Of course, there’s room for improvement at the old airfield. As my family found, two hours to escape from the car park to the A43 was a sorry and all too familiar story. But what a day we had had. Silverstone’s current deal with F1, which has made the race viable for the circuit for the first time in decades, is up in 2024. But let’s forego the usual months of wrangling and fear stories about the British GP’s future – and don’t hold the climate-protesters incident against the circuit either.
It was fortunate that the race had been red-flagged when the track invaders put their own lives and others at futile risk and mildly surprising that they made it on to the Wellington Straight at all, given the stunt was expected. But such activists are determined and policing a site as big as Silverstone is far tougher than, say, a football stadium. Let’s not get distracted: F1 should just extend the deal now and be done with it.
Silverstone is more than F1’s spiritual home: it’s also among the best venues the championship travels to anywhere in the world. It almost makes me proud to be British.
The wrong Ferrari
You would need a heart of flint not to be cheered by Carlos Sainz Jr’s first victory at the 150th time of asking. The Spaniard is a lovely chap and a credit both to his old man and Ferrari. But he shouldn’t have won the British GP if his team is serious about winning the world championship this year.
We all hate team orders – of course we do. But there’s a reason why banning them (as the FIA once did on the back of Ferrari’s blatant use of them) just doesn’t work in motor sport.
Allowing Sainz and Charles Leclerc to race freely at Silverstone was refreshing, especially given past history – but it was also daft. Leclerc is the only hope in stopping Max Verstappen from winning a second title, and on a day when the Red Bull was struggling with floor damage, here was a chance to push the lead Ferrari back into contention. Instead, the team delayed easing Leclerc past his team-mate when he was quicker, then prioritised Sainz for a pitstop when the safety car came out because the Spaniard was on older Pirelli rubber. Left out on used hards, Leclerc was a sitting duck and slumped to fourth when he should have won.