The new Nuvolari


I was interested to read Ken Tyrrell’s recent estimation of what his team might have achieved if they had kept Benetton sponsorship, having won that company’s first Grand Prix and Tyrrell’s last. A poignant consideration, in light of Flavio Briatore’s widely publicised speech on racing’s wrongs.

Surely Mr Briatore should be more reserved than to shoot-off all his excuses for Benetton’s lack of success in their own right, as an Fl constructor, all in one go? Or was he simply revealing that he has motor racing at heart (and even less knowledge of it than he himself confesses)? Current Grand Prix designs either win lots of races or none at all. Benetton has been stirring one win a year too long

to show ‘potential’. The car is better than that and should show success accordingly. Keep in mind the two most recent wins. At Spa 11992) and Estoril (1993) the chassis and engine were outclassed by Williams, yet the Didcot cars were no better than second on both occasions.

Obviously then, Schumacher is something of a Nuvolari and has the ability to win without the best equipment. If the driver and car can’t be blamed for not providing more Senna versus Schumacher, as Briatore implies, surely the blame rests uncomfortably with the Benetton team manager himself? Some of the media may be satisfied to ponder such tedious absurdities as the fastest qualifier starting last, but the more perceptive of us recall that the four-time

polesitter and consistently fastest driver of 1991 was barely more than a midfield qualifier in Briatore’s team . . .

However much sparkle Patrese may have lost, if he has lost any at all that is, cannot account for his disappointing ’93 form. It was Briatore’s responsibility to see Riccardo was comfortable and settled within the team, yet he chose to squander the Paduan’s abilities all season long, for pie-inthe-sky hopes of replacing him with Mansell.

The Senna/Lotus period proved team success is not the product of running only one effectively competitive car. A team manager who knows his motorsport should have realised this by now.

Roy Barclay, Clacton, Essex.

coincidence that over later years I was to own many vintage Sunbeams myself, including a 1926 twin-cam. Indeed, I still have three, a 1923 24/60 ‘All Weather’, a 1921 24/60 with replica Super Sports coachwork and a 1927 ‘Long 25’ tourer. Like all of their marque, they are fine cars.

My aunt, incidentally, still lives close to the site, aged 90. John Logue, Hurray,

Orkney Isles.