Stopover in Delhi on the way to Sing, did a quick run around the construction site, just to let the lads know the master’s keeping an eye on progress. On the way there I saw at least a million ticket-buyers-to-be. And no, it was not a rickshaw ride like this one.
A circuit under construction surrounded by a billion new fans always gets me in a good mood, so I was nice to the Times of India journo that wanted to interview me. Had a bit of fun with him, too. Told him I actually thought sixteen races was an ideal season. Twenty is plenty, I said, and the bugger penned it down dutifully. That’ll get the rumour mill going.
You can just wait for the nervous circuit owners to start calling me. And lovely calls they will be. “Bernie, you’ll keep some room for us on the calendar, won’t you?” “An F1 season without [fill in Hellhole with a claim to fame] is utterly unthinkable, isn’t it Bernie?” Believe me, this is going to make the next set of negotiations a lot easier. Yes, it was a fine day.
And now off to another great night race in Singapore.
You bet they are.
Look, I know that F1 would not be the same without a Monaco Grand Prix. Which is relevant if you’re sentimental. I ask you, my dear friends: do I look like a sentimental person?
Think about my position for a moment. I’m sitting on a franchise worth a couple of billion dollars. That sounds great (and believe me it is) but a money mountain like that attracts a lot of greedy people. In increasing order of greed we’re talking about the likes of the FIA (bunch of paupers), the F1 teams, a swarm of
locusts private equity capitalists and, last but not least, my beloved ex-wife, who needs to pay the upkeep for the most expensive private jet on the market.
And they all want more. The only reason I can survive this mayhem is by asking more money from race organisers. Is that so unreasonable?
Not if you consider that developing countries like Russia, India and Texas are prepared to shell out tens of millions of dollars for the privilege to host a Grand Prix. So why would I give a giant discount to a bunch of rich people occupying the hottest real estate on France’s Mediterranean coast?
In the end it all comes down to negotiation skills. Which is why I always mention one race in public when I really want to put pressure on another.
Dear burghers of Monaco, I’ve said it before and it goes for your lot too: if you think you’ve got me by the balls, your hands aren’t big enough.“