Saturday, 21 April 2012

F1 Ignominy

A bloodied sport
If there is any sport of questionable moral value then it is Formula One. Setting aside arguments over its gas-guzzling octane fuelled stagings, the noise, air, and visual pollution of hectares of vintage land across the globe, and its greedy financial model, the sport, if one can call it such, is morally corrupt. None more so exemplified then by the boss of this private empire, Bernie Ecclestone.

Money from race hosting rights trumps television advertising and other sources of revenue. Leading Mr Ecclestone to cater to emerging markets in recent years by establishing the Indian, Chinese, Singaporean Grand Prix on the race calender. The Bahrain Grand Prix, being held over this weekend, was setup in 2004 with much aplomb at the fixture's novelty, which included 'dressed' Pit Girls, non-alcoholic drinks, and glued sand; opening up an enormous middle eastern market.

By not recognising the Bahrain race's significance in justifying the minority-absolute rule of another Middle Eastern Despot, Mr Ecclestone and his sport become morally vacuous. Sport has always been loaded with politics. It is the cultural symbolism of sport that enables the appeasement of the masses. Bahrain is currently locked in a one-sided battle to oppress its majority shia population in favour of an extractive elite. By neglecting this, Formula One has lost its appeal to many, including myself.