Is Bernie Your Nan?

Tuesday 04-February-2014 10:09

It's a bit worrying when the man in charge of F1 starts acting like your nan. Bless her, she says one thing one minute, and two seconds later, she's completely forgotten what she said before and has changed her mind entirely.

That's what's happened to Bernie after the 2013 TV viewing figures were announced yesterday, with a global slip of 50 million viewers - down from 500 million to 450 million.

But if you consider that 17 million of those viewers disappeared from France after F1 went to the Pay-TV of Canal Plus, that's really only a loss of 33 million. And with Grosjean doing so well in 2013 it surely would have increased in France had it remained free. We didn't have an Indian driver on the grid last year either.

Bernie Ecclestone, in his report on TV viewing figures, doesn't highlight either of those two factors... "Last season our global audience was 450 million viewers, a decrease compared to 2012, although not an unexpected one. The less-than-competitive nature of the final few rounds, culminating in the championship being decided ahead of the races in the USA and Brazil, events which often bring substantial audiences, had a predictable impact on reach."

So basically, it was Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel's fault, for winning it too easily, too early and for the fourth successive time.

However, the good news, as far as Bernie is concerned, is that the new rules that F1 has introduced for 2014 will re-set the pecking order.

"It is timely developments like these that keep Formula 1 at the forefront of sustainable and relevant technology," explained Ecclestone in the same report. "One thing I am sure of is that this coming season will not only offer a heightened level of unpredictability but renewed excitement and fierce competition."

Yay for the new rules. They're going to mix things up and Bernie loves them...

But hang on, here's a quote he gave to Reuters from last week after he'd been watching the testing at Jerez.

"I am upset because last year's Championship, apart from the obvious that Sebastian ran away with things, was still a very good Championship. This year I'm quite sure if we'd have left things as they were would have been an even better one."

"We had an engine that was perfect, everybody liked the sound, it was reliable, didn't cause anybody trouble and was much, much more cheap than what they currently have to use.

"People loved the excitement of the noise we'd got before. And now I think that's all disappeared so I'm disappointed."

One Bernie Ecclestones loves the new engines, the unpredictability that it will bring, along with the move to "sustainable and relevant technology". And one Bernie Ecclestone hates the sound of the new engines, their unreliability and wishes we'd stuck with the old technology.

It's your nan isn't it. She likes the new TV because it's got lots more channels, but she hates it because it's not made of Bakelite.

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