It is unlikely that many of the motor racing enthusiasts basking in the Silverstone sunshine and enjoying a thrilling British Grand Prix on Sunday gave a moment’s thought to an obscure four-year-old European court case involving a Slovenian farm worker. 

But Motor Sports Association chairman David Richards was thinking about it, as was the most important man in world motorsport, Jean Todt – and, after meeting with the aforementioned pair at Silverstone on Sunday, so too was our government's very own transport secretary, Chris Grayling. 

The subject is important to the sport’s most influential figures because changes to the law resulting from the case threaten to drive up the cost of competing in motorsport, particularly at a grassroots level, and add layers of complexity that could cause some forms of club competition to cease completely.

The case in question – Damijan Vnuk versus Zavarovalnica Triglav – dates back to 2014. Vnuk, a farm worker, sought compensation for injuries sustained when he was knocked off a ladder by a trailer attached to a tractor that was reversing across a farmyard. Vnuk’s argument was that the insurers of the tractor should compensate him. The Slovenian court disagreed because the incident occurred on private land - but the European Court reversed the ruling.