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09/27/2009

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Sunday morning was indeed a TSN shocker. As race ran past the hour, I was reaching for the remote to shut off the tube the moment their regularly scheduled programing resumed (like before the hour at Spa, even though the races was scheduled to the hour) and...what's this, post race weigh in? and a podium! A long commercial break after podium 10 minutes after the hour had me reaching for the remote finally and TSN treated us to the post race interviews. Wow, are they listening, or was someone asleep at the switch.

Flavio Briatore was (and still is?) Alonso's agent from day 1. It shows integrity and courage on Alonso's part to give Briatore a last public salute while standing on the third step of the podium. Nobody of any importance to formula one circus will critize him for doing so. As to slaping Alonso's behind the head, I think he knew from the moment he crossed the finish line that he was going to pay tribute to his friend, boss and agent. He probably gave it all to be able to do so too. And by the way, he also praised the team.
Although unforgivable, I can't help but think that Briatore is a scapegoat for the the FIA and Mr. Ecclestone. I'm sure there is still a lot of dirt under the carpet.


What a mess! Formula 1 today just doesn't compare to years ago. Computers have taken over and drivers are nothing more than "tools" in a car and on the team. They push a car to its limits, while drive for the team only to bring in sponsorship. Alonso said the right thing by dedicating his race to Flavio, his mentor for many years and two championships. As for Kimi, here's a driver who says it like it is - totally dedicated to racing and performing to excellence. Enzo would have adored Kimi, just like he had done with Gilles.

I miss the times F1 was more sport than marketing. How nice is to see Emerson Fittipaldi pulling a Formula 1 car attached with a rope at hisChevrolet out of a garage in front of Interlagos Speedway in São Paulo, to practice at his Coopersucar F1 car on track? Priceless! Unfortunately a time nobody will ever see again.

Well, all this recent happenings envolving Renault fraud at Singapore 2008 race, and now the end of ING and Mutua Madrileña sponsorship just makes a F1 that lives in the "Marketing Era" stronger.

For sure, ING and any company on its position would not like to have its name linked at a team that makes illegal moves. But in Brazil people say: "Say something good, or something bad. But say something about me!" And that is true! I have some canadian friends of mine, that never talked to me about F1 telling: "Oh, I saw something on the news about a brazilian race envolved on a fraud..." or "I read something on the paper about F1 scandal...".

Formula 1 had some "eras" and now we live at "Marketing Era". Sad, but true. It more about exposure at media, than sport. How many hours world wide F1 coverage grew after all this? Passionate fans like me still waking up early to watch races, but we are not alone. And image is everything at this era. How many people started looking something about F1 after this episode? That is life... That is the Marketing Era.

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