Pitpass, Chris Sylt, please go away

Pitpass do not allow readers to cut and paste from articles.

In the event this is probably a wise choice since my first reaction to one of their recent articles was to write a line by line rebuttal of almost everything they had written.

It is also a paranoid level of control capable of being likened to that exerted by FOM in the management of Formula 1.

Whilst we all owe an undying debt of gratitude to Bernie Ecclestone for getting the sport to where it is today, there are a few things we all recognise as a bit off:

1. Because F1 is owned by a private equity company which borrowed money to fund its acquisition debt, money has to be REMOVED from the sport to make the debt repayments.

2. As a result of this, promoters are charged huge sums to stage races, sums which tend to rise over time, creating a progressively worse funding shortfall for most races.

3. The large (and growing) income from promoter fees (many of which are underwritten by government propaganda machines) dwarfs income from fans, so F1 is less a B2C (business to consumer) entity, rather a B2D (business to despot) outfit. See Bahrain for more detail.

4. The Concorde agreement as it currently stands is running out soon and this presents a good opportunity to open up the debate, get back to the essential qualities of the sport, and maybe stem the tide of reduced manufacturer and sponsor interest by offering slightly more money to: a) those teams who are good enough make cars to whizz around the track f or sporting entertainment purposes and b) the enterprising individuals who are prepared to build tracks and put on nice races.

So in view of all this it’s hard to see why any website purporting to be a fan of Formula 1 as a sport would write an article so dismissive and belittling of ANY attempt to challenge the highly leveraged, faceless, profit motivated debt repaying status quo.

The great thing about private equity is that IF it makes a bad move, it loses its shirt. Because it invariably uses borrowed money to make its acquisitions, secured against the item it acquires, IT can lose out, without the asset itself suffering.

Pitpass is in grave danger of confusing the health of the asset with the health of the (highly indebted) current owner. The asset will retain its value even if the owner loses everything.

Roll on that day, and frankly, enough of Ecclestone poodles masquerading as fans of F1. Enough of Chris Sylt and Enough of Pitpass

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    • Alistair Rumbold
    • May 25th, 2011

    Hear Hear!!

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