Prior to the British GP, Eddie Jordan described the McLaren management’s attitude to their current plight in Formula One as “arrogant”. Jordan called for Dennis to step down from his role of CEO at McLaren.
However, Ron Dennis responded explaining again that to win world titles, the Woking team could not rely on being an engine customer of a ‘works’ F1 team. And for this reason they were still ‘happy’ to take the current levels of pain that their embryonic Honda power unit is causing McLaren.
“Is it painful? Of course, but we have to use pain as a motivating force. It’s a challenge but it’s the right challenge because without the support of a company such as Honda, I don’t think it’s possible to win the World Championship”, Dennis told Martin Brundle.
When questioned about Jordan’s comments, a calm and collected Big Ron delivered a stinging assault on the quirky Irish BBC presenter. “I consider Formula 1 a family, and families live in villages. And villages always have a village idiot. He fits the bill perfectly,” Dennis quipped.
In strict terms, ‘the village idiot’ is a person locally known for ignorance or stupidity, according to TheDictionary.com.
Eddie Jordan’s BBC F1 co-presenter has taken exception to Ron’s description. Writing in the Telegraph, David Coulthard remarks: “Eddie is many things but he is definitely not an idiot. Where many others failed he ran a very successful Formula One team and sold it for a considerable profit. I don’t expect Ron to like it but you fight fire with fire. What he’s done is fight fire with insults. It’s difficult to imagine they’re [McLaren] going to make inroads between now and the end of the year”.
Of course since the recent court cases involving Ecclestone, it has been revealed that a significant portion of Jordan’s original ‘fortune’ was from doing the bidding of Bernie Ecclestone and being remunerated accordingly.
But we return to ‘Dour David,’ who is the reason many F1 fans decided to take from behind and pay for a SKY subscription; DD’s impulse to comment on the war of words between Jordan and Dennis appears unnecessary and naïve.
The term the ‘village idiot’ in fact has many layers of interpretation. “It has also been applied as an epithet for an unrealistically optimistic or naive individual” (Siegel, L.J., 1970: The Justifications for Medical Commitment–Real or Illusory).
Eddie Jordan is a self-publicist and lives to create headlines which is hardly the intended modus operandi of the BBC. Coulthard’s naïve interference in this matter will now surely mean the BBC F1 live broadcast will be compromised, as McLaren refuse to allow their employees to speak with representatives from ‘Auntie’.
It could well be that ‘Dour David’ has missed the joke completely. “The concept of a “village savant” or “village genius” is closely related to that of the ‘village idiot’, and often tied to the concept of pre-industrial anti-intellectualism, as both figures are subjects of both pity and derision” (Dols, M.W., 1987: Insanity and its treatment in Islamic society. Medical History 31, 1-14).
Maybe Big Ron was offering a back handed compliment to the no nonsense kind of comment that Eddie Jordan believes he is delivering, when pontificating about all things Formula One.
Should McLaren and Honda refuse to talk to the BBC, it will only add to their problems. There’s a journalist likes better, than to be able to say “we contacted the company and they have declined to comment on the matter”.
Haven’t we heard enough about F1 journalists being afraid to ask and say too much about the politics, finances and corruption of the sport? Perhaps the BBC are happy to show they’re not in the pocket of any of the teams. Perhaps Bernie is pulling strings again. We can only watch and wait.
I think the reverse is true. The F1 media are very aware of what they ask and what they then summarise. In the past all of Martin Brundle, Ted Kravitz and James Allen have let slip they’ve had to avoid the tough questions or risk not getting interviews with certain drivers going forward.
The questions asked by the British media to the foreign drivers are far more pointed that those asked to home grown guys. Button, Hamilton & Di Resta have all had very easy rides of it in the past, and that’s because they’re the guys who feature on the BBC or Sky every other show. Piss a driver off and you’ve got 20 minutes extra to fill. Given the Sky coverage is used in multiple countries it ends up like a propaganda show for the British drivers at times. That does apply to teams to some degree as well. You never saw the media anyone near as tough with their questions of Ross Brawn as they were with Stefano Domenicali for example.
Same thing with German coverage. They only focus on Germans and German teams and they do nothing else than praise them in every way possible. And the bits of non German drivers are not only small, they are overdubbed in German, making it harder to know how critical they would be in real life… although they leave just enough English sound on the background that you sometimes can understand the meaningless words like happy or something like that.
They’ll just give everything to SKY- who will be happy to be the only source of information for McLaren fans – who are a very large group of individuals in the UK.
I think thejudge is reading too much in to this village idiot spat. Also, what’s all this vitriol against “Dour David”? BTW, whenever there is the option to avoid Sky, I prefer to watch the BBC coverage.
