#F1 History: San Marino Grand Prix – 25th April 1982

Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Carlo Carluccio

– 1982: Imola – A legendary race

Editors note: This article was submitted as an OTD however it was felt that it would be better as a historic feature.

The spectacle: On this day thirty two years ago two Ferraris lined up third and fourth on the Imola grid. Rene Arnoux had set pole position with a 1’29.765 – half a second quicker than his team-mate, Alain Prost. Gilles Villeneuve followed with 1’30.717 and Didier Pironi started from fourth with 1’32.020.

Arnoux converted pole position into the lead when the lights changed to green and before the Ferraris had reached Aqua Minerali they had overtaken Prost. By the seventh lap of the race Arnoux was four seconds ahead of the Ferraris but Prost had retired with a blown piston.

The Imola track was always known for it’s high fuel and brake consumption which meant different race strategies playing out continuously and Arnoux pulled several seconds ahead. Villeneuve and Pironi began to close the gap to the leader and Didier led Gilles between laps 22 to 25 before the French-Canadian regained second on lap 26. On the following tour Villeneuve surged through for the lead with the tifosi screaming out their encouragement.

For four laps a red car led in Italy before Arnoux retook the lead once again. With his boost raised – he pulled away from Gilles and on the 35th lap Pironi was through to second in his chase of the Renault.

Pironi made little impression on his fellow French driver and Villeneuve took up the cudgels on lap 41 as he retook second position.

Two laps later – as the cars accelerated out of the Tosa hairpin – brief puffs of smoke were emitted from the rear of the yellow car and as they began the 44th lap Arnoux slowed and the car erupted in flames as it entered Tamburello with a blown turbo.

When the Ferraris raced into Rivazza for the forty-fifth occasion, Villeneuve made a mistake and went off the circuit which allowed Pironi through. They had fifteen laps remaining of the race and third placed Alboreto was forty-five seconds behind.

At the completion of the forty-sixth lap the Ferrari pit crew displayed both pit boards. Pironi’s clearly showed a number two beside it, his lap time of 1’37.8 and the word ‘slow’ whereas Villeneuve’s displayed the number one beside his name, the previous lap time of 1’38 and, again, the now legendary ‘slow’ instruction.

On the forty-eighth lap Villeneuve passed Pironi into Piratella and led for four laps before being demoted once more into Tosa with Pironi assuming the lead until Villeneuve passed him on the penultimate lap.

On the final lap Villeneuve remained on the left hand side of the track so as to secure the inside line for Tosa but Pironi swept past and pulled immediately in front. For the remainder of the lap the body language of these cars was tangible, Pironi defending on unusual lines and Villeneuve sniffing out any opportunity.

8631490_origOn the slow down lap Pironi was jubilant and celebrated by removing his helmet and waving to the Italian crowd. Villeneuve was sullen and refused to accompany Pironi and Alboreto during the post race parade lap.

Those were the TV images which the rest of the world saw transmitted from Italian soil. To be honest not that big a deal at the time but in the thirty-two years since – those images have been re-written into words by countless journalists with their own views and agendas.

The Aftermath: Immediately after the race Villeneuve refused to talk to the Ferrari team manager, Marco Piccinini, and had to be persuaded by his wife to mount the victory podium.

1982_imola_2“..he was there looking like the hero who had won the race and I looked like the spoiled bastard who sulked… after the race I thought everyone would realise what had happened but no. Pironi says that we both had engine problems and there were no team orders. And what really pissed me off was that Piccinini confirmed that to the press saying there were no team orders. My engine was perfect and there were team orders.”

“When Rene blew up at Imola I took the lead and we got a ‘slow’ sign from the pits. You get a ‘slow’ sign and that means hold position. I had been in front of Pironi when Arnoux dropped out. If it had been the other way around, tough luck for me..”

