It is either the most exhilarating sport in the world or the most boring two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Love it or hate it, Formula One is big business and continues to attract huge crowds and extensive TV coverage. The administrators of motor racing also have one of the most difficult jobs in the sporting world—trying to make sure each race and the season overall is competitive and does not just become a procession. The truth is that the richest teams with the biggest backers have the best designers and engineers and the fastest cars.


And when Michael Schumacher, the best driver in the world, is in the fastest car, little wonder that a tricky job is getting harder. Schumacher is a genius and his position at the top of the sport with the Ferrari team behind him looks impregnable. When anyone lists the all-conquering, dominant sportsmen of the world, the German has to be among them.


And the effect on betting turnover has been dramatic with gamblers, whether fixed-odds or spread devotees, shying away from races that they fully expect Schumacher to win in a canter at unbackably short odds. However, the 2003 season has seen significant changes made to the Formula One circuit in a bid to level up the playing field. And the two most important have been the way races are scored and refuelling.