Despite what the fans of good ol’ fashioned American NASCAR racing might tell you in between mainlining high fructose corn syrup and Busch Light, the most popular auto racing series in the world is Formula One. Not only do its races feature crazy foreign things like both right AND left turns, its cars are some of the most technologically advanced gizmos on earth.
(Marvel at the wonders of modern science. The car’s nice, too.)
The problem with all that technology is that, similar to NASCAR in recent years, the price of fielding a competitive F1 team has shot through the roof, making the sport inaccessible to all but the wealthiest corporations and/or manufacturers. F1 chief Max Mosely recently announced a $65 million budget cap for teams in an attempt to rein in the beast that he helped create. So how did the top teams react? They told Mosely where he could shove his budget cap and announced plans to break away to start their own racing superleague.
A salary cap in motorsports is a novel concept, especially here in the States where NASCAR teams utilize all the technology they can out of the car to produce the fastest low-tech race cars money can buy. But the top teams in F1 aren’t taking this lying down.
Peter Orosz of JALOPNIK crunched the numbers, and decided Mosely was more-or-less being a prat, which is what he’s best at:
Just to put Mosley’s budget cap in perspective: his suggested $65 million a year is exactly half as much as the amount paid a week ago by a Spanish football team for a single player. Great footballers have their price, even obnoxious bastards like Real Madrid’s latest pick Cristiano Ronaldo, but they certainly don’t require expensive, one-off machines made of carbon fiber and titanium to do their thing.
He’s got a point. The general consensus seems to be that Mosely is being unreasonably low with his cap. But is this a situation that could ever play out in American sports? The raging furor over things like baseball salaries has largely died down in recent years, but in a faltering economy, could something come to a head in Major League Baseball? And what happens if the NFL’s collective bargaining agreements totally break down? Could a group of teams - the Cowboys and Redskins come to mind - go rogue? It’s an interesting thought exercise to think that our cherished sports stability could come crumbling down at any time.
By the way, in case you were wondering who’s the babe in the top photo, that would be buxom British glamour model Keeley Hazell. As an added bonus, here’s a few more racy shots to get your motor running: