My loyal reader will surely by now have noted my contempt for Formula 1. I have on many occasions referred to it as a boring procession, a view that has not always been shared by petrol heads. But now, I have come across conclusive proof that I was right. It is not just an opinion that F1 is boring and predictable: it is a fact.

Cynics like me have pointed out that most races are pretty well over after the first bend. The car that makes it to the bend first usually wins the ‘race’. The next 60 laps or so are largely an exercise in futility. Why not have the chequered flag before the second corner?

My prejudices are wholly vindicated by the revelation, if that’s what it is, that only one team outside the top three – Force India – managed a podium place last season. In 20 of the 21 races, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull hogged them all. The previous season, the same thing happened, with only Williams bagging a single podium place.  Put it another way: out of 123 podiums, only two podiums went to teams other than The Big Three. How on earth can that be exciting?

Put simply, for non petrol heads, F1 is not interesting. Your casual viewer – and I am a very casual F1 viewer – might tune in to the start of a race, watch Lewis Hamilton at the front of the grid, leading around the first bend, knowing the result several hours in advance. If you are looking for competition, look away now.

With F1 disappearing permanently to Pay TV from 2019, it is a near certainty that public interest in F1 will dwindle still further, as it has with both cricket and golf. Few people, other than the converted, will choose to shell out extra money to watch yet another procession. If it is virtually guaranteed that only six of the 20 F1 drivers will appear on the podium throughout the entire season, as it was in the last two years, who can blame them?