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Lewis Hamilton

When we wrote, in early 2010, a satire suggesting that Bernie Ecclestone might improve F1's racing by adding sprinklers to tracks (here ) we didn't expect that a few weeks later he would actually say he thought it was a good idea (but he didn't mention that we'd already put it forward). But the idea gained new impetus with the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix which turned out to be almost a proof of concept - and in doing so produced a race that, visually, looked more like the crazy days of 1970s and 1980s racing before sticky tyres and near-unbreakable downforce turned the sport into an engineering arms race that is at least as important as the driver's skill.

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Multiple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton is the poster-boy for anti-racism. He has put himself in that position and there is absolutely no question - the world needs good people to stand up and speak out against bad things.

However, his symbolism is misplaced and those that demand compliance with it are doing more harm than good.

If one could ever say that a circuit has a soul, one must, surely, say that about Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix for almost every running of that race since Formula One was born. And if a soul can be resurrected, to come alive and celebrate, Silverstone did just that. As the F1 circus rolled into town and set up shop, the biggest question was if this would be the last F1 at Silverstone and, even, if there would be a British Grand Prix after 2019. While the terms of the deal are secret, it is likely that the British Racing Drivers' Club, the owners of the former airfield and Liberty, the owners of F1, have done a deal under which the cost of running the race is reduced. The deal makes sure F1 comes home for at least the next five years. Then the grand old dame of F1 shed all her cares and woes and partied and what a party it was..

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While many recognised the successes of Michael Schumacher, he was never a hero to generations: his achievements were simply a target while those of e.g. Clarke, Senna and a handful of others were as much a matter of folk-lore as numbers. These, like Jenson Button and Filipe Massa had drawn adoration, even love. Lewis Hamilton currently holds pretty much every record there is to hold in Formula One but the status of icon eludes him. How come?

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