This morning in America, we woke up to news of yet another killer earthquake, this time in western China. According to reports, the 7.1 temblor killed at least 400 people and injured 10,000.
The quake’s epicenter was in Yushu County, which is being described as a remote, mountainous area populated mainly by ethnic Tibetan farmers and herdsmen. There’s also plenty of tin, copper and coal and natural gas. It is pretty close to the site of the even more serious quake, which killed 87,000 people two years ago.
China, of course, is also currently the epicenter for Formula 1. The Chinese GP is just days away, although it is far, distance-wise, from Yushu County.
A quick check through the web is not showing much, not really any, reaction to the quake, not even among the more active F1 people on Twitter.
If Formula 1 doesn’t acknowledge the earthquake and quickly set up a assistance program, it will be missing a moment to “do good business while doing good.” It will have the motorsport world’s eye turned to China and could and should take advantage of that attention to help out.
It’s a natural, and those who gain F1’s assistance — even if it is solely money-raising or a donation (how about the winning team or driver donate something, or all the drivers who finish on the podium give even 10% of their salary for the race to charity?) — will benefit and, and this has to be part of the equation, F1 will benefit from the positive news.
It is, to use a phrase I hate, a “win-win.”
But F1 needs to step up.