with us.

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Lets put it this way, in 2011, there is 11 confirmed GPs, 7 of them are in Asia, so how can you say you are concerned about the European market, when you are shipping all the GPs out to Asia.

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Exactly.

Unless Ecclestone's suddently stopped and thought, "hold on, this ain't going to be very good for European TV. I know, let's get those nice Aussie's to put their race on in the middle of the night"

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How exactly is Korea or India or Japan or Singapore or Malaysia or China a better viewing option then Australia?

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Like I said, I'm not a follower of F1, and while it's nice to know Oz has a race, I'm not THAT fussed over whether we keep it. And remember, Melbourne has consistently lost money each year staging it ($35 million last year), just for the honour of another major event each year for its schedule. I suppose, like the Olympics, the simple loss figure doesn't take into account the value of international exposure and incoming visitors/investment, but it really is a fair amount to keep throwing away for a bit of yearly marketing. If he thinks he can get more $$$ out of the Russkis, let them pay for it.

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I have some (not a lot but some) sympathy towards Ecclestone's POV regarding Silverstone. Sub-standard facilities are, on paper at least, a good reason to threathen to withdraw a race (this does of course ignore the history and importance of Britain within motorsport etc.) But his reasons for threatening Melbourne are not even based on concerns over facilities, they are based purely on $$$ and a selfish attitude.

I don't necessarily believe the facilities at Silverstone are 'sub-standard', though I can believe they are not as good as a lot of the newer tracks. I think Ecclestone has got too used to countries sycophanting and bending over backwards with shiny new tracks and he has forgotten the history and heritage of the sport. I'm not saying Silverstone should get away without modernisation. It should just be treated fairly and I don't believe it always has been.

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I don't necessarily believe the facilities at Silverstone are 'sub-standard', though I can believe they are not as good as a lot of the newer tracks. I think Ecclestone has got too used to countries sycophanting and bending over backwards with shiny new tracks and he has forgotten the history and heritage of the sport. I'm not saying Silverstone should get away without modernisation. It should just be treated fairly and I don't believe it always has been.

Oh no, I completely agree with you. Maybe I could have phrased that post better.

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Going a little off-topic, I'm really curious to see the new Schumacher riding a (obviously)red roman chariot and his Jean Todt at the pit wall in the last Asterix movie "Asterix aux Jeus Olympiques". :lol:

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It's nearly time to GO GO GO!!

World championship favourites Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest times in Friday practice ahead of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

World champion Raikkonen's Ferrari set the fastest time of the day to be 0.487 seconds quicker than Hamilton's McLaren in the first session.

But the Briton was on top in the afternoon, with Raikkonen sixth.

Hamilton, 23, said he felt "very, very optimistic" for Sunday's race. "The pace we and the Ferraris have is good."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third in both sessions, with Fernando Alonso sixth and 13th in his Renault.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport...one/7295770.stm

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Well Raikkonen didn't exactly go during qualifying, did he? A 16th place grid slot isn't exactly the best start to the season, especially when his main title rival Hamilton is on pole.

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At the risk of sounding like Zenica

GO HAMILTON!!

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What a pathetic excuse for a race, 8 of 22 cars finishing? WTF?

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I thought it was a great race. If the poorer drivers can't cope without traction control that's their lookout; the new system certainly separates the wheat from the chaff.

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Do we need all the cars to finish for it to be a decent race? I don't think so.

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The BBC has secured the television rights to show Formula One in the UK from the 2009 season.

The five-year deal marks the return of the sport to BBC screens 12 years after ITV began broadcasting Grands Prix

WOHOOO! Great news for UK F1 fans! No more bloody adverts!

Can't wait for uninterrupted coverage of Hamilton's title defence next season.

Edit: Oh, and I hope they bring back the old theme tune. And Murray Walker could have a cameo role. Maybe?

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WOHOOO! Great news for UK F1 fans! No more bloody adverts!

Can't wait for uninterrupted coverage of Hamilton's title defence next season.

Edit: Oh, and I hope they bring back the old theme tune. And Murray Walker could have a cameo role. Maybe?

Getting a little ahead of ourselves aren't we now.

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I just hope this race is not a last-man-standing affair like the Australian GP

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Malaysian Grand Prix

1. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari

2. Robert Jubica - BMW

3. Heikki Kovalainen - McLaren

4. Jarno Trulli - Toyota

5. Lewis Hamilton - MacLaren

6. Nick Heidfeld - BMW

7. Mark Webber - Red Bull

8. Fernando Alonso - Renault

I am loving the new F1, we have had Ferrari, BMW, McLaren, Toyota, Red Bull, Renault, Williams, and STR scoring points so far in two races, 2 more teams than last year.

Rob, Kimi is not out of it yet and Heidfeld could be a new contender.

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