“People seem to think we had the battle of our lives! Jesus Christ! I’d been ahead of him most of the race, qualified a second and a half ahead of him. Where was my problem? I was coasting those last 15 laps. He was racing.. I guess it looked like I was mad at finishing second. Okay, I’d have been mad at myself for not going quick enough if I’d be plain beaten. Second is one thing, but second because he steals it, that’s something else.”

This writer has developed a cynical view of mainstream journalists in general but I have found the British F1 professionals to have questionable ethics when it comes to impartiality.

For any historical story to be written, there has to be research of facts beyond merely one expressed point of view. When it comes to the re-telling of the Villeneuve legend, most people will turn immediately to a brilliant biography written by Gerald Donaldson and a book and articles written by Nigel Roebuck. It is here that history gets blurred by both journalistic opinions and rose-tinted glances.

Care should be taken with both these works because Donaldson is a Canadian journalist and Roebuck was a close personal friend. In a court of law this would normally be viewed as a ‘conflict of interests’. Their representation of the facts also manipulate people’s views of the two protagonists. Roebuck would later develop a friendship with Alain Prost and his biased support was never more apparent than his constant critique of Ayrton Senna.

balestre1-lgThe political landscape: The 1982 San Marino Grand Prix meeting became a victim of the FISA/FOCA war that had been simmering for some years.

The Federation Internationale du Sport Automobile was headed by Jean Marie Balestre – a tyrannical pseudo dictator – that represented the interests of the ‘Grandee’ manufacturer teams made up of Ferrari, Renault and Alfa Romeo.

The Formula One Constructors Association – headed by Bernie Ecclestone – represented the interests of the ‘garagista’ British teams and the decision was made to boycott the Italian event. Tyrrell were the only FOCA team that entered the event as they had considerable Italian backing and were not willing to lose their funding after a sparse financial season the year before.

The British media understood where their favours lay and allied with the English teams against the French autocrat. By association any French team or driver was viewed with cynical disdain. Rumours were stated as truths in regards Balestre’s wartime association with both the French resistance and the invading Nazi forces – and when the French government’s backing of the Ligier team was also offered in evidence, the distrust of the French quarter was complete.

The cultural divide: After Villeneuve had won the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix, he attended a gala evening held for the race winner. A few weeks later he was presented with a photo of himself with Sean Connery. He remarked to Roebuck: “Hey look, a hick from Berthierville with James Bond!”

He is also offered up as perhaps ‘the most disarmingly honest man‘ the writers have ever met. Yet he was 32 when he died despite having claimed throughout his life being two years younger. Revelations in the book about extra-marital liaisons are also brushed over with a ‘what happens in Vegas..’ attitude with colleagues involved in the duplicity.

In Donaldson’s biography Pironi is described as: “coming from an entirely different background, he lived well in Paris and enjoyed a sophisticated lifestyle. A Parisian that studied engineering and gained a science degree and his destiny was to take over his fathers ‘prosperous’ construction business which employed 300 people.

Money was never a problem for him and he always had the best equipment. A thoughtful, somewhat aloof and introspective man who took his racing very seriously and was very hard-working.”

PHOTOS_DIDIER_PIRONI_409After Imola, the author wrote that Joann – Villeneuve’s wife – had had reservations about Pironi. Her observations of the man were he was politically motivated and something of a schemer. The fact that they hadn’t been invited to Pironi’s wedding made her even more suspicious and undoubtedly Piccinini being his best man would have raised alarm bells.

The image of the French is not particularly favourable around the world and Parisians definitely less so.

My fiancee and I spent a weekend in Paris a few years ago and despite the obvious beauty of the city we were left profoundly unimpressed by the locals. A chance meeting with a French client a few weeks later highlighted a problem I had never appreciated when I mentioned I’d been in her country a few days before.
She urged: “Paris? Oh please don’t judge the French by Parisians – they are the rudest people in the world!”

