UnNews:BBC abandons Formula 1 for Scalextrix GP coverage
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|BBC abandons Formula 1 for Scalextrix GP coverage|
22 September 2009
Following the announcement by the FIA that Renault would be banned from competing in the 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 Seasons, a bidding war has broken out between the BBC and Sky Sports for the exclusive rights to the Scalextrix International Grand Prix series. BBC Motoring correspondent Jeremy Clarkson explained that with Honda and BMW pulling out for financial reasons, and MacLaren facing an uncertain future after their own spy-gate scandal, the 2010 F1 series would likely only involve Mercedes and Ferrari. "Given that scenario", said Clarkson, "people wanting to watch tedious bits of machinery whizz around a track really fast for no apparent reason may as well watch a pair of slot cars racing on a really big toy plastic racetrack." Clarkson justified his $5M per event commentary fee as necessary, saying that unless celebrities are massively overpaid for doing what some other loser would do for free, the BBC would lose credibility as a sponsor of major sporting events. Greenpeace condemned the move - in a statement released yesterday their press secretary, Justin Sane, said "although a single Formula One race is the ecological equivalent of felling 50,000 square miles of rain forest and burning a Blue Whale, racing cars on a Scalextrix track is barely any less damaging unless the BBC guarantees that all electricity used will be generated by wind power." Meanwhile, the BBC is rumored to be resurrecting ideas for a new low budget travel series starring Michael Palin: "Great Train Sets of the World".
- BBC News "Renault handed suspended F1 ban". BBC, Sept 21, 2009