It went unnoticed, but last week Bernie Ecclestone once again demonstrated the power he wields behind the scenes. Not one fan survey was launched, but two.
The first was from Autosport and the second was allegedly from the F1 drivers’ association (GPDA).
Interestingly, this survey was hosted by Bernie’s new propaganda outlet, Motorsport.com.
Amusingly, Motorsport.com’s servers couldn’t handle the traffic and were down for hours following the survey’s launch.
For years the fans have had to shout from the side-lines. The, not just one poll of their opinions is commissioned but two are launched during the same weekend.
Autosport were in line to host the GPDA survey, however, someone suggested during the negotiations that Motorsport.com should have the honour – and free publicity – from this canvassing of fan opinion. Autosport then decided to launch their own survey.
Its not surprising that on a day when ‘arse’ metaphors will abound in the courtroom of F1 opinion, that a certain French Canadian ex-F1 world champion driver has piped up on this matter.
“It is dangerous to ask the fans what they want, because a lot of modern F1 is what the fans wanted,” Jacque Villeneuve told Autosport. “Obviously it doesn’t work. It is knowing what is required which is very intricate.
“You can’t just come up with something in five seconds.
“We have a tonne more overtaking than we have ever had, but people are more bored than they ever were.
“What we are missing is a special Formula 1”.
Villeneuve believes that F1’s je ne sais quoi, should be having “a car that no-one can drive”. We assume Jacque does not mean this in a literal fashion, because that would be worthy of an #arse award.
However, F1 fans may forgive Jacques for his supercilious attitude, because he adds: “Formula 1 should stop trying to get more fans and concentrate on the fans it already has.”
“What is special is a car that only 10 guys in the world can drive properly and 10 others can survive properly in it. Like it used to be.
“It is a car that is crazy fast. F1 should be the extremes of everything.”
Oh well, J. Villeneuve’s almost guaranteed #arse status at the top, may have now been somewhat mitigated.