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GP Week : Issue 33
Letters I hope someone shows it to those responsible for GP television. If it was half as good as Bathurst, it would be twice as good as it is. R Beaumont Australia Don't be sad sacks! I must agree with the letter from David McGee (Issue 032) regarding the press conference snore fest. I would go one further and say I have noticed that in most of the post-race interviews the F1 drivers look sad and boring, not like the American drivers, who are very enthusiastic after the race. It’s not like they are tired, as they have plenty of mojo when they get into the pits after the race! Doug Drake New Zealand On a more positiv note ... Things are looking up for F1. That may sound strange with the financial crisis and everything that’s going on right now, but it seems that the people in Formula 1 have realised that they need to change the way they run the show. The talk of proper cost containment measures and the revised aero is really very positive. Personally, I really miss Super Aguri, as do many people that I talk to, and so its encouraging that F1 is moving in a direction that will hopefully avoid such an unfortunate demise of a team, especially a somewhat successful team like SA, that actually seemed to be going somewhere. I can’t say the same of Force India, but it is good to have the variety on the grid! Damien Muller Queensland, Australia 22 email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Aussies kick a goal Did you catch the telecast of the V8 Supercar race from Bathurst in Australia? IT is never what you say, it is what you do that counts. In sport, getting results is what you do. So does it matter what people say? In life it is never what you think that counts, it is whether you follow the rules. And that is the problem in the matter of rallying’s latest debate, which is whether it is seemly to manipulate results on individual events for championship purposes. In this sport, the rules leave an open door for competitors to use imaginative opportunities. But while using the imagination to the full extent may elevate a car in the championship tables at the end of the season, it could just be counter productive in other directions. Sometimes people forget why companies go rallying in the first place. It is to sell cars – either today or in the future. In the end, rallies are won and lost according to the rules laid down, but cars are bought and sold by image, whether or not the technical specification is perfect or not. And this has always been the case. Playing with rules has always been a painful and hurtful business. In 1966 the Monte Carlo Rally was dominated by cars that had been homologated in a very clever way. This came as a shock to all concerned and selective reasoning was used to exclude them after the event. This caused very bad feeling, even outside the winning team. The official winner was Pauli Toivonen, at the wheel of a Citroen, and he was so upset he The confusing world of MArtin HoLMes rallies editor never rallied for the company again. The moral winners were the BMC cars –commercially the company had a major coup, not on the stages but in the showrooms. The name at the top of official results won the battle, the sympathy vote won the war. Fast forward to 2008. Circumstances are different – manipulations this time are contained inside the team, and this time running orders are not involved – but the consequences are similar. In the words of Olivier Quesnel, the competition director of Citroen Sport, his counterpart at Ford, Malcolm Wilson, is “very good at mathematics”even if excellence at calculating minutes and seconds does not always make his cars faster. The problem is that what happens in rallying nowadays is too transparent. Live on-line results makes the world aware what happens second by second, prevents any subterfuge being disguised. This is fine up to the point that results can be manipulated to perfection. But it opens up details of the sport to public scrutiny. And the public is in danger of concluding that Ford must be bad losers if opinion