F1 Loners


Now that all the celebrations and histrionics have abated concerning our new-found pride in the guise of a British F1 champion who, incidentally, resides in Spain and who can blame him (therefore let’s call him a Spangle), maybe it is only fair to consider that several other teams have been running in the championship to have made this feat (or fete) possible.

In the build-up to the Japanese GP did anyone consider that Lauda or Hunt might not win, or come to that even finish? Yet here we had an interloper and an American to boot actually driving a black and gold car past the chequered flag first and not a Spot of red to be seen. Unless you looked closely at the half (or is it quartered) Union Jack? Since Graham Hill left from GLTL, as it was then, I’ve never really cared for Chapman but this victory in Japan made me feel very happy that a once great, correction, very great, motor racing team was back on the winning streak, since I believe Ronnie won in Monza ’74. Your many readers who are historians will probably prove me incorrect. Anyway here we had a team causing a certain majority of the press and publicity media to wipe egg off their faces!

Each team, like all big business organisations, has had its moments of despondency and exultation. Prime examples being McLaren being unable to use a ruler correctly, the Copersucar team losing eighteen “grands” worth of blown Cosworths in seven laps, while Hunt picked up eighteen championship points in a couple of days! It is not necessary to delve into any depth about the happenings in the late afternoon of 17-7-76 except to say that had the tyre change on the wet late afternoon of 24-10-76 been of the Same ilk the daily papers on Monday October 25th might not have had such an orgiastic field day.

However, I digress to a certain degree as the main point of this letter is to wish for loners who enjoy big-time motor racing to enjoy the results of Rob Walker in 1965 at Brands and 1961 at Monte Carlo. I believe we have such a character in Mo Nunn. This year it appears he’s been running on a really tight budget just to get the points for the FICA concessional air fares to the farther off races. He’s had a couple of total write-offs where luck and good design have saved the drivers and, had Amon not run over a chunk of Regazzoni’s Ferrari at Brands, I suspect a real upset for the book might have taken place. Would that this small dedicated team find sponsorship then I’m sure we’d have yet another F1 winner to hot-up the championship.

Amon proved the car was right. The car proved that Ickx wasn’t a has-been. As if anyone needed the proof.

Staffs. M. N. RUSHTON