Posts Tagged: Recognition


Tuesday 6th January 2009

Lewis Hamilton. Damon Hill. Nigel Mansell. The last three British winners of the F1 World Drivers Championship. Hill and Mansell got OBEs, Hamilton got an MBE. They also both won Sports Personality of the Year for their title-winning seasons (and their not-quite title-winning seasons in 1994 and 1986), and both of their titles (1996 and 1992, respectively) came in Olympic years.

Rebecca Adlington – the girl who won 2 golds in swimming at the Olympics – got an OBE. I’m not sure how winning two golds is a bigger achievement than winning the WDC, but there we are. Chris Hoy got a knighthood, and I really don’t understand that; Steve Redgrave got knighted after 5 golds in 5 olympics, something which really does deserve a knighthood.

Sir Chris Hoy. Ron Dennis CBE. One won a few medals, the other runs a team which – amongst other things – has been at the forefront of the sport for the last 25 years, won 162 races and 17 World Championships, and become the second most successful team in the history of the sport (behind Ferrari, who have been there since 1950). I’m not saying the Olympians aren’t deserving of honours, just that it all seems a bit unfair.

Britain is the best country in the world for motorsport. We have the best teams and some of the best drivers. Our national championships are regarded as the best and most competetive in the world; if you want to make it in motorsport, you come to Britain. As such, there’s a massive industry based around the sport, employing thousands of people and worth a hell of a lot to the economy. Also, motorsport benefits the country in terms of the engineering skill it breeds and that spills over into other industries, especially the Automotive and Aeronautical industries.

The Olympics in 2012 is costing a huge amount of money, and will probably not have a massive benefit to the country. After this year, Britain is at risk of losing its F1 race, partly because the Government refuses to put any money into it. They’re more than happy to spend untold billions for the Olympics, but not a few million for a race which highlights something we’re actually good at. We’re the most successful country in the world in the sport and the industry undoubtedly benefits us, yet the Government won’t support it? Stupid.

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