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Italy 2008

15th September 2008

A banner year

Following Sebastian Vettel’s impressive win on the sodden surface of Monza’s hallowed tarmac, the number of current Formula 1 drivers to have stood on the podium’s top step reached the impressive tally of 12. This must be some kind of record.

As unexpected as the young German’s win was, many people had predicted that this cheerful, popular, polite and fast race car driver would one day rise to the top of the F1 pile. And as the ecstatic ex-Minardi crew made their way to the best podium of the year there was untold delight up and down the pitlane as rival teams’ mechanics clapped, high-fived and hugged the jubilant winners.

In a sport that can often appear cold and unfriendly it was a welcome sight, and showed a warmer side to those who are often just a little too-cool-for-school.

As the season heads east we hear often about the demise of European races and it’s odds-on that there’ll be no British Grand Prix after next year’s event. Don’t for one second believe that we’ll all be fronting up at Donington in 2010. The whole exercise (in my humble opinion) is one of appearing to protect one of the six ‘Traditional Events’ and all merely political manoevring so as to enable another cash-rich country to join the grand prix parade of nations.

Expect planning approval rejections, safety concerns and more money problem headlines to blight the circuit’s F1 bid over the next year or so.

Silverstone’s ancient moustachioed buffers, meanwhile, will still have their heads in the sand, meaning a convenient excuse (for those that need it) is provided to drop the British race in favour of a shiny new über-circuit somewhere in the emerging world.

Personally I’m not against moving the season in an ever more easterly direction. I’m afraid, for all you dissenters, that’s the way the capitalist world works – and in this most capitalist of all sports it should come as no surprise.

Sayonara!

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