Excuse the play on words – all joking aside, our jaws dropped at the news that MINI have dropped their top driver, Kris Meeke, apparently to shave money from the expense side of the balance sheet.
What MINI evidently overlooked, however, is the significance of the talent behind the wheel. Millions are being spent on MINI’s World Rally Championship efforts – so shaving money from the most important performance factor beside (well, inside) the car makes no sense at all.
Worse still, it’s rumored that MINI will be giving up Meeke’s seat to the highest bidder in an all too familiar “wimpy rich kid gets the drive” show down – or should we say ‘slow down.’ Look no further than Formula 1 to see how sluggish most rich-kid drivers have proven. Still not bad enough news for your tastes? It’s been said that this race seat will be sold to the highest bidder on a race-by-race basis! So on the unlikely chance that MINI finds a rich kid who actually has talent – it won’t matter much because there will be no consistency behind the wheel, he’ll likely be dispatched by the next illegitimate kid in a golden jump suit.
MINI, we know you march to the beat of your own drum and like to do things differently, but this is the wrong kind of different. If you’re serious about your racing endevours, don’t play around with your drivers.
Meeke is still under contract and it’s possible that he will remain at the helm for testing and development purposes. But with such limited seat time it would be far more difficult to positively influence the car.
BMWBLOG is looking forward to the 2012 WRC season, but with some trepidation given the recent news.
Now excuse me as I make a phone call to some wealthy relatives…