Amid financial economic woes, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has called for patience. With teams struggling to retain or add sponsorship to their operations, venue owners struggling to break even on race weekends and fans losing jobs or revenue; the ringmaster of F1 says “be patient”.
Speaking of the current global economic crisis, Mr. Ecclestone said that it “affects everyone and everyone is going to suffer”.
“Nobody knows how it is going to turn out so we should probably all be patient,” he added.
Apparently Ecclestone is not to a point of re-investing some of his billions back in to his sport as a measure to strengthen the series or weather the economic storm. While he has taken a few lumps for his position, Ecclestone did advance Williams some $15 million as a pre-payment to keep them going for 2009 and it is yet unknown how he is “overseeing” the Honda buyout. While not publicly spoken of, I submit that Bernie will be making some strategic moves to keep his empire running. That may include some cash infusions or strategic negotiations that are beyond the public’s purview.
Bernie may be shrewd but he is not beyond doing back-room deals to keep his money machine churning. While reporters drill for answers and more meaningful quotes; Mr. E is obliged to offer them nothing while orchestrating moves that are only absolutely necessary to keep the series afloat.
This also dovetails with the current contenders in the political arena of F1 such as the FIA and FOTA as well as track owners. There are only so many tracks capable of handling an F1 event world-wide and with the success that FOTA has seen in garnering political clout; I am suggesting that track/venue owners should band together to form an organization to represent the local events as well as help determine a better way of ensuring their livelihood and long-term relevancy in Formula 1. They too are critical to this operation and with the current global economy in disarray, I can’t imagine countries and governments chomping at the bit to pay Mr. Ecclestone millions to build a new track and run a race.