Editorial, April 2001

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

There used to be a time when Ferrari couldn’t hit a barn door from three paces. They were publicly loved, privately ridiculed — all that money, all that failure. These days, though, they run like a Swiss timepiece, fabled Latin temperament subjugated to the process of winning. Right now, they just can’t miss — as Herr Schumacher proved in Australia.

Formula One without Ferrari, heroic or chaotic, is unthinkable. But it was a distinct possibility 28 years ago, when I attended my first grand prix. The trip was a sixth birthday present. It was a gift akin to the Hornby 00 or Scalextric a father buys his new-born son — or daughter — but handed-down tales of motor racing meant I was on the edge of my seat (we stood, actually, adjacent to the Copse braking area) come race day. I was straining to see the Ferraris — and the BRMs.

Little did I know that both teams were in a slump. Ferrari, riven by industrial action back home, entered just one car for the 1973 British GP, to be driven by a disenchanted Jacky Ickx. I am pleased to say that in between sight-bites of black-and-gold Lotuses, Frank Gardner’s Wagnerian Camaro and a stardine shunt in a single-seater support race, I can picture the Belgian star’s gold-wheeled Ferrari shimmering over the rise to Maggotts. He finished a distant eighth, and his second spell with the Scuderia only had one more race to run.

Ferrari’s batten-down-the-hatches approach made sense. Regroup. Assess. Act. And in 1974, they were one of the top teams again, winning races, challenging for the title — a remarkable turnaround, when you come to think about it.

BRM sent three cars to Silverstone, at a time when two-car teams were the norm. Such practice was not unknown at the time — McLaren memorably had an extra car for Jody Scheckter that race — but what was different was that this was BRM’s idea of battening down the hatches. They had regularly run four, even five cars, the previous season. This grapeshot tactic was a desperate bid to raise revenue (Marlboro’s first Fl deal had a strong performance-related element to it) but it bankrupted the team — in terms of human resources as much as financially. They soldiered on, almost in denial, until 1977, but there was to be no Ferrari-like turnaround. Formula One without BRM, chaotic or heroic, was unthinkable. But it was reality.

Like Ferrari, BRM were loved and ridiculed. Like Ferrari, they were prone to theatrics. Like Ferrari, there were times when, and tracks where, they just couldn’t miss, and times when the barn was as safe as houses.

Big egos, tall stories, stranger-than-fiction truth, BRM was this country’s Ferrari. It’s a shame they went under, not Down Under.