Would a Fangio or Clark be a match for a Senna or a Schumacher? It’s a question that can never be answered, but if the ability to jump in a car and go quickly from lap one is anything to go by, then the following examples from Clark’s Lotus team-mate Trevor Taylor offer a fascinating hint.
“Jimmy was once asked to demonstrate ERA Remus at Rouen,” recalls Taylor. “He set off from the pits and on his first lap was four seconds a lap faster than the car had ever been around Rouen, even in its day. And that was from a standing start! He could just jump in anything and go from the beginning.
“I can remember when he went out to Indianapolis. I drove round there and it was bloody frightening, but he got in and was up there immediately. He was driving ahead of himself and knew where he was. I am not saying it was easy – at 200mph things happen bloody quickly – but he could cope. For the majority of the time, he was telling the car what to do, not waiting for the car to tell him what to do.”