Team orders? Plus ca change

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

Now that the controversy over Rubens Barrichello being ordered not to win the Austrian Grand Prix is dying down, it is permissible to remark that team orders were in force long before the start of the world championship. This is a fact, however much one sympathised with Rubens. If your boss had decided not to fire you but to offer a multi-million-pound salary, wouldn’t you yield?

The good thing, as I see it, was that Rubens left it to the closing stages to ease off, showing that it was not driving inability which had settled the result. This reminded me of the Moss/Fangio finish I saw at Aintree in 1955 (0.2sec between them after more than three hours of racing) when both Mercedes-Benz drivers had shown equal competence. Team managers have dictated finishing orders from the earliest times. Do you suppose Lautenschlager was not informed by Mercedes that he was to win the 1908 and ’14 French GPs, if Mercedes were in a position to do so, letting the others in the team go fast to try to break-up the opposition, while the older test-driver used circumspection to nurse his car home? Do you not believe that team-mates of Georges Boillot were instructed by Peugeot to let him win unless trouble slowed or eliminated his car?

It didn’t pay to ignore such team orders. In 1921, Louis Coatalen wanted Kenelm Lee Guinness (Talbot-Darracq) to win the 1921 Le Mans voiturette race. But Rene Thomas told his mechanic, Albert Divo, to peer, as he would, into the cockpit as their Talbot-Darracq passed the pits when SLOW signals were shown to them, thus beating KLG. So Coatalen tore up Thomas’s contract.

There was a sequel, however. Guinness having lost to Thomas, Coatalen promised him that he should win the 1921 JCC 200-Mile Brooklands’ race. However, Segrave was desperate to make a living from motor racing and, according to his biographer, he ordered his mechanic Moriceau to ignore the T-D pit signals as Rene had done, and with a secret signal from his wife Doris, he thus won from a puzzled KLG. Malcolm Campbell replaced the sacked Thomas, who told the media, in spin-doctor mode, that he didn’t drive because he didn’t much care for Track racing! Good drivers were scarce so Segrave was forgiven.

You may also like

Related products