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Belgium 2008

8th September 2008

What is it about Formula 1?

How many other sports could stage a stunning event at arguably the world’s best venue, during which two of the superstars of the sport fight a titanic battle complete with passing, spinning, crashing and ultimate derring-do… only for a faceless group of exotically named politicians to render the previous two hours of excitement null and void?

Whatever one’s opinion of the Bus-Stop-to-La-Source incident on Sunday, we can all agree that the negative effect on the sport of what followed is disappointing in the extreme.

I know some misguided folk believe in the adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ but they’re wrong. On Sunday afternoon F1 was basking in a warm glow as the feel-good factor returned. By Sunday evening all was lost as allegations of collusion between Ferrari and the governing body engulfed the sport once again.

Much like a regularly concussed boxer, only so much of this will be tolerated before the paying punters simply give up. Formula 1’s ability to consistently shoot itself in the foot is quite bewildering, and something has got to change.

Regarding the incident itself, I think Hamilton may have been better served to roll into La Source tucked up behind Räikkönen, and, post-apex, race on once more.

Yes, by the letter of the law he did as required, but maybe it wasn’t really good form to immediately pass the Ferrari less than a hundred yards after he’d allowed Kimi back through.

When informed of the Stewards investigation, Lewis’s incredibly misguided response of “Well, you know what they’re like” could hardly have helped. And maybe a little more forethought during the race would have meant no recriminations were possible.

Whatever, the stewards would have served the sport well by letting the race result stand and imposing any penalty they deemed appropriate at Monza a week later.

One of these days the chequered flag is going to signal the end of a race – not the beginning of political farce.

Please now click on the ‘Formula 1’ link at the top of the page to enjoy my pictures from the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix.

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