Sunday , 23 September 2018
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his third British Grand Prix win (c) Daimler/AMG Mercedes F1

F1 needs tweaking, not re-building

For all the negativity around Formula One lately, Silverstone did serve up a cracker of a race. Great starts, accidents, safety cars, virtual safety cars, rain, rain stopping and more rain. It really did have everything.

Maybe someone should have told the 140,000 crowd at Silverstone about the negativity towards F1. The talk of boring races, a crisis in the sport, media being blamed for negativity, talk of needing to ‘uncrap’ the sport (thanks, Vijay Mallya, for that new word), it did not stop fans at all coming to watch.

It may have been the usual podium of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel – the sixth time this has happened in any order this season – but it was far from a usual race to get this result.

A very fast starting Williams of Felipe Massa got ahead of both Mercedes cars and then a mistake from Hamilton on the safety car restart allowed Valtteri Bottas ahead.

A strategy call from Mercedes allowed Hamilton back ahead of the Williams cars, while Rosberg came out a nose behind Massa but ahead of Bottas.

And, while Hamilton was comfortably ahead, the battle for second was intensifying.

Then the rain came. Williams, as everyone knows, struggle in the rain. But perhaps, more crucially, was Rosberg’s pace on a damp track on slick, prime tyres. The gap was just closing and closing to Hamilton, by as much as two seconds per lap.

And, then, the rain came. Again. Prompting everyone to pit for inters and Hamilton to extend his lead – thanks to a superbly timed pit stop. Vettel got ahead of the Williams pair and what seemed like it could have been a 1-2 for the Grove based side turned into a 4-5.

This was just the battle for the lead and podium. Many battles took place throughout the field.

Even when it is difficult to follow the car ahead, Silverstone showed it is possible. The gap between first and fourth, when Massa was ahead, barely extended above two seconds. Having faster cars behind helped, of course, but it is possible.

Sometimes, like in other sports, you get some boring races. In football, you sometimes get 0-0 draws.

But on other occasions, you get some 5-4 thrillers.

The demand for major changes to the rules in football is nowhere near that of F1. You can have the most boring 0-0 in football and fans complain, moan about the performance of their team, the referee, the opposition, the manager, other fans and the assistant referees.

And then they look ahead. There are no demands, for example, to make the goals bigger or add another football to the pitch if it is level after 80 minutes to get some excitement.

Sport is up and down. You have to take the good with the bad.

The British Grand Prix proved that Formula One does not need radical change. It is not perfect, and no one will say it is.

It is not completely broken and it does need some tweaking. But, much like fans in a 0-0 draw in football, a not so exciting race is a time to look forward, not back.

A few tweaks here and there are needed, not a complete overhaul.

 

 

About Jack Amey

Recent sport journalism graduate looking to break into the world of journalism. Usually found writing about Formula E or F1 opinion pieces here, or making a match day programme for a local club. Or looking for a job.

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