Personally I despise the use of cliches… it’s always so difficult to explain to people that although I eat a lot of pasta and ice-cream, drink a lot of espresso, sing opera from my renaissance styled apartment, chat to my Godfather whilst playing a violin, arouse the fairer sex with whispered words of Italian – all whilst driving my humble Fiat with Ferrari stickers on the bodywork – it is so.. well, you get my point.

Evidence debunked: Villeneuve had mentioned after Imola that he understood team-orders from the 1979 Italian Grand Prix. He had dutifully sat on Jody Scheckter’s tail the whole way: “knowing that this was my last chance to win the World Championship. I hoped like hell he would break! But I never thought of breaking my word. I know all about team orders at Ferrari.”

What Villeneuve didn’t say was that in 1979 at Monza – Ferrari were fighting a superior Williams for the title. Villeneuve would have had to win the final three Grand Prix to have taken the title; whereas Scheckter secured it in Italy. Earlier in the season the two Ferrari drivers had fought over race victories like ‘here’ in South Africa without team-orders.

At Imola, Ferrari had concerns over high fuel consumption and with the Renaults both retired they could slow their pace down and still take maximum points. The slow signal was most likely given to conserve fuel not to hold position. Irrespective of how Ferrari is viewed in the twenty-first century, Enzo Ferrari wanted to see his drivers compete. Team orders would only have been applied towards the seasons end.

Another fact that has been mythologized in this ‘tragedia‘ was that two days after the race Enzo Ferrari took the unprecedented step of stating that Pironi had misinterpreted the pit signals and he well understood Villeneuve’s disappointment. Enzo Ferrari was a brilliantly manipulative patriarch and would have known how to play both the media and his young warriors.

l43-enzo-ferrari-130814160214_big

He was also a little un-nerved by Villeneuve’s fame. He had hoped of having found a new Nuvolari and yet according to his friend Gino Rancati: “he thought that the Canadian had become an idol for the crowds and that his name had perhaps partly supplanted that of the man who had given him his mount.”

Final Thoughts: There are always multiple sides to every story and the vilification of Pironi was and remains appalling. He could not have predicted the tragic consequences that followed less than two weeks later.

Villeneuve captured the imagination of the public because of his driving style and what made him a legend also contributed to his untimely demise.

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26 responses to “#F1 History: San Marino Grand Prix – 25th April 1982

  1. “When it comes to the re-telling of the Villeneuve legend, most people will turn immediately to a brilliant biography written by Gerald Donaldson and a book and articles written by Nigel Roebuck.”

    What few people realize is the impact that John Hogan of Philip Morris had one the telling of the Imola tale, Villenueve had become embroiled in contract issues with Marlboro and Hogan had become very pro-Pironi because of that and he has long stated that there were no team orders and Villeneuve simply was catch sleeping by Pironi. There’s long been the belief that Marlboro, through Hogan,, who were now spending heavily on Ferrari, were pushing Ferrari to get rid of Villeneuve and it was only because of Enzo Ferrari that Villenuve was kept by the team. Who knows.

      • Gilles Villeneuve today is revered in Canada as one of the best F1 / race drivers ever, though most people would be hard pressed to tell you more than he drove for Ferrari and was killed in a race. And as time passes a lot of his reputation becomes more myth than reality. Funny though that as time goes on his son becomes more and more of a joke.

        To follow on concerning Marlboro and Villeneuve. Canada was one of the few countries that they were never sold in because Imperial Tobacco owned the rights to the name and wouldn’t sell the rights back to Philip Morris. Villeneuve got caught in the middle as Philip Morris and John Hogan saw little value in having Villeneuve promote the brand, especially as in 1983 Marlboro went from Ferrari driver sponsor to team sponsor and started to influence decisions within the team. The story goes that Marlboro wanted Villeneuve out and with FIAT wanting to reduce their costs for the team agreed. Only Enzo Ferrari’s intervention kept Villeneuve with the team. I’ve read that in several places and who knows whether it myth or reality or somewhere in between.

    • Interestingly, searching Google for “John Hogan” + Philip Morris shows the disclaimer at the foot of the page, “Some results of this search have been removed due to European data protection laws”.

