If nothing else, F1 fans in the UK who don’t have (or want) Sky’s pay-per-view coverage will at least be able to watch events at Silverstone live courtesy of the fact that the British Grand Prix is one of a number of ‘protected’ sports events which must be available on free-to-air.
However, Lewis Hamilton is concerned at the fact that Sunday’s race is up against a number of other ‘big hitters’, the final of the Cricket World Cup, which could well see England in action, and the Men’s Final at Wimbledon. (Tomorrow’s action also clashes with Bob Dylan and Neil Young in London’s Hyde Park, but that’s another story).
“It is such a special event and it needs all the attention,” said Hamilton, who admitted that he “didn’t understand why they put the race on the same day as all these big events”.
“I guess a lot of people will be switching between channels on Sunday,” he added.
To be fair, over the years the British Grand Prix has usually clashed with the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, so it shouldn’t really make a difference this year.
“The British Grand Prix is the most special grand prix of the year given the sheer magnitude of it and just how many people come for the weekend, and how many British flags you see around here,” he said of his home race.
“It really is a spectacular weekend. There’s excitement, there’s the adrenaline, there’s pressure… my whole family is coming this weekend,” he revealed, “it’s that one weekend where it’s the most special because you’ve got your family and closest support around you.
“I’ve been really privileged to come here and have some spectacular races,” he added.
Advised that this weekend he could become the most successful driver in the history of the British Grand Prix – he currently has 5 wins, as do Jim Clark and Alain Prost – Hamilton admitted that such records do not interest him.
“The fact that that’s even a possibility is quite unreal for me,” he said. “But I think it’s really important to put that kind of stuff out of your head and out of your mind.
“This weekend is not going to be easy for us,” he added, Mercedes coming off the back of a disappointing weekend in Austria, “so it’s about being diligent and making sure we’ve left no stone unturned.
“These cars all have sweet spots and all those sweet spots don’t always work at each track, but this has been a strong track for us in the past. So hopefully this weekend it will be a sweet spot for us.”