Question of definition




Your news item on the forthcoming sale of Lotus 49B R7 (MOTOR SPORT, July 1999) states that this 1968 car was the last ‘privateer’ entry to win a World Championship round. I can think of at least one suitable candidate who has done that since: Ken Tyrrell’s March 701 when Jackie Stewart won the 1970 Spanish GP. Or is this car classed as a semi-works entry?

There have been other winners since 1970 who could claim to be ‘privateer’ entrants: Hesketh’s 308 in 1975 when James Hunt won the Dutch GP, and Jody Scheckter’s wins in 1977 with the Wolf. In both cases the changes in F1 since 1970 meant these teams had to build their own cars, but they both had a lot in common one-car entries only and the team owner put up the bulk of the capital. On this last point alone, surely these teams should be classed as ‘privateers’? I suspect at the end of the day the answer will lie in the definition of ‘privateer’.

I am, yours, etc. Cyril Day, Bromsgrove, Worcs

(An arguable point, certainly. However, to us, the term privateer’ means someone who buys a car from a constructor, not someone who builds or develops their owl car. GC)