      ???

  2. Yo, Carlo… as you know I’ve waited a loooooong time for you to write this. Well done, and thanks. Just a couple of small points…
    The occupants of capital cities around the world tend to consider themselves superior, first to their own nationals, and then, often, to other nations… so your point about Parisians was perhaps over-stressed.
    Your attack on Mr Roebuck (which, in itself, I don’t necessarily challenge) gives an impression that you don’t like him because he’s anti-Senna – which is another article… 😉
    As for Mrs Villeneuve’s opinion… well, my wife might not like you (purely hypothetical, of course) but my own opinion would not be swayed.

    To use a ghastly (but amusing) ‘football’ remark: “The boy done good.” 🙂
    – – –
    Just one question: after 46 laps ‘why’ was Pironi shown the number ‘2’ when he was at that point in the lead…? Was it ‘really’ just to tell them who was the fastest…? Did I miss something?

    • I have been waiting some time to get this published kind sir, unfortunately the calendar is no respecter of desire!

      I agree with you generally about capital cities with one exception I can think of but there may be others. In Italy it would be Milan with that superior attitude, Rome is merely the symbolic capital of the country.

      In regards Roebuck, I have never met the man and was reading his articles from about 1982 – long before Senna ever refused Lotus signing Warwick for the 1986 season which triggered the press’ bias. In Autosport he would write his weekly Fifth column but overwhelmingly I felt he had a superior view to his readership – similar in fashion to Joe Saward.

      He was never shy about promoting his friendship to the stars.. the worst part was that back in the 80’s after the demise of Grand Prix International there were no other F1 magazines in the UK and barely any coverage in the newspapers.

      Another who I found had the same attitude was Matt Bishop, couldn’t stand his work and it’s perhaps significant that he now works for Mclaren.
      I must say I like the idea of an attack on the press…

      Yes very interesting about his wife. By all accounts he trusted her opinion, except on Pironi before this happened. And business dealings which she never spoke about. Oh yes, and countless other things which he ignored if it didn’t suit him. If I had been editing his book I’d have asked the same question.

      I always felt she became like the Priscilla Presley’s caricature where the legend over-took any possibility of balance.

      As to the number 2 being displayed. I actually sat and watched the whole race off of youtube. I didn’t want my viewing to be influence by any written work and I was surprised by elements that occurred in the race. I felt it important for example to mention that Pironi had passed Villeneuve earlier, also that on the 45th lap Gilles made a mistake because history tells us only that Pironi duped him.

      But nowhere have I found what the 1 and 2 meant. Which I guess helps out the pro Villeneuve camp.

      • Surely Florence should be the capital Carlo? In the middle and so important in unification

        • There’s some merit to that. The problem is that before unification in 1861, Italy was a collection of countries and Rome was named capitol because of the Vatican church. All government is based in Rome but the money centre is in Milan.

          Even after unification, the church attacked the state and wouldn’t acknowledge Italy as a country. It took the intervention of Mussolini to bring peace to that situation by making the Vatican city it’s own country. It is why to this day, Swiss Guards protect the Vatican country, they are viewed as neutrals.

          Florence really is the cultural and art centre of Italy. Some obscure bit of knowledge picked up from a ‘Rough guide’ some years ago, there is more listed art in Florence than in any country in the world…

          I really wish I knew the country better.

        • I didn’t know that about Florence.. but I’m always surprised when the biggest cities are not the capital. Perhaps there are ceremonial capitals or purpose built capitals.. but I always think that people will feel the ‘classic capital’ will be the main city of a country. Imagine if the capital of the UK was still Colchester! People would still feel the capital to be London irrespectively.

          But the control exerted by the Church has always confused me, and yesterday here we had a little debate on it, after PM DC said we should be proud to state that ‘We are a Christian country’, followed by atheist scientists pointing out most people aren’t religious, Clegg saying we should dis-establish the church or the Queen as head of it.. so if the church can still be a part of the establishment here (where no one really cares), how can I be surprised that it is still a huge part of life for some in a country where it has been so for such a long time?

