Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2014

Ecclestone prepared to force BBC to see out F1 contract

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the BBC could be forced to continue showing F1 next year.

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Comment of the day

Daniel Ricciardo doesn’t want to ‘do an Alonso’ with his next career move. So should he stick with Red Bull or jump ship?

He could also do an Alesi. Stay in the same team for five years without any results, in the hope that one year they will design a good car, but it never happens.

In all seriousness, Red Bull is a good bet for 2017. Newey (assuming he’s still around by then) has always excelled at aerodynamic rule changes (1998, 2009) and with the help of Ilmor, perhaps Renault can at least close the gap to Mercedes’ engine.

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On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Fernando Alonso’s original move to McLaren was announced, over 12 months before it happened. The reigning world champion went on to win won another championship with Renault in 2006 before joining his new team.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 31 comments on “Ecclestone prepared to force BBC to see out F1 contract”

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      19th December 2015, 0:33

      Bernie actually made me laugh with the BBC comments.

      1. The force is strong with him.

    2. The Moreno-article was a nice and interesting read, especially just weeks after I´ve rewatched that race (might have been inspired by the Senna-quote-article on here). Though it´s always sad to be reminded of how Nannini´s career ended prematurely.

      1. @crammond Indeed, and I love how Nelson describes his strategy.. it just shows how you have to make it any way you can via determination; Moreno is someone who could have had a good midfield F1 career, but never got that break until it was too late.

        Brundle was in a similar situation, winning Le Mans that year, like Hulkenberg today, and Herbert the next year, who would have still been in that car, if not for his 1988 accident. Japan 1990 was also his comeback after over a year out.

        1. Enjoyed that. It’s a different world isn’t it – a driver choosing his race strategy. Imagine Hamilton or Rosberg trying that now (I know it breaks one of the many tyre rules) and the patronising, nagging response from their race engineer…

          Interesting how Moreno says Mercedes built the Enstone factory…and how Brundle and Herbert both got to race for Benetton in the end (and did very well, but were victims of some bonkers management by Briatore)

    3. I think Red Bull need to remember that these other teams are rivals looking out for their own self interests and perhaps willing to cross what some would consider boundaries to fulfil them. I mean it’s not like Red Bull have ever done anything questionable to achieve success is it? Certainly never broke any rules or regulations which are actually down in print for all to see have they?

      1. Yeah and I know some differences could be argued with this engine issue they are now in, but I can’t help being reminded of EBD and how Newey and the team expressed their dismay at having those regs curtailed..having their advantage chipped away at, yet when Merc has an advantage RBR feel entitled to have it too. ie. They wanted to retain their advantage but Merc shouldn’t be allowed.

        Ok I know there’s the token system and what some call a ‘locking in’ of Merc’s advantage, at least for the 10% of the engine itself we are talking about, but they had their rear diffuser ‘locked in’ in the sense that other teams could not just replicate that and have it suddenly work as well for them as it did for RBR.

        RBR/Newey would prefer a relaxation of the regs and are convinced that would have helped them and Renault to be further up the line again by now…but then there’s the old ‘money game’ argument that they like to forget. I can’t forget how they ‘sacrificed’ some effort toward the new chapter to ensure SV’s 4th WDC.

        We blew it, now we are entitled to be righted for our own wrongdoing by none other than the current Champions, who should now have to sacrifice to benefit us. In what world…I ask? Apparently not in the F1 world thank goodness.

        1. but they had their rear diffuser ‘locked in’ in the sense that other teams could not just replicate that and have it suddenly work as well for them as it did for RBR.

          I’m sorry, but this is nonsense! All the other teams could do exactly that. What’s more is that they could totally redesign the thing every single race if they wanted to until they got it right.

          And that’s the difference.

          When RedBull dominated, they did so in an area which had zero restrictions as far as the other teams catching up.

          Considering the ridiculous cost of these power units to begin with, a token system to reduce development costs is an utter joke!

          1. No it’s actually nonsense to suggest that they can just keep redesigning and redesigning, with limited testing. Otherwise the other teams would have caught up aerodynamically but they didn’t. The ebd effect starts with what the front wing does and then one considers the air flow after that to determine the direction to go with the diffuser. It’s way more complicated than you suggest or else, as I say, their advantage would not have lasted as long as it did. Also Webber, who didn’t seem to like the effect as well as SV, wouldn’t have had to live with it as much as he did if it was as easy as a redesign for him, as you suggest it is.

