Sir Jackie Stewart has spoken again. He did not say too much new in his interview with The Times Online. But he nicely summed up thoughts and feelings of many Formula 1 fans, race organizers and perhaps even team owners. The interview is rather long and I would recommend reading it in its original form (click here) but here is summary of points Sir Jackie made:
– He has no doubt that both Max Mosley, the president of the FIA, the world governing body of motorsport, and Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s commercial rights-holder, have made enormous contributions. But it is long past the point when both should have left the stage
– Ecclestone has become far too powerful. Bernie has such power and influence that he could suffocate almost any performer who would dare to suggest that there must be change
– Ecclestone and Mosley are so close and indivisible that they are like “Siamese twins”. They haven’t looked after the house properly and the foundations are built on just this two-man working relationship.
– The biggest charge against Ecclestone, Stewart argues, is the amount of money that he has taken out of Formula One
– The financial distribution of Formula One appears to have been sorted out by two people who have directed it in whichever way they have seen fit.
– The teams have got all the capital investment, yet they get no more than 50 per cent of the revenues. The next largest capital investment is by the racetracks who currently receive little or nothing from the revenues apart from what they get for bums on seats. Hardly any of them receive anything from TV revenues or the circuit advertising or the title sponsorship or the commercial hospitality. How can they reinvest when they have little or no income outside of spectator attendance fees?
– He believes it to be “ridiculous” that there will be no grand prix in North America this year, after Ecclestone cancelled successively Indianapolis and Montreal.
– Max should remove himself from the FIA completely and from motorsport and the motor industry. The scandal created the opportunity for a new structure to be born. That opportunity has been overtaken by one man’s insistence on remaining.
I am interested to see or hear how will Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone react to Jackie Stewart’s words this time. But I am even more interested to see what will the reaction be from some others who matter in Formula 1. If Sir Jackie remains alone then all this will go down only as just another news interview. And it should not …
Photo: Williams / LAT