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Ecclestone finds ally in 'rain-making' notion in US GP promoter

US Grand Prix promoter Tavo Hellmund has bucked the general trend by describing F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone's controversial 'rain-making' idea as 'brilliant on several fronts'
It might have been received with ridicule in many quarters, but Bernie Ecclestone's notion of 'making rain' in a bid to spice up the spectacle in F1, increase overtaking and introduce a much-needed element of unpredictability has been welcomed by the promoter of the forthcoming US Grand Prix in Texas, with Tavo Hellmund describing the suggestion as 'brilliant on several fronts'.

F1's commercial rights-holder was derided as 'making a mockery of the pinnacle of the sport' and accused of 'losing his mind' in the wake of his comments, with Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber even going so far as to say the mere thought of 'artificial' rain would cause the late Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark to 'turn in their graves' [see separate story – click here].

Whilst many have filed rain-making under the same 'non-starter' category as Ecclestone's controversial 'short-cut' proposal just over a year ago, Hellmund has praised the idea as 'brilliant on several fronts' and likely to lead to 'spectacular' races whilst not damaging ticket sales, as genuine bad weather is conversely apt to do.

Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive Ecclestone contends that it would be 'easy' to accordingly adapt the irrigation systems for just such an eventuality at 'a number of tracks', with the under-construction circuit at Austin a viable candidate due to its development being 'in the beginning stages'.

“True talent always shines in the wet,” Hellmund told The Austin American-Statesman. “The smaller teams should rejoice as rain is the ultimate equaliser, eliminating size of budgets and allowing pure talent to shine.”

He added that he intends to discuss with Ecclestone the possibility of implementing an artificial rain-making facility at the new Texas circuit, aided by a reported $12.5 million injection of cash from ten private investors. The race is expected to be slotted into the calendar in the summer of 2012, dovetailed with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Related Pictures

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Sunday, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Saturday Practice, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
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Race, start
Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 and Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP F1 Team, MGP W01
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Race, The Safety car on the track
Saturday, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix, Sauber, F1 [Credit: Honda Racing]
Singapore Grand Prix
Marshals at the British Grand Prix
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Fans at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix

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March 11, 2011 4:14 PM

Actually comments like these make me wonder about the validity of BE. 1st the medals and now artificial rain. Why not just equip the cars with oil slicks, missles, and caltrops and have it sponsored by Playstation and litter random power boosters around the track. And for race2 have all the drivers put their keys in a bowl, swinger style, and they all have to drive different cars. *rolleyes* BE needs to go away.

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