Motor racing

Can the Lions prise open the strong Boks?

You would need a digger to explore the levels of irony in a Springbok chief slagging off an opponent’s dirty play. But that’s what Rassie Erasmus, the South Africa director of rugby, was up to when he used Twitter to question Owen Farrell’s choices of tackle technique. Fine and dandy and all part of the pre-Test build up to get the ear of the referee after the ferociously hard Lions defeat to a South Africa ‘A’ side. Yet hasn’t Erasmus got a point? Farrell has long had a taste for the high tackle and has largely got away with it. It’s going to be trickier now, I suspect, in what

Rugby must try harder

Remember those lazy, hazy, crazy days of last year’s rugby World Cup, when as perfect a performance by England as we are ever likely to see dethroned the All Blacks? England went through to the final 19-7 with a brilliant, nimble, free-running performance, backs and forwards in perfect harmony, and a dazzling display of skilful tactical kicking. Seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? Friends told me after the final, where England were made to look very ordinary, that the style of South Africa’s victory (despite Cheslin Kolbe’s exquisite winning try) could be the death of rugby: attritional forward play and relentless box kicking, gaining ground and forcing penalties. All

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