Does Formula 1 currently find itself in what psychiatrists refer to as a 'twilight state?'
You know the one; that strange sense of disordered consciousness during which actions are performed almost mechanically while paying little heed to the longer-term effects of decisions, and - worse still - without conscious volition? One of the symptoms of said condition is hallucinations, to which patients react with irrational behavioural traits.
While it may be stretching the bounds of medical science to suggest that one of the world's most popular sporting genres - with a passionate global following measured in hundreds of millions - is somehow 'unhinged', evidence points to F1 floating in a state of denial about its future.
F1's never looked better on-track, but off it, there is discord © sutton-images.com
At no time has this been clearer than during the past fortnight.
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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