Things to think about on a Friday morning:
The world is a-Twitter about plans unveiled in London Thursday by Spanish bank Santander, which sponsors McLaren and just about everything else in Formula One these days, to run a Grand Prix through the heart of London and around some of that city’s most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace.
Bernie Ecclestone mused that he might put up the money to run it himself, which he said would cost in the neighbourhood of 35 million British pounds.
Santander threw a little party in London later in which a video of how such a London Grand Prix would look was shown. It featured McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
I have questions.
- Spain, although on top of the sporting world these days with its soccer team in the Euro Cup final and Fernando Alonso leading the world driving championship, is on its financial knees.
Its banking system is on the rocks and the country has applied to the European Central Bank for its second – second – infusion of bailout cash.
So what the hell is Spain's biggest bank, Santander, doing blowing millions of dollars on a video presentation of a pipe dream?
Do any of those people know what’s going on in the real world?
- Now, did anybody else notice something weird here?
They say it would be wonderful to have a Grand Prix around famous British landmarks like Buck House, the Tower of London, the Parliament Buildings, and so-on, and yet they plan to run the race at night.
How will anybody be able to see any of those famous landmarks?
- Bernie Ecclestone, just like the old Maple Leafs hockey coach Punch Imlach, is a master at getting attention. Imlach had the ability to get the Leafs on the front pages in the middle of 1960s summers when nobody gave a damn about hockey.
Ditto Bernie, whose musings about picking up the tab for a London GP did two things: they pushed news about the upcoming Olympics down below the fold and stopped the speculating about the potential for criminal charges after his sometimes business partner, Gerhard Gribkowski, was jailed for more than eight years in Germany after pleading guilty to evading tax on income from the sale of various and sundry F1 properties.
The big question surrounding NASCAR’s Kentucky Speedway race this weekend isn’t who will win it but whether or not anybody will get to see it.
Last year, you will remember, they were backed up for miles and miles on the Interstate and many people didn’t get to their seats till the race was nearly over. Then it took them forever to get out.
Has the situation improved? We’ll find out, won’t we?
IndyCar has brought back push-to-pass, starting with the Toronto Honda Indy a week from this weekend. Oh, and they’ve decided to allow Lotus some leeway in the engine department in an effort to give Simona de Silvestro a fighting chance the rest of the season and perhaps attract some more Lotus entries for next season. Finally, the season-ender at California Speedway has become a 500-mile race.
There is talk that Rogers Sportsnet may take over the televising of IndyCar races from 2013 onwards. Some people seem to be very happy that TSN will allegedly be out of the picture.
I have something to say to those people: be careful what you wish for.