Opinion: Formula 1 is dragging their feet
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In a story from the Adelaide round of the Supercars where The Herald managed get some time with the new CEO Sean Seamer, I mentioned that ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) was dragging its feet in making a decision about extending the Pukekohe race deal.
There is no doubt the process has dragged on, and as a result of that comment, ATEED have come back through Steve Armitage, GM Destination ATEED and said, "Contract negotiations between ATEED and Supercars remain ongoing. It is important to ensure that any future contract secures the best possible value for money for the investment ATEED makes on behalf of Auckland Council, and that it provides maximum benefit for the regional economy. ATEED will conclude these negotiations before making any further announcement."
I'll let you readers make of that what you will.
Moving swiftly on, in an age where every sporting body is trying to gain a foothold in the increasingly cluttered media and publishing landscape, you'd think that given the chance of a bit of coverage it would be welcomed.
Motorsport has always struggled to get a decent run, compared to anything involving a ball especially in Australasia, you'd think the more coverage the better. Or, is it on a global motorsport stage with some international categories that Australia and New Zealand don't count.
I'm not tarring everyone with the same brush, just Formula One I guess. As most readers would have guessed over the past few years I'm not a great fan of the category for a number of reasons. And now I have a new one.
Over the years I have applied for accreditation for the World Rally Championship, MotoGP, World Endurance Championship and World Superbikes. Other than a few paperwork hiccups, mainly due to me, the people involved at the organisations could not have been more helpful, even though Kiwis haven't featured in a number of the series.
I have not applied for any Formula One media accreditation as we have not had a driver involved for three decades, until now. Brendon Hartley is about to start his adventure as a full time F1 driver for Toro Rosso this year.
The Australian Grand Prix office were helpful, but said as I was covering the event for an 'international' newspaper I had to apply through the FIA headquarters. That's when things got interesting.
First you had to apply to register, ie fill out an electronic form stating all your particulars and the publications. You were, according to instructions, to receive a link to proceed with the formal application. That was a first, applying to be to be allowed to apply for accreditation.
Anyway, nothing from the FIA for a week or so. I went back to the FIA website (no phone numbers to call) and filled out the query email form and waited, and waited, and waited. I tried another couple of times and by that stage the deadline had past.
So I had to come to the conclusion, that if they don't want me there I probably don't want to be there either. For a sport that's loosing its fans by the thousands, it might have to make some big changes both on the track and in the back office.
I wish the Kiwis in F1 all the best, but I'll be focusing on the Kiwis in the Supercars, at least they want to talk.
- NZ Herald
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