Formula One still has a license to thrill

Mon Apr 7, 2014 5:02pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Those who feared the wheels were about to fall off Formula One had better think again.

The sport has come in for a fuel tank full of criticism lately, much of it self-inflicted, but Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix broke the negative spiral with a race that lit up the track in more ways than one.

The cars were too quiet and not quick enough, likened ludicrously to golf buggies with cautious 'taxi drivers' more preoccupied with saving fuel and sparing the tires than overtaking.

Listening to some people, racing had become boring and the glamour sport had lost its mojo. Or maybe not.

"Unless I am very much mistaken," as retired British television commentator Murray 'pants on fire' Walker would no doubt have opined had he been at the microphone on Sunday night at the floodlit Sakhir circuit:

"And I AM very much mistaken..."

After a dull race in Malaysia the previous weekend, Sunday was suddenly showtime again. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg seized the sport by the scruff of the neck and, in a superbly illuminated night race, gave it full throttle. And some.

They, and other team mates dueling down the field, demonstrated that the sport is still in full possession of its license to thrill and eager to use it.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain is sprayed with champagne by his team after his win in the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir, south of Manama April 6, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani