30th November 2011
Did you feel it? Did you feel the shift in the Earth’s axis last Thursday morning?
If you didn’t then you need to know.
In all things Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone is the man. Everything in the sport either begins or ends with his yea or nay, and as a follower of all things F1 you will no doubt have witnessed his deft deflections and witty ripostes to inquisitive journalists’ probing questions.
It’s a written-in-stone fact that you just can’t get up early enough to outwit the silver-haired supremo who rules the sport he made so successful. Now into his 80s, Bernie is still constantly striving to improve upon the vision he had for motor sport’s premier class around 40 years ago.
His gusto, energy and sheer determination to succeed perplexes all within – and many without – the F1 paddock.
Imagine, then, the shock and awe last Thursday morning over cornflakes and croissants when Bernie – casually quizzed by a colleague or two of mine – admitted to feeling tired.
That just doesn’t happen.
Sure, flying around the globe working in a sport one would pay to watch is a wonderful life, and one I certainly never do down, but as I’m sure you can appreciate there comes a point when a break is a good thing.
Thing is, you’d never expect Mr Ecclestone to agree.
He, like many in the pit lane and paddock, works immensely hard – it’s a necessity in the cut-throat and super-competitive sport that is F1. To stand still is to fall way behind.
So the question, surely, is how much of a good thing becomes too much?
17, 18, 19, even a planned 20 races. Over the past few years there has been a steady increase in the number of weekends ‘we’ put on a show for the followers of F1 worldwide, and many are now wondering just how many races represents an ideal quantity.
A number of factors come into the equation.
Formula 1 is certainly a super-exclusive world and a big part of that must involve a certain rarity when it comes to race regularity. No one in their right mind wants to emulate the USA’s NASCAR schedule of 36-plus races a year, do they?
Thrilling down-to-the-wire drivers’ championship title chases have perhaps helped to quash the ‘too many races in a season’ opinion, but when Sebastian Vettel claimed his second F1 crown at October’s Japanese Grand Prix there were still four races to run.
F1 TV pundits can big-up ‘Who’s going to finish ninth in the standings?’ as much as they like, most just don’t care.
Still, we can debate the whys and wherefores as much as we like, one man and one man alone will decide.
And he’s done a pretty good job up to now, hasn’t he?
Please now take a few minutes to enjoy my pictures from the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix by clicking here.
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