Letters, August 2010

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Seeing red over ‘green F1’

Sir,

Three of the best brains in motor sport sit down to speculate on the Formula 1 car of the future and all they can come up with is the need to be ‘green’ (Shaping the future of F1, June issue). F1 striving to be green is about as far-fetched as the military striving to develop biodegradable bullets!

I didn’t get to read the full results of the recent worldwide survey of spectators and supporters on what F1 should do to improve the show, but I don’t recall anybody mentioning that the overwhelming consensus was to become fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. I thought the message was clear: we want exiting racing with lots of overtaking.

With Messrs Wright and Head promoting relevance to motor industry products, and Mr Lowe holding a brief to increase overtaking, I’d have thought that all three would be satisfied if we simply removed the infernal wings!

John Ballantyne, Sydney, Australia

Focus on fuel economy

Sir,

How depressing it was to read ‘Shaping the future of F1’. After years of regulations trying to reduce aerodynamic grip and enhance mechanical grip to enable closer racing, Patrick Head says he wants to see “more downforce between the wheels” and “make the tyres narrower”. Surely this is a retrograde step? Meanwhile Peter Wright and Paddy Lowe seem more concerned about presenting a green image. The greenest approach would be to not go motor racing at all…

But there may be a solution: suppose the FIA decide on a fuel economy figure that they want F1 cars to achieve. Calculate from that the fuel requirement for each race and issue the teams with that amount of fuel for each car. Within that regulation, allow the teams to develop whatever kind of engine they want. They could have a 1.5-litre turbo, a 4-litre V12 or a 7.2-litre V8 for that matter, but they have a restricted amount of fuel which requires them to achieve a certain fuel economy figure.

Each season the FIA would increase this fuel economy figure, thus putting continual pressure on teams to develop ever more efficient engines to achieve the same (or better) power output.

Additionally the aerodynamicists would be forced to reduce downforce levels, as there is an intrinsic link between downforce and drag, and drag would hurt the fuel economy. This would be great PR for the sport, produce interesting engineering solutions, and produce spin-off technology with real-world applications and hence attract car manufacturers back into F1.

Matt Watts, Maidstone, Kent

Not the Italian Grand Prix

Sir,

When is the Italian Grand Prix not the Italian Grand Prix? When it is the Marlboro Gran Premio della Republica Italiana, which is what I tried to convey when referring to ‘Nanni’ Galli and his Tecno in my story about this year’s Monaco Historique (July issue). Unfortunately the sub-editing process has produced the daft statement that the 1972 Italian Grand Prix took place at Vallelunga with seven starters and five finishers!

The Vallelunga race, despite its grandiose title, was one of the weakest Formula 1 races of modern times, surpassed only perhaps by the 1969 Madrid Grand Prix at newly-opened Jarama which boasted eight starters of which only two were 3-litre F1 cars, neither of which won, and the 1967 Gran Premio di Siracusa which produced seven starters and a dead heat between the Ferrari 312s of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti.

The 1972 Gran Premio d’Italia took place at Monza, and far from finishing third ‘Nanni’ Galli’s Tecno retired after six laps.

You could be at least partially forgiven for the error since the July 1972 issue of Motor Sport devoted all of two short paragraphs to its coverage of the Vallelunga race, courtesy of AH.

Ian Titchmarsh, Bidston, Wirral, Merseyside

A picture of Peter

Sir,

Reading through the Lunch with… Jack Sears (June issue), I was amazed on a personal note to come across his account of the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally. Years ago I recall my aunt talking very highly of Jack and explaining to me just what a delightful gentleman he was. My aunt, then Mrs Doreen Reece, was married to Peter, who Jack mentions in his account of the 1956 Monte. She so often told me when recounting her motoring stories of her admiration for Jack and the help and friendship he gave Peter.

Unfortunately I never met Peter as I was born after his untimely death, but to read a small account of Jack’s attendance at Peter’s funeral and note the decision his father made for both Jack and Archie Scott Brown to contest the ’56 Monte in his honour was very gratifying. Due to the sad loss and hurt my aunt must have felt on losing her first husband so early in her life, I never felt comfortable talking to her about him.

It is such a shame as now my aunt has passed away, so the opportunity to understand more about Peter and his racing exploits has been lost. That is until Jack’s mention of him. So Jack, if you are reading this, it would be a great honour and a privilege if you would allow me to share in your accounts of Peter Reece.

Paul Harrison, Winchester, Hants

Memories of Gentleman Jack

Sir,

What a delight to read Lunch with… Jack Sears. This was very much my era, when my father would take me to Mallory Park, Goodwood, Snetterton and Brands Hatch. The names of Maranello Concessionaires, John Coombs, the Zerex Special (I was there at Brands), Equipe Endeavour, Mike Parkes, Colonel Ronnie Hoare, that Willment Cobra, Sir Gawaine Baillie, Bob Olthoff and, of course, Jim Clark brought back so many good memories.

We had a Mk2 3.4 Jaguar at the time and when Jack’s Galaxie showed the 3.8 Jags a clean pair of heels I just couldn’t believe it!

Sadly Dad is no longer with us, and I have no one to talk to about these days gone by, so your magazine helps to fill that gap. Thank you so much, Motor Sport.

Peter Haynes, Needingworth, Cambs

An error carved in stone

Sir,

I can’t be the only one to notice that the new Jim Clark Memorial states incorrectly that he won Grands Prix between 1962 and 1967, when his last win came in South Africa in 1968, albeit on January 1. Ultimately, of course, this was also the last Grand Prix he competed in. Has anyone told the stonemason?

Andrew Scoley, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln

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