          I guess the role of Rome being ceremonial capital dates back to the Roman Empire.. we are the only ex-Roman country that doesn’t speak a Romance language, instead being invaded by the Germanic languages afterwards.. although Cornish was just made an ‘official minority language’, alongside the other Celtic languages. Remind me – it is ‘2014’ right?! We are making ‘progress’!?

      • There used to be a phrase: “Publish and be damned!” – forget the calendar… 😉
        There are always exceptions, but I can’t think of any off hand. Which one are you thinking of. There are a few (Rome/Milan; NY/LA) who argue amongst themselves, but are probably as bad as each other.
        I like your Presley analogy…
        As a ‘PI’ I’m still fascinated by the ‘1-2’ boards. You say they were shown on lap 46 so what boards were shown in the last thirteen laps. If they were intended to be ‘orders’ were there any following boards trying to stress the point…? If there were no subsequent boards then I would say Villeneuve was labouring under a misapprehension – which just might have been deliberate from the team… Who knows…
        I just had a wonderful thought of Enzo writing on the board: “Come on now, Didi. Don’t be silly…” 🙂 🙂 [Sorry to have Enzo and Christian in the same sentence…]
        I am reminded of the Ferrari/Arnoux debacle where the team seemed to prefer the truth to be hidden, and allowed any old myth to take over. When this incident started to declare Pironi was in the wrong, and then Gilles died… maybe it became: “The Truth is Dead – Long Live the Myth’…
        Perhaps it’s time to let it be… but thanks for your contribution.

        • I found this link, in Brazilian unfortunately but it shows the pit boards at 1’30’27 but sadly I don’t know if it was repeated instructions afterwards or if there had been any before, it seems an unusual thing to be filming..

        • It’s interesting to read a fresh viewpoint.. one thing that I always took into account was the laptimes from each lap in that last section. Villeneuve said something like “we would only go 1.5 seconds a lap faster when Pironi was in front, when I got back in front I would slow down like the pit boards said”, and that he thought the battle was “something put on for the crowd”.

          It’s fair to say he was unlucky in ’79.. as the ‘junior member’ he got that call to be 2nd at Italy.. and probably thought Pironi would get the same treatment in ’82. But for the tyre blow at Zandvoort, he would have been ahead on points, and his pace at Watkins Glen in the wet at the last event showed his speed. He would have been champion with an Alonso-like last 5 races of being no lower than 2nd every time out.

          He was ahead in the first third of the season, only for Scheckter to be ahead in the second third.. Gilles beat Jody 3 times in the first 4 races, with only one 2nd place finish in the next third of the season.. However mainly Jones and also Laffite would have been closer to the title fight without retirements from pole position, so an in depth look at the season would be interesting.

          I always felt Jody was lucky – to get the break at Tyrrell after Cevert died and his spin at Silverstone 1973 (or is that Depailler to be called up?), to take the title ahead of Villeneuve in 1979, perhaps even win on debut in the Wolf (don’t know much on that one). He did know when to call it quits though, perhaps like Hunt his goal being simply to win the WDC.

          • And of course Ligier needed Depailler with them, in the second half of the season, where they consequently went off the boil, and Williams emerged as the contenders to Ferrari.

      • I couldn’t agree more with Carlo’s observation of British journalistic arrogance, thinly veiled partisanship, and frankly I think one can trace a connection between off putting writing style and attitudes, and the absence of publications in the 80s. By the end of the decade Bernie shelled out for a contract publication.

