The city of Austin is trying desperately to secure state funds to help lure an F1 race to town. Sure, interest in auto racing nation-wide continues to dip, and Americans have never shown much of an interest in F1 for various reasons, but give it a shot.
But everyone involved in this process must wait. Wait until until F1 Chief Thief Bernie Ecclestone is either out of power, or dead. This guy would not only take a lollipop from a baby, but his wallet, too. Maybe this how you get ahead and stay ahead these days.
Austin need look no further than Indianapolis to see that dealing with this guy, and this series, is not like operating with an owner of some pro sports team here in the states. The culture around this series is dramatically different than anything here in America. They want your money and you to buy tickets, but how they define "fan friendly" is dramatically different than what is done here. A primary reason is Ecclestone.
Former Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George spent millions and millions of his own dollars to renovate that speedway in an effort to lure this series to the U.S. He did, and paid Ecclestone the massive $20 million rights fee. The race lasted from 2000 to 2007 before George threw up his hands and said it's not worth the headache. Say what you want about Tony George, but the man was OK losing a lot of his money to promote his track and auto racing. Ecclestone is accustomed to having it done his way, so the power brokers in Austin who want this race best be prepared to pay this guy a small fortune, and to wait on him hand and foot.
I have serious doubts whether F1 racing will ever succeed in the U.S. Maybe the timing is right now, and Austin with its "in crowd" is a better locale than Central Indiana. But this series has no chance in the U.S. if Ecclestone is running it.
Austin, just wait until he's gone.
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