Belfast Telegraph

Biting back: Silverstone set to dominate our screens

On home ground: Lewis Hamilton
On home ground: Lewis Hamilton

By Phil Duncan

The eyes of the sporting world will be fixed on Silverstone this Sunday when the iconic Northamptonshire circuit plays host to the British Grand Prix.

There is no World Cup, nor European Championships this summer. Wimbledon is a week later, too, meaning the men's singles' showdown will not clash with the Formula One race. The Ashes does not get under way until Wednesday.

Round nine of the F1 championship really should take centre stage on Sunday with 140,000 petrol heads expected to descend on the track.

Yet the build-up to the race has been eerily subdued.

Formula One finds itself in a bit of a pickle this year. The racing has been tepid, the results predictable.

Either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg, in an oh-so dominant Mercedes, have won all but one of the races this term. The Mercedes pair were also triumphant in 16 of the 19 races in 2014.

While Silverstone is braced for record crowds this weekend, the same cannot be said around the globe. Spectators at the last race in Austria were down 40 per cent on the previous year. The grand prix circus was scheduled to park up in Germany in a fortnight's time, but that race has been cancelled. The interest is not there, and nor is the money.

The solution is not an easy one, but a noisier, quicker, more competitive formula would be a good start. F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, and the show really needs to start reflecting that.

Belfast Telegraph


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