            It has been a well known fact for years now that if you don’t pretty much nail your package out of the gate, rarely does a team make up a ton of ground over the season, especially with limited testing, and usually with a massive overhaul ie a B-spec car…not just the change of one aspect like a diffuser.

            Similarly, the frozen parts of the PU are only 10% of the engine component itself. And they have tokens to spend developing that no different than having to make strategic decisions on developing aero that has to consider the whole car front to back.

          2. Having the best engine by right is the same as RedBull sending Newey to a rival for 6 month for a fee of 15 million so they can bring their EBD to the same level as RedBull. Would never happen and good job it did not. Nothing in the rules says a team cannot build their own engine…cannot afford it tough luck, I want my own F1 team but cannot afford it should the rules change so everyone can have a chance to enter F1 for 5000 pounds a year?

    4. That christmas card.. loved it..

      1. I think its distastefull and delusional.

        1. Yes, Weird. Certainly no humor.

          1. Ram, I have to agree with you – the expressions that both drivers have in that image are just a little too off putting for it to be successful, and instead it has a slightly disconcerting undertone.

    5. Please leave the sport Bernie.
      You’re damaging it everywhere you go, every time you open your mouth.
      Just go.

    6. Bernie’s comments are further proof that he’s pretty much panicking. He’s not used to companies and broadcasters actively choosing not to invest in the sport… Sky are downscaling their production for next year and the BBC can’t afford it and don’t want it.

      Bernie can’t force the BBC to continue – they will almost certainly have break clauses in their contract, on both sides and in the BBC’s current financial rut, taking the hit will be cheaper than running with it for 2 more years – He’s just worried a deal with ITV can’t be done (either due to time constraints or them not actually wanting it) which would violate the ‘guaranteed Free-to-Air coverage’ clauses in the contracts with all the teams.

      1. Sky are downscaling their production for next year

        Yes & No.

        Sky UK, Germany & Italy are all combining production for next year so while each will have a smaller budget than they did before they will also individually not need the budget’s that they had before because overall production cost’s will be lower for each.

        As I understand it instead of each sending out there own production crew/equipment as they have been until now, They will now send out 1 main production team & each of the 3 broadcasters will share those production facilities/feeds while sending out a much smaller crew to insert there own on-air teams/commentaries for there own coverage.

        Given how there now all under the same ‘Sky Europe’ Umbrella it makes a lot of sense to do this as it reduces the necessary cost’s for each broadcaster while maintaining a high overall production budget.

        1. @gt-racer I was under the impression they were dropping their weekly shows as well.

          1. I gather there are a few idea’s been discussed right now & one is to drop the F1 show from weekly to F1 weekends only, Cost’s are a part of that but its also because they don’t know what format they want the show to be.

            The studio audience style show they have done the past 2 years hasn’t been what they wanted it to be but at the same time they don’t want to go back to what it was before because they don’t really feel that worked as well as it could have & the large studio was largely unnecessary for what they were doing.
            They have Midweek Report & they feel that format works for that style of show but there unsure if they want to keep it in the existing look but don’t feel moving to a larger/dedicated studio would be worth the extra expense.

            They want to change things up a bit & do things that make sense considering the resource sharing with Germany/Italy, Come up with shows which can easily be shared across the 3 regions & which can be put together in conjunction with the other regions. Right now everything is centered around each individual country & its tricky to broadcast something like the F1 show or Midweek report in Germany/Italy because of the re-dubbing & likewise there stuff for the UK.

      2. @optimaximal

        which would violate the ‘guaranteed Free-to-Air coverage’ clauses in the contracts with all the teams.

        There is no such thing to my knowledge or am I missing something there?

        1. @spoutnik

          Granted, it’s the quote fro Whitmarsh, so is a couple of years out of date, but I’m sure the teams would be stipulating this to keep what few sponsors remain in the sport happy – no point paying millions to brand these cars if the only eyes hitting the logos are rich, 70-year-old Rolex wearers.

