F1 TURNING A CORNER? British F1 fans cheer while Lewis Hamilton celebrates first place for Mercedes at the 2015 British GP. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
SILVERSTONE, England - Was a single exciting Formula 1 GP at Silverstone the perfect antidote to F1's so-called 'crisis'?
"Crisis called off?" Toto Wolff, boss of the dominant Mercedes team, said sarcastically after the British GP.
Amid calls for urgent change as the struggling sport bleeds fans, 140 000 spectators filled the Silverstone grandstands and grass on Sunday (July 5) as the Williams drivers, surprisingly, took on Mercedes might.
And a sprinkling of rain gave the 'show' yet another excitement boost.
Wolff added: "Sometimes these things just happen at the right moment as there was a race with all the ingredients necessary for excitement."
British newspaper The Times said even though it was a familiar winner at the end, Lewis Hamilton "wiped the scowl from the face of F1".
A correspondent for Germany's Suddeutsch Zeitung agreed: "140 000 spectators, one of the most challenging tracks, unstable weather, classic racing. The best remedy for crisis in Formula 1 is to bring the race to the 'home of motorsport'."
READ: As it happened: 2015 British GP
But one good race does not mean F1 is instantly healed, as even Wolff acknowledged: "We still need to ask how we can make it better so that we can convince the critics that this is a great sport."
Even Lewis Hamilton, the beaming winner, agreed. "There are still some things... their (the critics') views are probably still valid in many ways but I guess it's an indication for us not to throw our toys out of the pram and say everything's wrong."
Bild newspaper, for instance, said that though Silverstone was an exciting race the biggest problem was that the outcome is still "boring" with two two Mercedes ahead of the rest.
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene responded: "I would like to be as boring as Mercedes and always be first and second. The team deserves to be where it is but we are working hard so that the podium looks less boring infuture."
Watch British F1 fans make their way across the Silverstone track to watch Sunday's podium ceremony:
HAMILTON A 'TACTIC-GOD'
Another new ingredient on Sunday was Hamilton deciding for himself to pit for intermediate tyres, just as the rain was about to get heavier. Der Spiegel called him a "Tactic-God"!
Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda confirmed: "Lewis decided for himself 'I'm coming in'," so we can see that if the driver takes it into his own hands, he can win."
And, from the Belgian GP in August, drivers are going to be put increasingly in the spotlight, with the immediate banning of all such 'coaching'.
Hamilton would not even mind if reports F1 is set to replace qualifying next year with a 'sprint race' are true.
Hamilton said: "For the nine years I've been here now it's been the same, I would be happy if they freshen it up a bit and make it more exciting."
Sebastian Vettel, however, does not agree. The German said: "The GP should be the GP, and a qualifying race would take some of that away."
What is clear is that if there was a 'crisis' before Sunday, one race will not have solved it. Indeed, F1 should now be heading for the Nurburgring, but instead will take three weeks off because the German GP was axed.
But as Bernie Ecclestone observed to Die Welt newspaper: "It's a German problem, not an English problem."
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