Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Carlo Carluccio
– 1986: When Pirelli were the best
80’s fashion included wide shoulder pads, unusual make-up and crazy mullet hair; and that was just the men!
It was a time when PC meant personal computer, not political correctness and Formula One meant real men in real cars.
Men who could grow beards which covered all their face! Men who were not afraid of confronting one another on track or in person. Men who sweated during a race because changing gear, controlling traction with the right foot, turning the wheel without power assistance and generally driving 1,000 hp turbo monsters was an actual talent.
The latest F1 game includes a classic section but what exactly does classic mean to todays generation of computer gamers and F1 fans? The voice-over is someone you instinctively know never saw any F1 racing in the 80’s. “Kick to the spine when the turbo spools up!” What a joke!
These gamers will be using buttons on their controllers and not appreciating the real talent that used to pilot these cars. It is much the same with the actual cars built today, buttons and dials to perfect the electronics that excites geeks not warriors. The games are entertainment, a quick fix to relax during the evening but to observe people believing that this is how it has always been is to frown on a population that has forgotten to appreciate history.
Gerhard Berger and Benetton celebrated their first ever Formula One victory in Mexico 1986. His victory owed much to the fact that he didn’t have to stop for replacement Pirelli tyres, whereas all his immediate competitors on Goodyear had to replace disintegrating rubber throughout.
Mansell had arrived in Mexico knowing that a finish in front of Prost and Piquet would secure him the World Championship. Having qualified third behind Senna and Piquet, he found himself vainly trying to insert first gear when the lights changed to green. Senna and Piquet were followed by the remainder of the grid as Mansell finally got away.
Berger followed in third position before Prost relived him of the position on Lap 7 and the race settled in to a tyre conservation procession as drivers nursed their cars on full tanks. Mansell pitted on Lap 12 to replace his worn tyres and such was his rate of progress he would stop once more on Lap 36.
Of the leaders, Prost blinked first on Lap 30, followed two laps later by Piquet. Senna finally pitted on Lap 36 and Berger took over the lead.
Berger had been distinctly off colour before the race, ” I had a temperature and took some oxygen to make me feel better before the start. Once in the car I forgot about feeling sick and concentrated on the race, but I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going to stop and break my concentration. “
Piquet would stop again on Laps 44 and 52. Senna replaced his tyres again on Lap 46 which allowed Prost through to second where he nursed his car to the finish with heavily blistered tyres and an engine running on five cylinders fearing “that if I stopped for fresh tyres it might die”
Berger took the flag to claim a popular victory, for both the Austrian and the Benetton team who had deserved it for so long.
“It’s the best day of my life, along with the day my daughter was born,” adding, “I am leaving Benetton at the end of the year, and this was certainly the best present I could have given them.”
Oh, and in the 80’s, people could actually use taxis!