        Now my memory of this is blurred, because this could have been my first job, in sales, but that week remains a beery blur. I forget the title, the editor even, and whether it was labeled “official” on behalf of FOM or the FIA. I had leaped at a job with the publisher, only to be poached away internally, to another title, which turned out to be possibly the most critical moment in my career, and I believe my instincts were fully functioning, to reckon that the manager who poached me would teach me more. If that magazine languishes in obscurity, the publisher was notorious for cutting corners on print runs and distribution. I’m only being consistent with every other past employee by not mentioning the publisher’s name. I know few bother to list CV entities, from twenty plus years ago, but I failed to find a single mention in LinkedIn or any other possible network. If you survived at that place, you definitely could either sell, or were a extremely political animal, so I’m a little surprised the name is entirely erased from collective memory, given how extraordinary were the sakes numbers, and it wasn’t a low profile outfit, at all.

        Point being, Bernie doesn’t put his hand in his pocket unless there’s a dire need he perceives. He felt obliged to fill a gap on the newsstand.. it was that bad.

        Little has changed.

        I agree Joe Saward has a image problem, at the very least, regarding his readers. But a lot of it is ill considered response to ad hominem attacks. I wish he’d stick one in it, rather than making a point of responding to the trolls. They get too easy a rise out of him. As a result, constructive criticism is difficult to convey. Which is a pity. This site itself is a response to the lousy journalism in F1, and I can tell you now, my late co founder would be tugging my hand away from the contract, as to anything F1, because of how the journalistic scene appears, despite… because… he was a rabid fan. Websites and writers slinging insults is downright unappealing. No, it is not a sign of professionalism, to engage in “educating” one’s readers of the state of the business, one way or the other. A good sub would cut that right out. You might let sales educate the advertisers, but readers must only ever be educated by their own initiative and observation. You are welcome to compete for industry awards, naturally. And if a magazine is good, flaming well *advertise it*. Yes: spend money on your product. I suppose it must seem illogical to some, to consume what you sell, but it is a simple fact that healthy businesses promote themselves, and advertisers, let alone the agencies, expect you to *participate in the market*.

        There is a awful lot plain bent in F1, and extramural journalistic squabbling is the image sponsors see now for a long time. One time possibly amusing spats, are now so clearly latent undercurrents, causing direct harm to sponsor perception. I have not spoken to any current sponsors, or, as yet, to anyone involved in recent lapsed sponsorship, but I believe there is a willful negligence of the views geld by those outside the F1 sphere, and it is beyond collision course correction, for some time.

        • Preface disclaimer: at no time have I professionally sold for any current F1 publication. Selling _individual_ titles is not my line for a long time, anyhow. Not do I have any active engagement, proposed or otherwise. I do, however, often look at the advertising business in microcosm, when I perceive there’s a opportunity that requires building. My career interest is aligned with analysis, wholesale, finance.. the business of selling a magazine individually is actually what I set out to avoid, though that’s a whole other story. I love selling. I do not love publishing sales politics, if that will suffice to say, despite I am often accused of being political. Not for here or now, or maybe ever, but *print* magazine advertising, especially, poses some very interesting math, and I long ago “pivoted” my application of academic interest.

          I admit I inadvertently overly emphasized the journalistic squabbling, as perceived by potential sponsors, because talk has perforce taken coverage as a starting point, when sounding out advertisers. But my impression has been very unfortunate, as to advertisers: whereas it would be more expected by me to struggle more to find interest in F1, and then a easier time if there is a common interest, now the common interest is affected by views on the journalism. It’s impossible to say to Joe, dint the nature of his website, not anything else, but a personal voice really is not significantly distinguished from a magazine, without a certain difficulty. I’m not selling for anyone, but I have picked up the phone to sound out a idea or two of my own, sample in the hundreds not thousands, so far. I sense there is a market out there, but it has to be created. You have to get out there in some kind of force, however small in numbers. I always see handling a campaign as a mind of order or battle, until the sale can happen, you need constructive depth regardless of numbers. To sell F1 advertising, now, requires a bit more precision and planning than my curious canvassing has afforded. That’s a understatement. In this instance I would scrap my direction finding and exercise a study of approaches. Thus farm I’ve only attained a idea of the next stage, not a executable plan. You can run a long way, with positive results, and not make a objective, all too easily. I’ll just say this: the state of journalism is more than distracting to potential sales.

