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Nelsongate

September 21, 2009

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When has this sport every really been clean?

Perhaps in the days where people had no need to cheat. Cheating and sport go hand in hand, never more so than in the modern world where greed takes precedence and millions upon millions of dollars change hands in lucrative deals that can either make or break a team.

Cheating wasn’t nearly as common in the earlier days of F1 simply because people didn’t need to cheat. There wasn’t nearly as much money being thrown around and people were in it to win it; except, not at all costs. These were the days where people in the sport had integrity and dignity.

The saddest part of the sport today is exactly the same thing that drives it forward.

Money.

Not content with being the root of all evil, money is even attacking the very reason for a sports existence. It is not enough these days to just be involved: you have to be involved to make the piles of money and that was never a part of the way things were done when F1 wasn’t a multi-national global colossus money making enterprise. Bernie Ecclestone is the sports worst nightmare, taking his self proclaimed “circus”, selling out to the highest bidder and happy to let the sport turn on itself – a person who appears to enjoy the fact that people within the sport are ripping each other apart.

The only thing he is sad about over the whole Nelsongate situation is the fact that it might effect him personally and more importantly; financially.

He doesn’t appear to care about the well being of the sport any more and is more interested in protecting his own interests.

Bernie Ecclestone is a perfect example of why the sport is dying. A self absorbed, disingenuous, impassionate, double dealing, facade for the trauma underneath. As a man who helped the sport to get where it is, it is reprehensible that he is allowing it to tear itself to pieces in this way.

It’s not a matter of engine freezes and budget cuts any more – something is critically wrong with the sport on a moral level. More and more teams and individuals within those teams are brazenly willing to cheat and steal and put at risk the lives of others to get whatever it is they want and that always invariably comes down to money.

It truly is the root of all evil for mankind. Make no mistake.

Whatever the outcome of today’s events, I am certain the sport and those that are supposed to be looking after it will try and sweep the whole mess under the rug and attempt to continue on doing what they do best; making their piles of money.

F1 was never a sport based on piles of money. It was an honourable sport – one with integrity and dignity. A sport where risk and bravery were rewarded – not with millions and billions but with adoration, wreaths, recognition, revere and champagne…

People keep banging on about how the sport is losing credibility and that is utter bullshit – the sport lost all credibility years ago.

What keeps me tuning in is not what happens off the track but what happens on it so you can imagine my disgust as a true F1 fan, the news that Renault forged a plan to get the win in Singapore last year by putting another driver and countless other people at risk.

I do not doubt that Alonso knew about this plan despite him lying through his teeth about having no idea. How could he not know the reason why the team put him on a ludicrous 2 stop with fumes to get him to the first stop – all the way from the back in 14th? Did he forget to ask?

Alonso…playing by the rules? That’s a good one!

We also know that Flavio Briatore, the man who personifies arrogance and pig headed-ness, is also gone and very well masterminded the whole affair – not to mention the disgraced engineer Symonds who “engineered” the disgraceful events.

I feel less animosity toward Piquet Jr. purely because he was nothing more than a pawn being sacrificed on the chessboard to facilitate a mating move.

If anything, he is least to blame – despite the fact that he was driving the car. You may not agree with me but if you were faced with death by firing squad ( believe me, losing a job has felt sickening enough to be likened to death many times. Why do people still kill themselves when they lose their jobs? ), then one cannot really blame Junior for going along with the demands of his employers. Not only was Briatore his boss but he was also his “manager” although I am stunned to think about what it is he actually manages besides his own interests.

Yes, Nelsongate will all be over soon – we await the news as I write this but the stains left over from this debacle will not come out in the wash.

F1 has been going down the toilet not because of viewer numbers or sponsorship deals but because the people who are holding power are irresponsible, corrupt, self serving and manipulative.

People watch F1 for all the reasons F1 is not these days.

That is a tragic thing to consider.

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