F1 retro: The Prince of Wales

Extraordinary tales from the Motor Sport digital archive


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F1 Retro July 2005

“His skin was totally burnt and blistered. He was in serious trouble — no doubt about it. But that was him — he just wouldn’t let anybody down.”

So says renowned Formula 1 engineer Trevor Foster, giving an example of the fortitude of his Shadow colleague Tom Pryce, sadly lost to the motor sport world at Kyalami 45 years ago this month.

Foster is speaking to Marcus Simmons who, in our archive piece from July 2005, perfectly captures the character of a prodigious F1 driver taken before his talent allowed him to realise the achievements it so richly deserved.

Perhaps what endears Denbighshire-born Pryce to fans of the time and those looking up Formula 1 history is the humble approach which he became known for.“He could have been world champion,” said Shadow car designer Tony Southgate. “There was a lot of talk of him joining Lotus, but he said, ‘What do I want to do that for? I’m happy here.’”

The piece ends with a charming anecdote from now-Prodrive boss David Richards, who recalls co-driving Pryce on a hair-raising rally in a Lancia Stratos.He might have been cruelly taken on a fateful day at Kyalami, but in F1 terms, Pryce truly was the Prince of Wales.

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