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GP Week : Issue 229
OPINION MAt CoCH Editor If formula One was a carnival, and let's be honest it practically is, sideshow alley would currently have two stalls. On one side you've got the whack- a-mole that is the red Bull/ renault divorce and on the other you've got the pivoting clown heads that is the Lotus/ renault buyout. One suspects that if you looked closely at the person running the game they'd be french. At the moment, Renault is treating Formula One like a game. It's come out and said publicly that there is no value in being an engine manufacturer in the sport - and having had as many hits on the head as it has from Red Bull who can really blame it. But at the same time it's um-ing and ah-ing over whether or not to buy Lotus, leading to the ridiculous state of affairs we saw in Suzuka where Bernie Ecclestone had to feed the Lotus mechanics. Given that, I for one wouldn't be too unhappy to see the French mob leave the sport because nothing Renault is doing at the moment is positive. It's dragging Enstone through the mud and throwing stones at the sport, all the while holding its hand out to Ecclestone and telling him to fork over some cash. In Bernie's shoes I'd say 'bugger you,' and let Lotus fall over. As terrible as it seems, and as much as I feel for those who work for the team, I see no value in bending over for Renault. The sport doesn't need it. Next season they'll provide engines to just a single team, if it buys Enstone, else it'll be out of the sport anyway. Meanwhile you've got Haas about to pull its truck up in the paddock. We'll gain and team and lose a team. But let's not just throw Renault on the hot coals here, let's not forget that Lotus' management are not innocent victims in this mess. The current financial mess the team finds itself in is a direct result of their management. They claim there are contractual issues with the Renault deal but I just don't buy it. If I'm selling my car and I get a speeding fine it's my responsibility to pay it. Equally, I can't fill it with petrol and put new tyres on it not pay for any of it because I'm in the process of selling the car. Sure, that's an overly simplistic view of things but the simple fact of the matter is that until any deal is concluded the Lotus management team has an obligation to run the business - and part of that is paying the bills. Plus, I must admit to having issues with the fact the team currently calls itself Lotus. One thing that has always grated me about is the team trying to associate itself with the history written by Colin Chapman and Peter Warr but at the same time hanging onto the fact it won world championships with Michael Schumacher. It's a mismatch of marketing garbage. You don't see Force India claiming Jordan's heritage, or Tyrrell's accomplishments on Mercedes' garage wall. For mine, the sooner that black and gold monstrosity is off the grid the better. If that means it's not there at all or gets repainted and renamed I don't particularly care, so long as the sport isn't compromising itself to accommodate it. So perhaps, alongside the whack-a -mole and clown heads in sideshow alley there should be a shooting gallery too, but instead of ducks we could have silhouettes of the black and gold cars from Enstone. 14 GPWEEK.com // 14 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: OPINION carnivaL games