Formula 1

In defence of e-bikes

Identity politics Sir: Your lead article (‘On board’, 12 August) highlights numerous issues related to refugees, but does not offer much in regard to why this country is a magnet for economic migrants. You state that this is a rich country. How can this be the case when government debt is 100 per cent of GDP? Further, when we cannot provide adequate services in healthcare, education and housing, why should we take in migrants who cannot make an immediate contribution to the country’s tax base? The reasons that this country is so attractive are, firstly, the English language, which we can’t do much about. Secondly, we have an easily accessible

I’ve seen the future of motor racing, and it’s quiet

Are petrolheads’ days numbered? I only ask because having just been introduced to the quiet, petrol-less world of Formula E, I’m rather taken by it. Apart from anything else, part of the fun of spectating is making your feelings heard, which isn’t easy against the 130 decibels generated by F1 engines. The Formula E world championship arrives in London’s Docklands this weekend, weaving in and out of the ExCeL for races 13 and 14 of the season. That’s ‘E’ as in electric and plainly non-fossil fuel motoring is the future, though how soon isn’t clear. Formula E people think single-seat racing is a good way to promote it, and once

Zac Crawley, a cricketing giant

Crowds, Covid and sport: could it get any crazier? I don’t mind about golf: no idiots yelling ‘Get in the hole’ at every opportunity. But Formula 1 without a few thousand petrol heads going berserk is even more tiresome than usual: a minor wheelspin at the start, then Lewis wins. One-day cricket in an empty ground will feel a bit odd. Not even a lone voice abusing Steve Smith in the upcoming games against the Aussies. Sport as purely a TV event is pretty limited. A friend had missed the PM’s volte-face on letting small crowds into the Bob Willis games, so was turned away when he tried to buy

The magnificence of Carlos Brathwaite

We know about the endlessly jaw-dropping greatness of Ben Stokes (a peerage soon, surely), the furious power of a supercharged Stuart Broad and even Joe Root’s increasingly skilful captaincy. But another highlight of the brilliant Test series against West Indies was the presence of Carlos Brathwaite as a Test Match Special summariser and general benign presence. Always funny, astute, and thoroughly likeable, with the bonus of a magnificent voice, Brathwaite — the man who smashed Stokes for four successive sixes to win the 2016 T20 World Cup — has been a marvel. He even read the shipping forecast, and no greater tribute can there be in British broadcasting. Funny, astute,

Why Niki Lauda was considered the bravest man in sport

Formula One motor racing is the perennial, worldwide contest that most reliably gratifies hero-worshipping, power-worshipping, money-worshipping, technology-worshipping ghouls, and some others. The ghoulishness may be subconscious but it certainly seems to excite many spectators at every Grand Prix track, especially in foul weather, as drivers approach sharp turns flat out. If you heard of a Charles Addams figure standing in the rain on a verge of the M25, thrilled by the possibility of witnessing a devastating crash, you might consider him (or her) to be quite weird; but anyway, Formula One is universally popular, extensively televised and reported on asa respectable sport. Maurice Hamilton is a veteran enthusiastic and loyal

A Formula 1 doc for people who hate Formula 1

Some years ago I was invited to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone courtesy of a watch manufacturer. As freebies go it was one of the best: endless champagne, overnight in a posh hotel near the track (wife invited too), then a trip by helicopter so as to avoid all the frightful traffic jams. All was going swimmingly until the actual race… God, it was boring. Noisy too. You’re stuck in an elegant marquee with endless booze and as many gold-plated, jewel-encrusted lobsters as you can force down your gullet, but it’s impossible to relax or chat or enjoy yourself because screaming endlessly in your lughole is the ‘neeaaawwww’ noise