It was all too predictable. Within moments of returning to the Silverstone pits, Michael Schumacher had branded Damon Hill ‘crazy’ for the failed overtaking attempt which had ended the British Grand Prix for both of them. For his part, Hill felt that Schumacher bore a degree of responsibility. That it was just a ‘racing’ accident. The stewards, as has become common in such instances, steered a middle course, apportioning equal blame.
Certainly, there had been a gap. But a genuine overtaking opportunity?
Apart from presenting Johnny Herbert with a welcome opportunity to score his first Grand Prix success, the whole incident has thrown into sharp focus just how difficult it remains for F1 adversaries to pass each other cleanly. We saw it in France where Schumacher waited behind Hill until the first round of pit stops. rather than risking the type of manoeuvre which produced such negative results when Hill tried it at Silverstone.
Yes. the British Grand Prix was exciting for much of the afternoon, but on the evidence of recent Grands Prix it was very much an exception.
Ask the FIA why it is reluctant to change the shape of F1, and it will hide behind a wall of bar charts which indicate that the cherished TV audience is rising. One wonders what it might do to the TV ratings if the small screen was ever to show cars actually racing each other, rather than droning round in a colourful procession, with drivers afraid to overtake each other, and keeping their fingers crossed that a rival might strip a wheel nut thread during a pit stop…?