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Friday, December 12, 2008

Bernie unfazed by Honda exit

French Formula One Grand Prix: Qualifying

Calling Honda a bad example of overspending, F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone downplayed the impact of the Japanese automaker’s withdrawal from the sport.

“Honda will be no great loss,” Ecclestone is quoted in the Daily Telegraph. “Just look at where they finished in the championship – ninth. They wasted millions and were a bad example to other teams.”

In other words, don’t let the door hit your *ss on the way out...

Ecclestone is hopeful to have a buyer for the team in the next week, saying three parties have expressed serious interest.

Meanwhile, Max Mosley believes some of that overspending may be a byproduct of the rules the FIA has put into place, saying the regulations pushed staffs of hundreds to look for small improvements in areas of the car the average fan would never see.

“What is wrong with F1 was wrong before any of the current economic problems cropped up, and essentially it is because of the rules,” Mosley is quoted by SportingLife.com. “You might well say that the rules are made by the FIA, so it is the FIA's fault. In a sense that is true because the rules in Formula One are ever more restrictive, compressing the work of the engineers into an ever smaller area.”

Mosley said many of those rules exist because of safety concerns, but those changes have rechanneled the teams development efforts.

“So now these huge teams, with between 700 to 1,000 employees, are constantly searching for tiny incremental gains on their car,” he explained. “Success in Formula One today consists of optimising every single tiny detail on the chassis to the absolute, ultimate degree, and that is extremely expensive, but also utterly pointless.”

Utterly pointless? The FIA has restricted the regulations to a point where extra tenths are the only advantage available for teams to find. What are they supposed to look for?

A sweep for Buemi

Sebastien Buemi topped the charts for the third straight day at Jerez, besting fellow Toro Rosso hopeful Takuma Sato in the final day of testing. The final test session of the year takes place next week at Portugal’s Algarve Motor Park.

Thursday times
  1. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 1:17.258
  2. Takuma Sato, Toro Rosso, 1:17.520
  3. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 1:18.049
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:18.782
  5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:19.050
  6. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:19.319
  7. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 1:19.388
  8. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:19.499
  9. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:19.559
  10. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 1:19.738
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