This weekend’s Belgium GP will change the face of F1 forever. The ‘sport’ is now in fact a huge business and yet at times still embodies the values of the time when the ‘wizard of Oz’ pulled the strings and manipulated the entire paddock.
Sir Lewis Hamilton was quick to suggest given the complete absence of F1 racing the fans should receive a full refund for their race day tickets. Many of them eventually spent 10 hours in the pouring rain and cold and left the circuit still waving and chanting.
Yet as usual, Sir Loo is quick to find the bandwagon to jump on and a sound bite to make a quip and a headline, and his express POV that it was “all about money” has merit.
Yet, nobody would expect Sir Loo to offer to return 1/22 of his annual remuneration, estimated at £30m but without there being a classified result, the race promoter would not get paid.
This ridiculous state of affairs is a hangover from a Bernie wheeze from yesteryear, presumably enacted to save a few quid and pay for Ecclestone’s cryogenic treatment.
So if the promoter doesn’t get paid how would the fans get a refund? Clearly Sir Loo didn’t join those dots when he used the podium to make political points and judge others decisions.
Of course, there is no question Lewis was upset that the race was classified, because it disadvantaged him in the drivers’ title race. He is far too magnanimous to let such a trifle of a 5 point loss to his rival be an issue.
The reality is we had no F1 race this year in Belgium, yet had there been a sprint race on Saturday, we the fans would feel the weekend at least had some value.
It appears the sprint races put more money in the promoters’ pockets and based on this an indemnity fund could be set up to refund punters who miss a day of track action during an F1 weekend.
Until then, maybe Sir Poo could help out with the cost of this weekend’s punter losses.