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12/23/2009

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Norris,
You're spot on regarding the Schumacher return. But you have to admit, 2010 will certainly be an exciting F1 year. Just think, if Kimi had stayed on, we'd have 5 previous champs battling it out!

And yet Ecclestone can also be so destructive. Is F1 better off with him or without him? One thing's for sure, the bookies are going to be offering better odds on who'll be runner-up in the driver's championship than who will actually win it. Could 2010 be the year that Schumacher wins every race?

You have succinctly described why Ecclestone needs to go. He's all about the control and the show, and doesn't care about anything else. He's slime; a used car salesman in fancy clothing. It's no wonder that he and Briatore are such close friends.

Say what you will about Bernie, F1 needs someone like him that can think outside the box a bit. Nobody else would have been in a position to think about bringing Schumacher back, never mind actually getting it done. It sounds like even Schumacher himself hadn't thought about the possibility of making a return until Luca started badgering him in August. The only other boss in F1 that seemed to have any sort of marketing sense was, ironically, Briatore. Not that it is a bad thing that team bosses keep their noses to the racing grindstone.

In any case the management-by-committee that will surely slide into place after Bernie is gone will make us all wish that Bernie could in fact live forever. F1 will be a little more corporate and predictable and a touch less exciting without him.

hhhmmm....Fernando Alonso's name is not mentioned as a challenger to Schumacher in this article......I think Alonso in a competitive Ferrari will more than give a run to the title......just like in 2005 and 2006.......

There is no doubt that F1 needs a brilliant marketing person. And there is no doubt that bringing back Schumacher will create all sorts of buzz. But over the last few years, Bernie has been less than brilliant as a marketer. Yes he's expanded F1 in Asia and the Middle-East, anybody with half a brain saw that as an obvious move. But at the same time he's also been at the helm when France, Canada and USA all dropped off the schedule. The simple fact is that Bernie seems more interested in flash than substance. Schumacher's return will give F1 a short term boost. But what about long term growth? When companies like BMW, Toyota, and Honda all feel that having an F1 isn't worth the money, that's a pretty clear indicator that the impact and appeal of the sport is declining.

I think too much is attributed to Bernie. The man ceratinly sold F1 to the Asian market and anywhere where there's money available. But, to say he is the engineer behind the latest comeback of Schumacher is a bit far stretched. Mercedes is the group behind the whole deal, as F1 will be the advertising block for them, just like for Ferrari. What better combination to have for a Mercedes comeback than Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher together again, just like they were at Benetton, then Ferrari. Besides, F1 today is all about money, just like the all-powerful and sleezy Bernie Ecclestone.

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