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More on the FIA/GPMA Session

I see the F1 news sites are handling the wealth of information from the Max Mosley and Burkhard Goeschel Q&A session in a similar way to the one proposed by me. There is just too much to be discussed in one brief article so they are breaking it down into bite-sized chunks. The difference is that I can say what I think of the news whereas they are limited to announcing it – and you get to have your say in response to whatever I write. Oh the glories of the blogosphere!


Max Mosley

So let’s begin the process of dissecting this huge feast served by the FIA/GPMA alliance. To begin at the beginning:

We want to make the research work done in F1 not just cost-effective but also road relevant. That is to say, new developments in F1 should be those that are directly helpful to the car industry and in particular things which are relevant to perhaps the biggest single issue which confronts the car industry worldwide, namely the reduction of the output of CO2.

That is it in a nutshell. With the marriage of the FIA and the manufacturers, the whole ethos of F1 has changed. It was once a sport, an arena where the best drivers and engineers were involved in a mighty tussle of skill and ingenuity; it is to become a testing ground for road cars. That may suit the bride and groom very well but how does it make you, the F1 devotee feel?

It is our own fault really. For far too long we have attempted to justify the extravagances of F1 by referring to the technological advances that leak out from the sport to the engineering departments of the manufacturers. Which is true but ignores the real reason for F1′s existence: competition. Technological innovation that is useful in road car design is accidental and a by-product only.

The effect of using the technical advance argument has been that the FIA/GPMA have been able to sneak this revolution in F1′s intent under the radar. We had to allow them this or lose our justification of the sport to the outside world. But I am saying that we have bowed to the pressures of those who care nothing for F1 for far too long. We should have had the guts to admit the truth: F1 is a sport that is about titanic struggles between the finest that humankind can produce – if it makes an infinitesimally small contribution to global warming (which is not a proven fact as yet – see this article which is only one of thousands written by reputable and established environmental scientists), then that is just too bad.

If the car industry has bought the propaganda of CO2 emissions (and they are admittedly subject to a great deal more pressure than is F1), then that is their problem. To allow their acquiescence to spill over into F1 is a mistake, however. There are some things that, by their very nature, cannot be subject to the diktats of the global warming theory and F1 is one of them. It is an extravagance, yes, but one that millions feel is worth the tiny effect on the environment it might have.

I know that the argument is lost, indeed, it was never fought as it could have been. The FIA have demonstrated often enough in the past that they will do what they want regardless of the wishes of the little guy – they know best, after all. But at least we can register our disapproval of this fundamental change in the purposes of F1. We are the paying customers and we pay their salaries, therefore.

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