The
fireworks now going off behind the scenes at the Australian Grand Prix
Corporation that earlier led to the resignation of well respected PR
chief Geoff Harris is going to be a story well worth hearing if and
when Harris lets fly in the media. Presumably he will bite his tongue
in deference to the race being run before he starts to fire off any
detailed explosive salvos in the direction of his former bosses.

But
that might yet be a forlorn hope if either Nine or Seven wants to spoil
Ten’s Grand Prix party in advance of this weekend, by persuading Harris
to put his foot to the pedal with either A Current Affair or Today Tonight who are sure to be trying to inveigle him to do just that.

>Read about the manifest problems now confronting the Australian Grand Prix bosses on several fronts here:
http://www.crikey.com.au/columnists/2005/03/01-0004.html

Did the Bracks Government sweeten the Sydney Harbor Bridge PR stunt deal?

And
while on the subject of money could it possibly be true that not only
did Bob Carr and his city get the main kudos for the Mark Webber stunt,
but the Victorian Government actually pleaded with Carr to shut down
the bridge to make it happen, and agreed to meet the costs of the
exercise to the tune of around $400,000?

Also
there are clearly going to be a lot of unhappy high paying corporate
guests at Friday’s Grand Prix session, let alone the public paying
their hard earned when the F1 drivers are now mooted under the new
regulations to take their race cars for a spin that could be as little
as five laps and maybe no more than 10? Which is not only going to make
next year’s race an even harder sell on the Friday when punters wonder
why they bothered this year if it’s F1 action they crave, but the 2006
Commonwealth Games look certain to force the corporation to shift the
Grand Prix dates to either April or May next year.

That
date shift has yet to be agreed with Bernie Ecclestone, and must also
take account of other factors including major support – V8 Supercars
own 2006 racing calendar.

But what will
really concern the corporation and Steve Bracks, is losing the more
summery feel of this weekend’s race for patrons, which will now be
somewhat frostier next year in every sense of the word. This will also
surely have a significant impact on aggregate crowd attendance to
further exacerbate the race losses for the corporation and the
Victorian Government.

For an accident
prone motor sport continually at war with itself in and out of the
court room, and Grand Prix fans loyalty being stretched to the maximum
by the usual procession of one team and one driver dominating in recent
years, this weekend might merely seem like business as usual for F1,
but for how much longer can Melbourne afford to indulge such a circus?