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GP Week : Issue 46
F 30 ORMULA 1 finds itself this week on the brink of a war, the likes of which have not been seen for almost three decades. The battles that lie ahead have the potential to cause the greatest effects on this sport in its history, ripping it apart at the seams and creating a completely new sporting and political landscape upon which to play out the world’s highest echelon of single-seater racing. The battle lines have been drawn. All we need now is the spark. War War … isn’t that too strong a word to use in the context? Some might argue so, but war need not be fought by military means alone. In recent years, the teachings and writings of the world’s greatest military minds and strategic thinkers have become reference points for those determined to climb the ladder of office or social politics. It is often argued that there is politics in every social interaction, thus it has followed that the study of strategy can influence our daily lives. As Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military general whose posthumous tone “On War”has become viewed as one of the most important pieces of strategic thinking in history, wrote: “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.” He prescribed war as being born of two primary objectives: war to achieve limited aims, and war to render one’s opponent politically helpless or militarily impotent.” Upon such battle lines has Formula 1’s current political power struggle been formed. Born initially of disillusionment and discontent, the actions of the last seven days have turned what was a minor disagreement into a battle of political will and attrition. In short, a battle of limited aims has become a war to render one’s opponent impotent and helpless. The battle lines The actions of the last seven days have painted a political landscape for us, the likes of which have not been seen in Formula 1 since the FISA/FOCA war of the early 1980s and which resulted in the rise of Mosley and Ecclestone and the writing of the Concorde Agreement, F1’s constitution of sorts. Tired of the overbearing nature of the governing forces in the sport, the teams today stand united against what they now see as the tyranny of the powers-that-be, just as they did 30 years ago. If we view Formula 1 as a nation state, and the Formula 1 teams as its citizens, it follows that the FIA is its government. Its President is drawn from within this governing body, but neither are elected by the citizens who are party to the laws that the President and the governing body pass. The judiciary is ultimately governed by that same ruling body. It is the very definition of the fusion of powers and as such is, from a purely political viewpoint, a very dangerous state of affairs. As James Madison, the fourth