Most of the 10 teams are based in Britain, and the country's race at Silverstone is the best attended of any on the calendar, but F1's audience is mainly on pay TV.
"The VAR referee is miles away taking decisions on a lot of things happening here. Who is inside the game? Who feels the intensity and the flow? The referee here."
The England cricketer kicked off the year in the aftermath of a ban resulting from a fight outside of a nightclub but the biggest hits were yet to come. It was he who was at the crease when England won a dramatic World Cup victory over New Zealand in the summer and then defied Australia at Headingley to ensure the Ashes were drawn.
The Rockets star, who was runner-up in the voting in the past three seasons, was instrumental in the Rockets' run to a league-leading 65 regular-season wins.
The 32-year-old Scot suffered the injury playing for Britain in the Davis Cup last month and will also miss the inaugural ATP Cup team event across three Australian cities in early January.
An eagle-eyed photographer spotted that Barker is listed as Australian and not British on the list of champions whose names are engraved on the Suzanne Lenglen trophy presented each June to the French Open women's champion.
"I think in the context of what this country is going through with the bushfires and for us having to deal with perhaps slightly poor air quality, I think there is the perspective," he said.
Bizarrely, it was that day's losing side, Oldham Athletic, that recorded the biggest ever Boxind Day win some 27 years after their hiding in Tranmere. The Latics beat Southport 11-0 in Division Four on December 26, 1962, which remains a record.
Lewis Hamilton had to put his ambitions to be a Hollywood movie star on hold because he was too busy winning Formula One world titles.
James was a late addition to the lineup because of a groin injury that has hampered his play of late. James said treatment for the injury includes plenty of ice packs.