Bernie Ecclestone is recognised as being a master illusionist. Indeed, it has long been recognised in the Formula 1 paddock that the 83-year-old regularly makes contentious comments to deflect attention from the (very) real issues at hand.
When, for example, Cape Town was mooted as a possible grand prix host, it soon became clear that South Africa's Mother City was being used as a pawn in contractual negotiations with Melbourne politicians, who hummed over contract extensions.
When faced with the prospect of an iconic southern hemisphere city on the same latitude snatching the race away from Albert Park, they stretched for their pens PDQ, signing a contract that dwarfs anything the fairest Cape may have offered.
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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