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F1 learns a new verb: "to uncrap"

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F1 learns a new verb: "to uncrap"
Jul 3, 2015, 11:08 PM

The FIA team principals' press conference at Silverstone on Friday was a relatively low key affair until Force India owner Vijay Mallya came out wi...

The FIA team principals' press conference at Silverstone on Friday was a relatively low key affair until Force India owner Vijay Mallya came out with a new word, which sums up what F1's teams and managers are trying to do with the sport at the moment: To 'uncrap' it

Responding to an obviously leading question alluding to Bernie Ecclestone's recent comment that he had a "crap product to sell" to sponsors and broadcasters, Mallya said,

"How would I respond to the chief executive's comment that he had a crappy product to sell? He shouldn't be selling the product if he thought it was crap.

"Considering he sells the product he calls crap, but he makes billions (of pounds) out of it, he needs to work with the participants to uncrap it."

This got a good laugh, but the underlying message was clear; the process has certainly started of addressing the problems of presentation and design of the current F1. Many would argue that this is an internally generated crisis, with some of the top figures having started a wave of negativity in 2014 which has since spiralled out of control.

The Strategy Group is a less than ideal instrument for change, as it has so many vested interests around the table, but at least it has recognised some key changes need to be made.

Todt Kaltenborn

The longer term changes to the cars and the sporting regulations will not be easy to agree and it is certainly significant that FIA president Jean Todt has now come out and said that if the teams cannot agree 2017 changes by a certain deadline, which can run as late as February next year, then he will impose a set of changes, along with Bernie Ecclestone. He has the power to do that as his and Ecclestone's combined votes would be greater than the teams'.

Todt could have done this already, but he prefers to give the teams more time to try to find common ground.

Judging from the various messages coming from the team principals this afternoon, that consensus will be hard to find. THe smaller teams are totally focussed on their own sustainability and getting more money to survive, while the larger teams are thinking about the show, as their survival is guaranteed by the healthy prize money they receive. THere was a lot of rolling of eyes when various team bosses spoke by others from a different camp.

It was great theatre but it highlighted how divided they are; the haves and the have-nots.

Todt and Ecclestone could be imposing those rules before too long.
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