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F1 will recover from 'Singapore-gate', says Ecclestone

Though some observers have warned that Formula 1 is on a dangerous path towards self-destruction following the series of salacious scandals that have rocked the paddock in the last few years, commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone is adamant that just as it has recovered before, so will it do so again.

The Renault 'Singapore-gate' controversy is only the latest in a catalogue of incidents to have heavily damaged F1's credibility and global reputation since 2007, beginning with the well-documented espionage row that ended up with McLaren-Mercedes receiving an unprecedented, sporting record $100 million fine and taking in along the way FIA President Max Mosley's infamous tabloid sex éxposé, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton lying to race stewards in Melbourne and the bitter and very nearly divisive FIA/FOTA (Formula One Teams' Association) stand-off that threatened for much of this summer to tear the top flight irrevocably in two.

On top of that, the withdrawal of both Honda and BMW against the backdrop of the international economic crisis and falling car sales has left F1 reeling, and the potential expulsion or voluntary withdrawal of Renault at season's end has poitioned the sport, some argue, teetering on the brink of disaster. Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone, however, insists it will all ultimately be swept under the carpet, as these things invariably are.

“It (F1) has recovered from so many things when people have said it was finished, and it will recover from this,” the 78-year-old told British media. “It was supposed to be finished when Ayrton Senna died. It was supposed to be finished when Michael Schumacher retired.

“It has been finished so many times that it's difficult to know when it really will stop, but I don't think it will be now.”

Ecclestone added that even had his Queens Park Rangers co-director Flavio Briatore not ignominiously relinquished his role of managing director of Renault F1 earlier this week [see separate story – click here], the Italian had for some time been contemplating retirement in any case.

“He told me recently he didn't want to finish up like me, playing with racing cars at my age,” joked the British billionaire, “so at least he's been saved that embarrassment.”



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Maxi Fan - Unregistered

September 19, 2009 10:26 AM

Of course it will recover, storm in a teacup and it also gives a media interest. Far more worrying is the fact that this weekend we do not have a GP of any discription in F1, Motogp or WSBK. I would suggest that the chiefs get together and sort out a programme whereby we dont have all these weekends with nothing and then all three on one weekend like next weekend. Cant be to difficult for all these so called learn'd men. :?

Alan D - Unregistered

September 19, 2009 4:50 PM

Piquet has claimed the FIA knew about this 10 months ago. Why didn't it investigate 10 months ago? Could it be that Bernie wanted Renault to sign the new concorde agreement for the next three years before the FIA hit them. Now if they walk away, he can sue the pants off them. If they stay then they might have to pay a ridiculous fine to the FIA half of which will be Bernie/CVC not paying his commercial fees to them. Renault's best bet might be to get themselves thrown out completely. They can't be both fined and thrown out, and if they are thrown out then they can argue that they haven't breached a contract with Bernie because it is the FIA which is preventing them from competing.



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