The Reuters global sports blog
Speaking about the Formula One calendar and the continuing expansion to east and west, the sport’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone declared this month that Europe was “finished“.
“It will be a good place for tourism but little else,” he told Spanish Sports daily Marca. “Europe is a thing of the past.”
With the financial pages full of Europe’s woes and the rise of the fast-moving BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) bloc, the 81-year-old was not just being his usual deliberately provocative self.
Formula One has always followed the money and there is still plenty of that sloshing around in the Middle East and Asia.
Felipe Massa won a lot of respect in Brazil a year ago when, having missed out on the Formula One championship by a single point after winning his home grand prix, he proved gracious in defeat.
“I know how to win, I know how to lose,” he said.
The Ferrari driver returns to Interlagos as a spectator and special guest this weekend after suffering life-threatening head injuries in Hungary in July.
If Bernie Ecclestone had got his way before the start of the season, Jenson Button might have been crowned Formula One champion in Singapore on Sunday.
The commercial supremo’s plan for the championship to be decided by an Olympic-style medals system, with the title going to the driver taking most golds, would have left Brawn’s Button out of reach.
It was hard not to feel just a little bit sorry for Rubens Barrichello after his second place behind Brawn GP team mate Jenson Button at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
After passing Button at the start to take the lead, Barrichello’s hopes of a first race win since 2004 were apparently dashed when the team switched the Briton to a two-stop strategy.
Brawn GP’s one-two win on their debut in the Australian Grand Prix may turn out to be the feelgood moment of the Formula One year (although maybe not for those locked in the great Melbourne diffuser debate).
Race winner Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were the happiest drivers in the paddock by a very long way on Sunday night and even team owner Ross Brawn seemed momentarily overcome.