For me, it’s the opposite. I avoid the BBC pre and post race coverage because of the stupid shit Eddie says.
i always wondered how someone could own a team and then seem to know so little about the sport whenever he opens his mouth…but then i switch to sky and wonder how the hell Johnny Herbert ever managed to win 3 GPs and yet still talk such consistent gobbledygook 🙂
ah well, I’m just jealous from the armchair I suppose.
makes me glad my mirror provides all commentary when I watch races nowadays anyway 🙂
I record bits from ‘Dour David’ to cure my insomnia though 😉
If I can’t sleep I phone Matt Trumpets and ask what’s new with engine regs.
You should just ask Matt to tell you any story. When you finally wake up, he’ll still be telling the same story with no end in sight.
“Village idiot”… possibly the nicest compliment one could be given. If I were Eddie, I’d smile – for many reasons – and publicly thank Ron for the nice words. Possibly the best words one could hear in the paddock about oneself, especially from Ronald Dennis CBE.
But that’s me; I infer differently.
The pertinent wondering relative to Ron Dennis and Honda, and Eddie Jordan’s statement regarding Dennis stepping down, lies in the veracity of Ted Kravitz’s revelation about how Honda conducts it F1 power unit- problem-solving business.
After walking away from a Japanese-only interview on his post-race walk and talk, Kravitz revealed that Honda uses, exclusively, it’s own people to develop F1 engines (in this case, engine/PU combination). This extends to solving problems with their engine/PU if and when they should arise.
Now, Kravitz’s statement was not made “in fact” but, in fact, whether true or not,cwas a derisive add-on statement made in reaction to not being able to ask a Honda representative questions about the failures of their hybrid engine.
Kravitz’s claim has already been used to defend Dennis – the case, in this context being that Honda’s stubbornness has cost Dennis’ F1 team at least the entire 2015 season and, therefore, millions and millions of dollars in lost potential revenue.
This way of perceiving the Honda-McLaren partnership is the easy out.for the media.
If Kravitz’s statement is factual, and I’ve yet to read a refutation of it, Eddie Jordan’s views of Dennis are completely valid and should be taken seriously.
Since Dennis has had previous dealings with Honda this apparent fact of not bringing in outside help to solve problems was, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, was a, “Known known.” That anyone involved with McLaren would ask Honda to bring in someone outside their organization is such an egregious exercise in futility and to the Japanese a sign of disrespect, that it is a fireable offense.
Regardless of the machinations behind how Eddie Jordan acquired his initial money cache and DC’s defense of Jordan using his F1 monetary success as part of that defense, it is Dennis who has made the gross and indefensible error here.
Ron Dennis is a self-admitted micro-manager who take tremendous pride in being able soberly view all things McLaren and properly weigh their potential risk and reward, and act properly according to his assessment.
He had to know that he was taking a tremendous risk in giving the okay to Honda’s novel and most importantly, unproven approach, to dealing with the parameters that equal the present F1 power unit. Dennis had to know that if the approach went awry the 2015 F1 season – at least – for McLaren would be wasted.
And Ron Dennis had to know that a failed power unit meant millions of dollars lost and meant the viability of his leadership would come under fire.
Failing to take all of these potential and very possible negatives into account is, too, a fireable offense.
So, where we stand with Dennis has much more to do with how he calculated risk-reward than it does whether or not Eddie Jordan is a village idiot for criticizing Dennis.
As it stands, if Dennis knowingly entered into the realm of a possible lost season, he, apparently didn’t let this on to his drivers. And it means he is willing to risk McLaren company short-term financial solvency for the incredible financial reward to be reaped from the success of a unique and utterly dominant future power unit.
If Ron Dennis failed to properly assess these factors, perhaps it is time for him to release the reins of his beloved McLaren (which, in full disclosure, would be a sad day for me as McLaren has been and still is my favorite F1 team).
McLaren can’t afford to give the BBC the cold shoulder. They’re haemorrhaging fans as it is, and fans = money. Also, I think it’s a push to suggest that being called a village idiot could be a compliment 😛
“we have to use pain as a motivating force” – Hmmmm……seriously?
” (Dols, M.W., 1987: Insanity and its treatment in Islamic society. Medical History 31, 1-14″
This is a volume that must be selling rather well these days.
“Hey Jenson, Fernando, you’re not allowed to talk to the BBC any more.”
But seriously, Eddie Jordan should be pleased to be called the court jester, as that’s effectively the role he’s taken on to stir things up and provoke people in the F1 paddock. Job done.