Professional motorsport, on almost every level, is struggling to attract fans, sponsors and teams as discretionary money vanishes in the wake of a constricting global economy.
Even marketing juggernaut NASCAR is feeling the pinch, with fewer bodies in the seats year after year, and fewer manufacturers to back the sport. Big-name teams are keeping a closer eye on budgets than ever before, since no one really knows how long this downturn will last, or if it will ever reverse.
As the rest of the world's racing series seek to attract teams, sponsors and fans, F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone
continues his work to make F1 less relevant. His latest insight, according to Autoweek
, is that Formula One has too many teams participating, even after the departure of HRT.
Assuming that no one buys HRT’s assets and launches a new team for the 2013 season, next year’s Formula One grid will include 11 teams and 22 cars. Ecclestone’s bizarre reason for wanting to see the F1 paddock shrink further?
“It’s just that 10 is easier to handle, for the promoters, for the transport. We’d rather have 10 so long as we don’t lose Ferrari,” said Ecclestone. We’re sure Bernie’s comments made also-ran teams like Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes happy, too.
Per Ecclestone’s logic, why stop at 10? Why not keep downsizing until only Scuderia Ferrari
is left, because that would be even easier on the promoters and the logistics people. In fact, if you got rid of those pesky, flag-waving fans, we suppose F1 would be easier still to manage.
That certainly seems the be the direction that Ecclestone