What a mess. There is simply no other word to describe the situation Formula 1 currently finds itself in. This comes as no surprise for, as this column pointed out last week, the sport singularly fails to do the right thing when faced with thorny issues, preferring to procrastinate until all viable options have evaporated, and only poor compromises remain.
This is particularly so where vested interests are present, and never has this been more obvious than with the farcical Bahrain situation.
Will the Bahrain GP happen? © sutton-images.com
At least two parties (Bernie Ecclestone, whose companies stood to gain around £15m had the race gone ahead; and Shaik Abdulla Bin Isa Al Khalifa, younger brother of the Crown Prince, Chairman of the FIA's CIK Karting Commission, member of the WMSC, and President of the Automobile Federation of Bahrain) should by rights have declared their conflicting interests to the World Motor Sport Council in advance, then offered to recuse themselves.
The matter instead went ahead apparently with not a soul even accurately recording the votes - Todt later told the BBC that he believed the vote to have been unanimous and declared it so when no one raised an objection.
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South African-born Dieter trained as industrial engineer before holding down a variety of senior motor industry marketing and manufacturing positions. At the age of 40 he decided to follow his passion, and became the first and only South African journalist to cover Formula 1 regularly. Dieter joined AtlasF1 at the beginning of 2004 – a year prior to its merger with Autosport – and his regular column offers an intriguing analysis of F1’s politicking and commercial chicanery. Although now also proudly Belgian, he gives his domicile as "Wherever F1 duplicity lurks".@RacingLines More features by Dieter Rencken