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Not all the news from the British Grand Prix was made on the track.
Carlos Sainz’s win at Silverstone was certainly the biggest, but not the only, story to come out of Silverstone.
Among other tidbits, we found out that Tom Cruise’s mission in Britain was possible, Daniel Ricciardo is getting in on the TV action, and Sebastian Vettel channeled his inner Nigel Mansell.
Here are some of the off-track stories you may have missed from the British Grand Prix:
There were a throng of VIPs at Silverstone—though maybe not quite enough to rival Miami—including actor Tom Cruise, who turned 60 on race day and celebrated the milestone by flying in to watch the British GP.
Actor Damian Lewis, chef Gordon Ramsey and Liverpool soccer star Trent Alexander-Arnold were among the high-profile celebrities checking out Formula 1. There was also a brilliant rendition of the British national anthem by Eurovision hero Sam Ryder, a chap who bears a partial resemblance to a free-spirited version of Valtteri Bottas.
Formula 1 is swamped by prospective race promoters as interest booms post-pandemic.
Spain’s capital Madrid is the latest to show an interest in hosing Formula 1 and has taken the unusual step of going public very early into proceedings. In a letter written in late June, and published by the Government of the Community of Madrid, Minister of the Presidency, Justice and Interior Enrique Lopez outlined the city’s ambitions.
No time frame or location was outlined in the letter. Formula 1’s Spanish GP has been held in Barcelona since 1991 and its contract runs through 2026. Madrid last welcomed Formula 1 in 1981 at the purpose-built Jarama circuit, which is no longer fit for top-level competition.
Formula 1’s popularity has boomed in recent years, with Drive to Survive facilitating proceedings, while Lewis Hamilton is co-producing a film starring Brad Pitt. Now Hulu is getting in on the act. The streaming service, majority owned by the Walt Disney Company, has roped in Daniel Ricciardo for an upcoming series.
“Basically it’s going to be a fictional F1 TV series, so think like Ballers or Entourage in the world of F1,” Ricciardo explained. “I’ve teamed up with Temple Hill who know what they’re doing in their field, so I have got my full trust in them. I’m going to act as executive producer but basically going to try—where I can—to steer the ship a little.
“It is fiction but I’ll try to give as much input that it stays on course and doesn’t go too far away where people go ‘OK, this would never happen, blah blah blah’. So I’m going to try and give the best advice I can when I can.”
The series is in the process of finding a writer and Ricciardo is hopeful that casting can begin at the end of the summer.
Several Formula 1 team members had their journeys back from the previous event in Canada severely disrupted after they were removed from the flight by Air Canada.
Flight AC866, which this writer was aboard, was delayed by a couple of hours, but everyone boarded and was ready to go. At which point 25 passengers were removed at random. Cabin crew had a list, and police enforced that list. Among them were team personnel from Red Bull Racing, Aston Martin and Williams, including some who had to be awoken to be removed from the plane.
The affected team members were given no explanation immediately before later being told that they had been disruptive. This was not the case.
Air Canada then offered an excuse that some passengers were not complying with mask regulations and continued this narrative for a few days. Eventually, the airlines conceded that some passengers were mistakenly forced to leave the flight.
The affected team members flew home the following day.
Has anyone ever gone from Formula 1 to dune buggy racing? Probably not.
That’s the path currently being taken by the exiled Nikita Mazepin. The 22-year-old was set to enter year two with Haas in 2022 but was pulled from the seat after Barcelona preseason testing due to Russian’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine and Haas’ ultimate dropping of his Russian sponsor.
Mazepin and father Dmitry, owner of the Uralkali company that sponsored Haas and close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, have since been sanctioned by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Mazepin has previously outlined his desire to return to Formula 1. While he waits to pursue that ambition, Mazepin is instead turning his attention to the Silk Way Rally, where he will compete for the Snag Racing Team. The off-road rally raid event begins in Astrakhan on Thursday and concludes in Moscow after 10 stages in as many days.
A post shared by Albon_Pets (@albon_pets)
Pets and the internet go hand in hand. You’re never more than a few clicks away from cute animals, or animals being daft.
For years, Alex Albon’s family has run an extremely popular Instagram account called Albon Pets, charting the plethora of animals that live with them, lovingly dubbed the “Albon Zoo.”
For the Silverstone weekend, Albon produced a special one-off lilac helmet, around the top of which were cartoons of the pets: eight cats, one dog and a horse. They are named Tino, Moomoo, Gucci, Looky, Frooky, Tinky, Horsey, Sasha, Duckie and Goosie. Oh, and Horsey is not the horse—that’s Tinky.
Will a helmet ever beat Albon’s for ingenuity and cuteness? Probably not.
“I like purple, lavender, it’s summer, British vibes,” said Albon. “Everything’s pretty standard until you get to the top—it’s Albon Pets… I have a few pets! Yeah, 10, they’re all on the top of the helmet.”
Unfortunately for Albon the lid did not bring him much luck as his race came to a close in the first-turn accident.
David Coulthard, who won 13 Grands Prix during his F1 career, has partnered with Czech businessman Karel Komarek to launch the More Than Equal foundation, which aims to find and develop the first female Formula 1 champion.
Komarek is the founder of the investment group KKCG. Renowned high-performance coaching group Hintsa Performance are also involved in the project.
“I always believed my sister Lynsay Jackson had more natural racing talent than me but I was given the support towards a Formula 1 journey and she was not,” said Coulthard. “To succeed, talent needs early nurturing and I’d like every ‘Lynsay’ out there to have the, same opportunities as men in the fight to reach Formula 1 and win.”
Formula 1 has not had a female racer in decades while Susie Wolff was the last woman to drive Formula 1 machinery at a Grand Prix weekend when she participated in practice for the 2015 British GP with Williams.