British GP thriller a boost for Formula 1, say bosses

A thrilling British Grand Prix – with packed grandstands, new race leaders, a close battle for the win and mixed weather – has helped Formula 1 move away from talks of crisis, claim leading team bosses.

After F1 had faced weeks of mounting criticism about boring races and falling audiences, a sell-out 140,000 crowd at Silverstone witnessed one of the best grands prix of the season.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff asked: "Crisis called off?

"Sometimes these things just happen at the right moment. There were such great crowds out there and a race with all the ingredients necessary to make exciting races.

"There was Williams going like arrows, us not able to overtake, then the right calls, the right rain at the right time and the right winner."

Wolff is adamant that F1 has not been as bad this year as some have suggested.

"I don't share that we are always racing in front of half empty grandstands. We had great races like Montreal, which was full.

"Melbourne was full and Austria was good considering it was tiny place and we had 55,000 on Sunday.

"TV audiences are up in the last races in some of the major countries, but that is history. It doesn't matter.

"We need to work on how can we make it better all the time, to convince the critics that this is a great sport. And we did that [at Silverstone]."

Racing is key

Although British GP delivered a familiar result, Red Bull boss Christian Horner reckoned the race itself had been just what F1 needed.

"I think apart from the result the race was fantastic," he said. "It had a bit of everything. Williams making a good start added another dimension to it. You had four cars pulling away.

"We had a great crowd here, and the reason we had a good crowd here was because we had a British world champion. And Lewis obviously doing tremendously well.

"It is great we put on a great race for the crowd like that today and that is what we need to strive for: putting on good races, making the cars a really challenge to drive and that is what is being focused on for the future, which is the right approach."

F1 still 'phenomenal'

With F1's Strategy Group having pushed forward with a raft of changes for 2016 and beyond to improve the spectacle, Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams has no doubts grand prix racing has a bright future.

"I think we have had a great weekend of sport; not just today," she told Motorsport.com. "I think it is the whole weekend.

"The British public are hugely passionate about F1. It is wonderful to come to a grand prix and see the grandstands full, and have that atmosphere and the buzz that Silverstone has always generated. We need to make sure that happens at every race track.

"The items that are coming up on the agenda for 2016/2017, with all the regulations and what makes race weekends great and what is appealing for fans, we have time to work on them to ensure that when they come out it will be with a really great bang and revitalise the sport.

"We still have to remember and this weekend proves it that F1 is a phenomenal sport."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Track Silverstone
Article type Breaking news