Old man Bernie is in some trouble of his own. The 83-year-old Ecclestone is charged with bribery and incitement to breach of trust, and would face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The charges involve a $44 million payment to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving an 8 year sentence for taking the money. Prosecutors allege the payment was meant to facilitate the sale of Munich-based bank Bayern LB's stake in Formula One to a buyer of Ecclestone's liking. Gribkowsky was in charge of selling that 47 percent stake in F1 in 2005.Ecclestone testified during Gribkowsky's trial in 2011 and Gribkowsky is expected to be the main witness during Ecclestone's trial, which is scheduled to last until September 16.
All of this political controversy diverts efforts away from making the sport the best there can be. I am not asking for the FIA to bring back the 70s where people died every season. But there is a sweet spot where the sport can be fun while keeping Al Gore happy and have fans root for their favorite team (not a particular driver, but a team).
And now for a bit of balance, I will shed light on someone promoting formula one’s new direction. There is one man who defends the new regulations of this season. I’ll be honest; at first I was a little puzzled that someone like him would defend the thrill factor of the sport. But then when I thought about it, no one else but this man could have defended the new rules. This man is none other than Nikki Lauda. “It was a demonstration of a modern, contemporary formula one, I just cannot understand and I find it absurd that there are people who are upset about this new formula one after this very good race. This is now a racing category that is totally in tune with the technology trends. We now have a new age; new road transport needs, environmental initiatives, the development of hybrid cars and thinking about the quality of life of people in a highly technological world with all of its challenges.” The Austrian stated to a German newspaper. “The old eight-cylinder engines were no longer appropriate,” said Lauda. “The turbo technology gives us more power with less fuel and less noise and less environmental impact, with reduced carbon emissions.” I’m sure fans of the movie Rush were reading that in Lauda’s significantly Austrian accent. Lauda has always had a ‘matter of fact’ personality and mocked people who believe that the sport is more than finding out who the fastest man on the track was. It’s who he is, more practical than sentimental.
Read our article on Modification and Modernisation of F1 Cars here.
Read our article on Bad Nose Jobs of F1 Cars here.