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Thursday, July 25, 2024

How Labour’s UK election win led to a last-minute Silverstone F1 podium change

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The change of presidency within the UK three days earlier than Components 1’s 2024 British Grand Prix meant a hasty plan needed to be put into motion concerning the Silverstone podium.

As is protocol for the British GP, a consultant from the UK authorities – normally a secretary of state – is invited to current the winners’ trophy.

Within the earlier three years because the COVID-19 pandemic so disrupted the normal celebrations on the finish of F1 races, Nigel Huddleston MP (then the Minister for Sport), Nadine Dorries and Lucy Frazer, the 2 earlier holders of the Secretary of State for the Division for Tradition, Media and Sport function who’re now not MPs, all appeared on the Silverstone podium to current the successful prizes.

This trio represented the Conservative Occasion that had been operating the UK since 2010, however as that authorities’s grip on energy started to slide approaching the tip of the earlier parliamentary time period and it was clear a change in governing social gathering was extremely probably given an enormous opinion ballot distinction between the incumbents and the Labour opposition, Autosport understands that figures in F1 realised invites for this yr’s British race may have to go to each events.

When final week’s common election was known as on 22 Might and polling day was set for Thursday 4 July – the Silverstone media day – it was clear {that a} new authorities minister was extremely prone to be attending the race, although they’d solely have been appointed days earlier.

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After Labour’s landslide win, the brand new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Know-how, Peter Kyle MP, appeared at Silverstone on Sunday and offered the well-known Royal Vehicle Membership trophy to winner Lewis Hamilton.

Kyle was joined in presenting the rostrum prizes by Lord Hayne, the Labour Life Peer co-chair of APPG (All-Occasion Parliamentary Teams) Motorsport group and David Richards, Motorsport UK chair.

Watch: British GP Race Evaluation – Hamilton Returns To The High

There was additionally a consultant of race sponsor Qatar Airways, whereas Hamilton obtained his first FIA president medal from Mohammed Ben Sulayem – his earlier most up-to-date win coming again earlier than that accolade was adopted in late 2022.

“A complete privilege to current Lewis Hamilton with the winner’s trophy in the present day,” Kyle wrote afterwards on X.

“A real champion who’s a credit score to his sport and nation. F1 drives innovation, creates unimaginable extremely expert jobs and boosts our fame world wide.”

It isn’t only for the British GP the place F1 has been working to create a relationship with the brand new authorities.

Autosport understands that senior F1 figures met Thangam Debbonaire – the then shadow secretary for DCMS – initially of 2024.

Debbonaire then unexpectedly misplaced her seat in final week’s election, with Lisa Nandy MP chosen as Labour’s new secretary for DCMS as a substitute.

F1 having a powerful relationship with the UK authorities no matter which social gathering holds energy is helpful for either side.

That is given the motorsport business’s price to the nation’s financial system is estimated to be north of £10 billion a yr, whereas the championship can be eager to keep away from forms complications concerning its numerous provide chains and fixed actions of the seven groups which are based mostly within the UK, plus the F1 organisation itself.

These issues have been among the many causes for the workforce principals of these seven groups and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali assembly Frazer, in addition to advisers to the earlier prime minister, Rishi Sunak, in Downing Avenue final July.

In one other current F1 and UK politics hyperlink, the Conservatives launched their doomed election marketing campaign’s manifesto from Silverstone on 11 July.

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