It seems there may be a bigger, more insidious beast lurking in Australia than the Diffuser row. We commented on the story in the Time where Bernie Ecclestone recanted the story about how tough he was and how he slapped Ron Dennis, John Howett and Flavio Briatore around when they demanded they get paid the money due them. Bernie maintained the money was only due them if they re-sogned his Concorde Agreement.
The Times is certainly on the story and those MB’s over at Autosport are on it too (as you would expect). Here is an excerpt from an Autosport story this morning:
The row over diffusers is also taking place against the backdrop of further tension between the teams and Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone over television rights income.
There are suggestions that teams have not yet been paid money owed to them by Ecclestone, and are demanding the situation be resolved immediately if they are not to take further action.
It is understood that a team principals’ meeting has been called for tomorrow to discuss the situation.
It seems maybe Bernie might be less than genuine with his comments, shocking, and that the teams (plural) all feel they are owed money. If true, I would submit that the war has officially begin between Bernie and Max and FOTA. Withholding money and regulation clarifications is just part of what Bernie and Max have done so far. I sense the teams will be boycotting a race this year or starting to play hardball. Realize folks that we may have a disrupted season this year but FOTA has to do what they can to get Sauron and Gollum dislodged from the main artery they have been feeding on for years now. It is time to take back our sport and to place men in positions of power that have integrity, decorum, parity, judgment, wisdom and class. Like any leader, we should expect a higher standard from them otherwise they shouldn’t lead.