Bernie and the future of #F1

Bernard Charles Ecclestone. There is a lot said about the man, and there are times when he says a lot himself, but does he always mean what he says?

One thing that you need to keep in mind about Mr E is that he a very good negotiator. He has been cutting deals for nearly seventy years and has thrived in every business area that he has taken an interest in. From motorbike spares, through second hand cars and into the corporate jungle that he now prowls he has cut deal after deal after deal.

Yes he is ruthless in his deals, but he knows, like all top negotiators, when he has gone far enough, for there is no mileage in screwing over someone that you might want, or need, to do another deal with in the future.

He is a master of mind games, of unsettling the opposition and making them susceptible to closing the deal on terms that suit Mr E. That is what is behind the often outrageous things that he comes out with from time to time. He knows why he has said them and what reaction he is looking for from his current target. What everyone else thinks is of no interest to him; why would he worry about anyone who is not in his game?

The other thing to take account of with his utterings is that they are often released to media that will just react and publish; he is pulling the strings and there is almost nothing that doesn’t come directly from him. His discomfort at being in the glare of publicity that he could not fully control over his recent court case was obvious. Yes he worked hard to spin it, but there were other sources of stories that he could not control yet he survived and is back at the centre of his web, feeling all of the vibrations and orchestrating all things F1.

One day he will be gone and that may not be as good a scenario as many believe, for whilst life under a dictator may be hard, at least for some, life after one can be a lot worse; you don’t have to look far around the world to find examples of that.

How long will F1 last beyond Bernie? Who knows, but don’t kid yourself that it will survive because the manufacturers that currently dominate the sport will drop it like a hot potato if they need to. Would anyone want to watch F1 if it was a DTM style scenario of the AUDI/Mercedes era with just two makes of car, some last year’s version, run by four or five teams each?

Motor sport will go on though, and even if F1 ends up effectively dead we fans will have something to watch and enjoy wherever we are in the world.

 

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