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Race day at Silverstone
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Race day at Silverstone
Posted By:   |  21 Jun 2009   |  10:03 am GMT  |  9 comments

There is a fantastic atmosphere here at Silverstone today, with over 100,000 people looking forward to a great day’s racing. We had 85,000 here on Friday, which is more than most Grands Prix get on raceday.

Bernie Ecclestone’s comments yesterday that we will be back at Silverstone next year if Donington isn’t ready have been well received by the F1 fraternity and the public and it has given some reassurance in a weekend of instability.

The weather is not as warm as predicted, it’s currently only 15 degrees, which is not going to help Jenson Button very much. He needs the track to be warmer to get the tyres working properly on his Brawn Mercedes car.

The crowd knows that Button is up against it today. Vettel and Red Bull are in such a strong position. That said, there is a 50% chance of a safety car here, based on the last 6 years, so if we were to get one of those at the wrong time it might make things interesting and give Button a chance to get on the podium. I think that is his best hope today.

Media scrum waits for Mosley

Media scrum waits for Mosley

The paddock is abuzz, as it has been all weekend. Mid morning Max Mosley arrived in a Mercedes van with Bernie Ecclestone. Notwithstanding Max calling the FOTA breakaway members ‘loonies’, the pair have been engaged in a lot of behind the scenes dialogue with the teams to try to find a solution.

Mosley is convinced that Flavio Briatore wants to become the Bernie of the new series. Time will tell. It’s probably not going to be sorted quickly, although the sponsors and TV companies desperately want it to be. I notice that the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson is here today, casting an eye over his corporation’s huge investment.

Personally I still believe that the key to it is Ferrari’s contract with the FIA and FOM. That is being looked at in a civil court in Switzerland at the moment. If it decides that Ferrari are free agents then a deal will surely be done.

FOTA is serious about a breakaway, but they would prefer to race in F1 if they can get the right circumstances.

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9 Comments
  1. Steve says:

    Max did not call all the teams loonies, he said the majority of people at the teams are easy to work with but there are a few loonies ruining it for everyone. We all know who those loonies are, we also know the media has an axe to grind against Mosley and so will blow everything out of proportion to take him out.

    Who are you affiliated with again James?

  2. StJimmyL says:

    James, I would have been there today, but turned up yesterday with my Platinum Grandstand tickets and Between the car and the bridge, somebody had nicked them out of my pocket at scarpered off into the cars… I went to the nearest ticket tout – low and behold… he had my tickets!!! The police didnt care, silverstone didn’t care!!!!

    So now, I find myself sat on my sofa wearing my Brawn GP hat wondering what could have been!!!

    Please, James, tell me you feel sorry for me!?!?! I’m pretty miserable right now!
    :(

  3. pbyrne says:

    James, regarding Ferrari’s contract with the FIA – has there been any suggestion in the paddock that Ferrari et al could fulfill their obligation to the FIA by sending a pair of second-string cars and drivers to compete ‘Indy-style’?

    Maybe the manufacturers don’t want to countanance this – it would hardly be a befitting spectacle but it would kill Formula Max stone dead.

  4. floydthebarber71 says:

    can’t ferrari join the breakaway, and enter a tricycle in f1? fully equipped with kers and stuff of course.

  5. Geoff says:

    Hi James, How did you end up doing the questions at the winners press conference?

  6. PhilW says:

    James, a thought on the FIA/FOM v FOTA split and Bernie’s sudden u-turn on Silverstone.

    Bernie’s watertight contracts with existing GP venues means that any potential FOTA series will have to find tracks without contracts. Silverstone won’t be a GP venue next year so the FOTA championship should be free to race there … unless Bernie manages to sign the BRDC up to a “2010 just in case” contract committing it to the FIA series. Then FOTA would have to look elsewhere for a British track.

    Just a thought…

  7. Grabyrdy says:

    Is it really surprising that Bernie has given a chink of light to Silverstone ? If they had no Grand Prix they’d be the first track signed up by FOTA for a new series. Damon said he was surprised, which was a good comment, I thought.

  8. PhilipB says:

    Bernie & Max are waving the possibility of legal action on everyone’s faces but this is purely civil law. No one can “force” a team to show up & race, there is no police force set up to do this, all the courts can do is fine them for breach of contract.

    And that would be a very lengthy procedure, profitable only to the lawyers.

  9. James Allen says:

    Why should I be affiliated to either?

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