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Monday, January 26, 2009

Bernie offers a compromise?

Bernie Ecclestone is willing to let Formula One teams go hog wild on spending, for a price.

Kitzbuehel Celebrities Charity Race

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper, the F1 ringmaster said if teams made a long-term commitment, say seven to 10 years, he’d be willing to loosen the reins.

“If the manufacturers are prepared to make a long-term commitment, say seven to 10 years, we should let them spend what they want to spend, providing they supply engines and gearboxes at an affordable price,” Ecclestone said. “Whether they will commit to that I don't know. Getting them to agree on anything has always been the problem. But if they did it would prevent the kind of thing we have seen with Honda because we could sue the arse off them if they left. They wouldn't like that.”

That, perhaps, is sort of an “olive branch” for a comment Ecclestone made last week, saying the teams shouldn’t get more, but less.

“If they are spending less they don't need as much, do they?” Ecclestone explained. “I was only being mischievous, really, playing the teams at their own game.”

The big boss also panned KERS (“I have always been against KERS...It costs a lot of money...”), put in another plug for a scoring revamp (“The rejection of my medal system pisses me off”), and gave his opinion on who should make the rules (“You either let the teams shape the rules, which they can't because they can never agree on anything, or let the FIA write the regulations and let's get on with it”).

Ecclestone never fails to provide a good quote. To read the whole interview, go here.

Ecclestone mentions third car option

In the wake of Honda’s exit from the sport, much speculation has been given as to whether Bernie Ecclestone is contractually obligated to have a specific number of cars on the grid.

Ecclestone denies this, news source GMM reports, but does open the doors to the possibility of teams fielding third cars in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

“That is what basically will happen,” he is quoted. “If the manufacturers supply engines to other people, they can run three cars themselves. It is better to have 20 cars on the grid, whether they are in the hands of manufacturers or in private hands, that doesn't make any difference.”

Donohue wins Rolex 24

David Donohue held off a surging Juan Pablo Montoya on the final lap to win Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Sunday, in the 40th anniversary of his legendary father’s victory in the same event.

Donahue’s Brumos Porsche (with co-drivers Buddy Rice, Darren Law and Antonio Garcia) edged Montoya (and co-drivers Scott Dixon, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas) by 0.167 seconds, breaking Ganassi Racing’s four-year stranglehold on the category.

JPM was typically blunt in his assessment after the race.

“The amount of power they have on the straight? I’m actually surprised we were able to finish second. I drove my butt off,” Autoweek quotes the Colombian.

Andy Lally, R.J. Valentine, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long teamed up to win the GT category in the TRG Porsche 911 GT3.

The race combines part of the oval used in NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and an infield road course, a combined 3.56 miles. This year’s race came in at 735 laps. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six


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