Silverstone boss wants Hamilton rivals to speed up

Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:11pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Silverstone circuit bosses want to see Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton pushed harder by his rivals ahead of July's British Grand Prix.

Hamilton's success this season, on the back of clinching his second title last year with Mercedes, has helped sell tickets for his home race but there could be too much of a good thing.

"My only concern is that if he wins everything by a country mile between now and July, if it becomes a procession, it damages the sport," Silverstone's new managing director Patrick Allen said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

"So it would be great if Sebastian Vettel could stir things up a bit."

Hamilton has won three of the four races so far this year, with four times world champion Vettel taking the other victory in Malaysia -- only his second race for Ferrari since moving from Red Bull.

Hamilton, who has started every grand prix from pole position so far in 2015, won 11 races last year including Silverstone.

Allen said Silverstone was 26 percent up on last year's sales but feared the sport might lose some fans with the current state of racing.

Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are the only teams to have won races since 2013, with the former winning 16 of 19 last season.

"We mustn’t lose sight of what the fans come here for, and they come here to watch their heroes in a gladiatorial sense, not a guy on a data screen. When it gets to that, we’ve lost the very soul of the sport," said Allen.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

Formula One - F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix 2015 - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Manama, Bahrain - 18/4/15.
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei