Podcast: Perry McCarthy on driving for Andrea Moda in 1992
Perry McCarthy: “It was wonderful to have reached Formula 1, but then, of course, it was only a matter of time before you realised ‘This is not very good at all’. Not only were we slow, but we were actually dangerous.”
Simon Arron: “Didn’t the steering seize in the middle of Eau Rouge?”
PM: “By the time I got to Belgium I had done a grand total of 10 or 12 laps during the year. Because Brabham was in trouble by the time we got there we didn’t need to pre-qualify any more. So we’re out there and I thought, ‘If it rains… It’s Belgium…’ I’m not being big-headed, but rain had always worked for me and I thought I could maybe get this thing on the grid.
“On my first lap I nearly ended up in a graveyard, because coming into Eau Rouge I just noticed the steering resistance was a bit hard. Now I don’t normally bottle out of stuff, but this scared me so I hit the brakes immediately. I’m here because I did. When I went to take the right-hand turn the steering had actually seized.
“What had happened was that the downforce – yes, we did actually have some – had flexed the rack so the steering arm couldn’t come in and you couldn’t turn the wheel. By braking a little bit I had taken out just enough load to be able to finally turn. I bounced off the tyre wall, got it back on track and brought it into the pits.
“I said to the engineer, ‘I think our steering rack is flexing’. He said, ‘Yeah, we know’… I asked how he knew that and he replied, ‘Well, we tested it on Roberto Moreno’s car last week and we found it was flexing’.
“‘So you took it off and put it on mine?’”
“I know [the team’s founder/Italian shoe designer] Andrea Sassetti didn’t like me, but…”
@SimonArron The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. One of British sport’s unsung gems…
@LeeMcKenzieF1 Huge congrats to @dariofranchitti now @dariofranchitti MBE
@SportmphMark When Schumacher committed a Monaco qualifying foul in ‘06, Nico’s father Keke described him as ‘a cheat who should be banned.’
@Andrew_Frankel Porsche’s tyre truck transport.
@Andrew_Frankel In 24hrs at LM Porsche 919 will recover and use enough energy to drive a Golf across the US.
@paulpunter Just discovered that one-time LSR holder René Thomas was a pilot involved in the first mid-air collision: Milan, October 1910.
@matoxley Just bumped into Hayden with bandaged wrist. “Tough way to make a living” I say. “Nah, it ain’t diggin’ ditches”. Fair play to the bloke.
@Andrew_Frankel Road-going Renault Mégane 7min 54sec ‘Ring lap would have qualified it in the top 10 of 1982 1000kms. Bonkers.
@Damien__Smith Back from a kip in the car to find Toyota no 7 gone. Audi has shadowed them, ready to pick up pieces.
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What next for Button?
Except… there are two red-hot, fully experienced and cheap Grand Prix drivers ready to win as soon as they are plugged into a fast car. They are each probably nearer the start of their F1 careers than the end, but have now amassed the necessary experience to step into a top-line drive.
Silverstone’s GP challenge
We’ve said it before, and I don’t apologise for saying it again: Grand Prix racing requires total structural overhaul to become truly sustainable, not a trim here and there in this unimaginative, miserly fashion. I direct you again to our manifesto for change launched in the April issue of the magazine.
The attraction of Formula E
The workload in the cockpit is going to be huge for the drivers with the races being won and lost depending on energy recovery. There are so many options with energy regeneration it’s crazy – regen when you lift off, regen when you brake or regen when you apply negative torque to the motor.
It helped, too, that Alesi had looked a potential winner from the moment he grabbed an F1 wheel – at five-to-one – in 1989. During the intervening years he had proved that he possessed the necessary speed, if not the required mindset, luck or machinery.