Belfast Telegraph

A Grand weekend for the Beeb to have a blow out

By Billy Weir

What an incredible afternoon of drama at Silverstone as the British Grand Prix left us all shaking our heads and wondering how do we follow that.

Just how anyone thinks they will top Eddie Jordan's pink jacket accompanied by a pair of maroon trousers and a white shirt covered in little pink blobs is beyond me.

David Coulthard tried his best, also plumping for the purple trousers look, although they were so tight he could have saved himself a fortune and just stood in a vat of Ribena for a couple of hours before arriving.

But red, white and blue were the real hues of the day, pomp and circumstance abounded and what the sport really needed was a day of breathtaking racing and an end to all this hot air about tyres. Ah well.

The hopes of a nation rested with Lewis Hamilton and Suzi Perry had no qualms about nailing her colours firmly to his mast saying he was "top dog in practice but how would he fare with the top guns of the Red Arrows?"

Very well as it happened, as he and Coulthard took to the skies with the RAF's finest for an entertaining interlude and the magnificent men in their flying machines returned to earth unscathed. Clearly Romain Grosjean hadn't been cleared for take off.

Given Jenson Button's record this season it was no surprise that he remained seated in the departure lounge but he did join Coulthard for a tour of Silverstone as JB does GB with DC. OK.

This involved them talking about the track and transporting themselves in Rentaghost-style to various corners. What's that you say, a big, sharp, kerb? It'll be grand.

There was more drama in the build-up with Paul Di Resta making history as the first Scotsman ever to be penalised for being underweight and commentator Ben Edwards remarking that Hamilton had left McLaren, the team he grew up with. A wise choice, as a Maclaren buggy would be quicker at the minute.

There were to be tears though, with wee Lewis off to a great start and all going well until there was more rubber flying about than in a fight at a S&M club, although we didn't see it live as were engrossed in the battle for 10th position.

Nice to see all that extra practice time for Mercedes and Pirelli paid off.

Still, it would hardly happen again. Only it did and kept on happening but it did make for great action as the cars bunched up and there was that rarest of all commodities in F1 – racing and overtaking.

It seemed to have an alarming effect on DC, although he may still have been a little cloudy from his spell in the clouds, as he responded to the radio call of Nico Rosberg's engineer of 'box, box, box.'

"Nico's engineer is clearly a fan of Lionel Richie and the old, once, twice, three times a lady because he told him three times," he said, but what he hadn't heard was Nico replying after the first one, 'hello, is it me you're looking for?'

It was and when Sebastian Vettel's gearbox was banjaxed (stop me if I'm getting too technical), Nico was dancing on the ceiling as he came home easy like a Sunday afternoon to clinch Mercedes' first win on British tarmac since Stirling Moss in 1955.

There was to be a British winner of a Grand Prix though at the weekend, as Mo Farah showed what could be done in Birmingham at the Sainsburys Grand Prix.

In reality this was a leg of the Diamond League, although without any major stars from anywhere else in the world, but it 'really is a cracking line-up' insisted Denise Lewis.

Then again having spent Saturday evening by inflicting Your Face Sounds Familiar on a world that already suffers enough, anything she says will have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Unlike Mo, she did not top the podium, although it was unlikely he would have been outpaced by dead Heather from Eastenders or dead loss Bobby Davro in the finishing straight, but there was a definite tension in the air.

It was more off the track than on it, Gabby Logan returned as presenter meaning Jonathan Edwards was sent back to where he should be, his sandpit, where we got to see that long jumper who won gold on the night when Mo and Jessica Ennis were victorious at the Olympics.

You know who I mean, nice chap, ginger hair? No, I can't remember his name either, but he came second while Gabby fumed that ITV had dared to make a Saturday evening programme even worse than Splash!

But, unlike Your Face Sounds Familiar, we ended on a high with the 5000 metres.

So, countless laps of nothing happening and then Mo sprinted clear to win.

Thank goodness his trainers weren't made by Pirelli.

Belfast Telegraph


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