          1. @optimaximal thanks for the link, I missed that at the time. As Belgian we have the chance that it remains free to air (at least for 2016, and if Vandoorne comes in, it could be extended). I guess that free to air team agreement was only for Great Britain, and now that FOTA is disbanded and there is separate concorde agreements, Bernie has his hands free.

    7. Isn’t BBC and Ten’s contract sort of similar. As Ten had the exclusive rights to air 2015 Formula 1 but ended up on-selling half to FOX Sports which now holds 15% stake in Ten. If they can’t afford it then there is only one way, is to on-sell it.

    8. Mercedes have a fan base? They have some personalities in Toto and Niki, but the team in general seems very bland and corporate. It seems to me people follow the drivers (or the success) rather than the team.

      I’ve just caught up with a month of F1 news, finally suffered burn-out after the disappointment of the Brazilian GP. Here’s hoping for an interesting winter and a closer 2016 :).

      1. @george

        Mercedes have a fan base?

        There surely must be someone who stayed true to the team since the BAR-days, someone who is still able to feel the spirit of Craig Pollock… or something like that.

    9. Whatever, BE. Merc has a rich history of racing that goes back decades.

      Fair enough though Bernie…there is only one Ferrari and you have made sure of that with the decades old argument, not to mention the extra billions at this point that Ferrari has gleaned throughout the years beyond what other teams have received, that F1 is Ferrari and Ferrari is F1. We get that.

      So would it be any surprise if people didn’t feel as sorry for Merc if they started to lose? Or if the rules were manipulated to curtail a dominant period as has been done many times throughout the years to many teams? Including Ferrari?

      All Merc can do is keep on doing what they have been doing for as long as they can, like any team, and when things change so be it. Along the way they may have gained a lot of fans too, and may already be a bigger Ferrari-like force than they were.

      Personally I have no respect for the MS/Ferrari era and felt no sympathy when they stopped dominating, nor did I sympathize with RBR when the new chapter caught them out. But that lack of sympathy doesn’t mean I don’t respect them in general as awesome entities. As I will Mercedes.

      Sympathize? That will depend on how their ‘downfall’ happens BE. Take something away from them unfairly through manipulation and you might be surprised at the level of support for them, having done everything right as they are expected to do in this sport. So yes…we’ll see.

    10. Haha! How can Mercedes be left behind to have crisp reply to RBR’s dig! Enjoy!

    11. Regarding Lauda wanting to supply RBR but Wolff not…is it really up to them anyway? According to Wolff from remarks he made earlier in the season, supplying RBR had a big component to it of a global marketing tie-in between the Mercedes brand and the Red Bull brand, as both are much more than just what they do in F1. So to me it is far more than about whether or not teams ‘fear’ RBR, which in sport is actually more like a healthy respect. Fear is only a word RBR is in a position to use in a goading manner. Smart is probably the word being used by the teams choosing to not supply a team that is so quick to slag it’s partners and yes, could indeed have success. If you are going to help a major opponent to succeed, isn’t it fair and understandable that you would ask what is in it for you? I don’t think Merc for example needs the money from the sale of pu’s to another team. So what else you got, RBR? What will you do for us if we supply you? How can we BOTH gain?

      1. Mercedes:So what else you got, RBR? What will you do for us if we supply you? How can we BOTH gain?

        REd Bull: We will whine and blame you for everything every time we are not winning. We will forget you exist when we do win and only pat our selfs in the back for doing amazing job. Wait…what to you mean you don’t want to give as an engine.

        Mercedes: -_- Yeah, i think we will just say NO.

        Red Bull:Wait…what to you mean you don’t want to give as an engine? Why? You are afraid of us aren’t you?

        Mercedes: Whatever.

    12. Is it still taboo to suggest that the BBC should open up to advertising?

      I understand the deep rooted connection that the BBC has with the British public, but perhaps its time to open up? Tap into the various marketing streams that are available today?

      In to prevent upsetting the average BBC audience, perhaps the adverts can be sold exclusively for sporting events only? There are many ways to show ads these days, like picture in picture or background overlay methods, which dont necessarily need to cut to a break.

      ..Maybe the BBC just dont want F1 anymore..even if they could afford it.

    13. So its Channel 4 to take over the bbc coverage then

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