My message to F1's stars

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

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Sir Jackie Stewart, Guest editor

One of the most difficult aspects of my life has been my lack of education, due to not being identified as a dyslexic during my school years. Because of this I was never able to learn about history — and history can teach everyone a great deal.

In our world, I am always disappointed that so many young racing drivers — and even some of the more mature — apparently have no wish to know more about the great names and events of the sport’s past. A knowledge and understanding of them would undoubtedly help today’s drivers better to go about their business. I have no doubts that the lessons I learned from having a keen interest in the sport’s history provided me with knowledge that greatly helped me in my career as a professional racing driver. I was also privileged to spend a great amount of time, in my formative years, with the late Jim Clark.

I’ve always believed that, whether in business or sport, you should have two respected people from whom you can seek counsel. This brings me to the fact that motor racing is one of the very few sports that doesn’t utilise coaches. Racing drivers seem to be so clever that they don’t need that kind of help. They are totally wrong.

There is no point in saying, ‘I’m alone in my car — how can anyone else influence the way I drive?’. That is presumptuous, and simply wrong. Drivers employ managers to assist them in their commercial dealings, so why should they not, from time to time, be in need of counsel with regard to their performance in the cockpit?

Some coaches are very tough on their athletes — but in almost every case the athlete’s performance is enhanced by that guidance. In golf people like David Leadbetter and Butch Harmon never won major tournaments themselves, but they are great coaches. In motor racing, the coaches might be retired drivers who enjoyed huge success, but they could also be folk who never reached the heights themselves, yet have studied the sport intimately, and can see how to help drivers, be it in their skills or their mind-management.

In a series of incidents this season at least two drivers have been particularly prone to both errors of judgement and collisions with others. If a coach were on hand, he would recognise the trend and suffocate whatever demons were causing his driver to make those mistakes. These incidents don’t just happen by chance — there have been too many for that excuse to be made. My biggest worry is that if this behaviour is allowed to continue, sooner or later there will be a huge accident, which could easily take the life of one of our F1 heroes. Sadly, it’s a timely thought in the wake of Dan Wheldon’s fatal Indycar accident (see p14).

Through all the years I’ve been involved in the issues of improving safety, my philosophy has always been to remove as many of the risks and unnecessary hazards as possible — many of which are in the hands of drivers who become over-confident, even cavalier.

It’s at such times that there is a need for a coach — someone close enough to a driver to be able to recalibrate his behaviour so he becomes more aware that actions can have potentially devastating consequences. The governing body of our sport also has a responsibility here, to police the behaviour of drivers more stringently, before the wrong kind of accident happens. Preventative medicine is much less expensive and less painful than corrective medicine.

History shows that the truly great drivers — Caracciola, Fangio, Moss, Clark, Lauda, Prost — seldom had collisions with others. So let history be our mentor here: let counsel, leadership, wisdom and discipline be more vigorously developed so that a driver’s skills are further enhanced — not only to win, but to survive and live happily ever after.

You may also like

Related products