          What a race! Brilliant, Ricciardo!

  3. Well written Carlo,i enjoyed the read.

    That was one of Pironi’s greatest drive’s,there was no doubt as to his intentions 10+ laps from the finish,Villeneuve was a sore loser indeed.

    • Thank you and I agree, his intention was obvious and so it should have been. These guys aren’t there to be friends, they are competitive animals and I can just imagine Enzo rubbing hands with glee as they fought.

      • I respectfully disagree; GV wasn’t one to be a sore loser – evidence of that being GV happily taking 2nd place at the ’79 Cdn GP behind Jones, so I’d lean towards the typical Byzantine bureaucracy that typifies the Scuderia biting him in the ass. Personally I don’t think there should’ve been team orders that early in the season, beyond the usual don’t-take-each-other-out common sense. The long-standing rumours of Williams and McLaren contract offers to GV maybe just that – rumours – but also may give some insight as to why he was so angry about what he felt was a betrayal by a team he pledged allegiance to.

        • That’s the problem with perspective and how journalists can re-tell a story until it’s accepted as truth. Ferrari never employed team-orders that early in the season.

          There is a link to an OTD I wrote about the South African GP in 1979 and the Ferrari’s raced each other for the victory. The only instruction any team gave their drivers was not to take each other out but if you remember the 1976 British GP, Lauda and Regazzoni hit each other and Lauda was chasing the title!

          I believe Villeneuve was naive and trusted Pironi to follow the slow signal but that may well have been placed for fuel saving rather than holding position. If Pironi was playing to the crowd he would not have been lapping quicker when he was ahead.

          As to the ‘rumours’ of contract offers from Williams and Mclaren, they had been played out on the respective teams pit-boards during qualifying sessions the previous year. He was killed at the next Grand Prix on the Saturday so its unlikely the contract offers had anything to do with allegiances.

      • +1 I think today’s article is your best, Carlo. It strikes directly at how fans can be so easily short changed, by the reports they read, and for whomever may be the latest generation of fans, I think this is critical perspective. Heck, even for those of us with our own memories, I find Carlo’s retrospectives and analysis increasingly indispensable reading.

  4. Pingback: Daily #F1 News and Comment: Friday 25th April 2014 | thejudge13·

  5. My god that was a wonderful racetrack,the run from the start finish line down to Tosa and then up the hill to Piratella was such a great spectacle.

    What a shame we dont have tracks like that anymore.

    • I wonder if with the strength of the cars in F1 now, it could be possible once more? If anything it is now more dangerous to drive in cars other than F1 (or bikes). Just last week, Jack Aitken flew on top of the car in front that braked early into Rivazza in FR2.0 in heavy spray.. the lack of visibility of any rear light made it happen just like Schumi/DC at Spa ’98.

      • The low nose cone regulations prompted discussion about what tests are important for safety.

        Before considering whether cars are safe enough to reclaim lost and challenging tracks or layouts, we need to evaluate the scope and nature of safety testing.

        As with so much else, it’s possible, but sure to be expensive.

        I think it should be attempted.

        I would live to think one might trade things like DRS for more attacking lines. I’ve the BBC feed tuned in the kitchen, and Coulthard just mused if DRS is not a handicapping element. Obviously, depending, such insight… (do they let EJ do his poetry thing for every race? Sky could cut that for a sneaky tongue in cheek campaign, and win subscribers’ business all the quicker!) I can’t help but despair of all the coverage.

  6. Thanks Carlo for the fascinating read – loved hearing about all the media/political/nationalist background to it all.

    Definitely a larger than life driver that died too young – always hard to differentiate the reality from the myth…

  7. An interesting read but the lap times at the end of the race totally back up Villeneuve’s version of events. There’s no way of escaping that no matter how hard John Hogan tries.

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