F1 is on course for a fresh civil war
As Formula 1's 2020 moment of truth approaches, expect new political alliances between teams - but rival factions rather than one unified body - and perhaps even tracks and broadcasters. And will Bernie Ecclestone be called into battle again?
Following last week's prognosis that the Formula One Group, F1's new commercial rights holder following Liberty Media's takeover, faces revenue squeezes from teams demanding greater income slices on one side and promoters, partners and broadcasters on the other, senior sources confirmed that the formation of a "modern day FOTA" was under consideration.
Not surprisingly, enquiries kicked off a 'blame game'. Fingers were pointed every which way: independent teams suggested the so-called Constructors' Championship Bonus teams, namely Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and McLaren - which, between them, carve up 65% of revenues and enjoy Strategy Group status - were collectively planning "to protect their positions", as one source phrased it, after the prevailing bilateral contracts expire in 2020.
OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences
With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...
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OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression
The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza
For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army
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