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Formula 1 News - July, 2009
F1 paddock losing interest as row keeps racing

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Jul.9 (GMM) It is not only the media and the fans that are losing interest in formula one's seemingly endless political crisis.

Reporters are scurrying around the Nurburgring paddock trying to get a grip on the latest round of hostilities, with the FIA, the commercial rights holders and eight rebel teams still very publicly grappling over future rules and governance.

But while keen to use the media to air their desired messages, unscripted questions are prompting lots of on and off-the-record "no comments".

As the prospect of a genuine peace accord ebbs and flows, it is impossible even for many specialist journalists at the Nurburgring to profess to be truly engaged in the process, with the memory of a similarly tumultuous Silverstone event just three weeks old.

"Things seem to go up and down all the time," Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen said on Thursday. "It changes every day. You lose interest reading these stories."

Politics are part of formula one, but if there was once some kind of balance, it has been lost. On Thursday, trying to understand the saga, one figure would offer an optimistic opinion, and the next would be grim.

BMW's Mario Theissen was a good example. In one media briefing, he made clear the breakaway plans have not been shelved, but then urged reporters to not "exaggerate" the merely "irritating" machinations of the past two days.

Clearer was his condemnation of Bernie Ecclestone, who is under pressure to offer yet another public apology when he arrives at the Nurburgring.

"Obviously wrong," said Theissen when asked about the F1 chief executive's interview with the Times in which he mused about dictators including Hitler.

"Disgusting," the German added, noting the 78-year-old's subsequent clarifications. "I have heard he will make some more comments as soon as he is here, and I think this is necessary."

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