VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Environment POSTED ON: 7/25/2012
People love him and hate him. But for the most part, this man known to many as F1Supremo is more loved than hated.
People love him and hate him. But for the most part, this man known to many as F1Supremo is more loved than hated. Last year, 81-year-old F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone gamely took the villain's role when he insisted that organizers of the revived US race in Austin, Texas pay their dues first before they are included in the F1 calendar this season. The standoff was not well received by the American public. The fiery Supremo was pictured as a heartless profiteer out to drive a hard bargain and strike a good deal at the expense of American motorsports fans during an ugly exchange, but in the end it was the diminutive former tire dealer who won the standoff. Ecclestone was obviously still smarting from a contract dispute with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that unceremoniously ended the last Formula One event in the United States in 2007. He did not want the Austin races to start, only to end with another contract disagreement. Many people did not see it that way. Only Ecclestone did. The Supremo is back in the news again - or was he ever out of it? - this time fighting for a budget cap for F1 teams in the light of the raging economic crisis in Europe. "Let's put it this way," he said in an interview published in the official F1 website. "There are still too many people in Formula One running around with rose-tinted glasses." The London-based racing mogul thinks it's time to change them. "These glasses make you blind to reality," he reminds everyone. With Europe's economy in a shambles, Ecclestone thinks team owners and managers should act accordingly. His simple advice: "Change the color of your glasses and tighten your belts. Stop spending more than you need to." He sees the signs from Hungary and Turkey, two former F1 hosts which could no longer sustain their hosting rights primarily because of the economic crisis plaguing Europe. Spain is similarly feeling the pinch and considered hosting only one event this year, instead of two. Without the similes and metaphors, Ecclestone is actually asking team owners to spend less for their respective teams. This is good news for many small players in F1, but not for the major ones who think the "sky is the limit" when it comes to ensuring the victory of their teams. Despite the initial negative feedback from the likes of Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari over the suggestion, all team owners are curious to know what Ecclestone can see in F1's tomorrow. After all, the Supremo had seen more F1 yesterdays than anyone else.
"Formula One - How Bernie Ecclestone Make It Happen in Difficult Times"