Very promptly the FIA Year Book of Automobile Sport has been published (35s. from PSL, 9 Ely Place, London, E.C.1) and is bigger and better than ever, answering all those questions that everyone asks about the 1971 season and rules and regulations. Unlike the picture albums that tell you what happened last year, the FIA book tells you what can and will happen this year. Depicted are the 29 drivers who are considered to be at the top of the International scene, by reason of their successes in FIA Championship races for Grand Prix and Sports Cars. These drivers are:-
Ahrens, Amon, Andretti, Attwood, Beltoise, Brabham, Buzzetta, Elford, Fittipaldi, Giunti, Herrmann, Hill, Hulme, Ickx, Kinnunen, Larrousee, Lins, Oliver, Pescarolo, Redman, Regazzoni, Rodriguez, Schütz, Vaccarella.
In addition there is a list of 108 drivers arbitrarily selected as being of International standard by reason of their sucsesses in major races or rallies, and they range from Aaltonen and Adamowicz to Zasada and Zeccoli and any budding International “ace” or potential World Champion who cannot get on this list might as well give up trying.
Over the past couple of years, behind the scenes of Grand Prix racing, there has been a lot of bickering and trouble over the large articulated lorry that is described as the Grand Prix Medical Unit, a sort of mobile hospital. Schemed up by a commitee of well-meaning people and backed officially by the Grand Prix Drivers Association this mobile first-aid tent has been met with mixed feelings by the medical profession. Recently the GPDA issued a formal statement that this mobile unit should be at all Grand Prix races and that if any GPDA member was injured he should be dealt with in this unit.
This dictatorial statement caused the International racing Medical Profession to call a meeting in Paris and briefly they have told the GPDA to stop poking their fingers into things that do not concern them. The doctors have said, in effect, that when a driver becomes a casualty he becomes the responsibility of the doctor in charge, and he alone can make the decisions as to what is to be done for the victim. The doctors have also told the Grand Prix Medical Unit that their well-meaning mobile hospital is not only not mobile, but is not a satisfactory hospital. It is only mobile in so far as it can be taken from one circuit to another, but once parked in the paddock or on the edge of a track it is completely immobile, for it is for too large to move while a race is in progress. A small agile well-equipped “life-saving van” such as the BRSCC and the Monza circuit have, is of much more use.
The permanent circuit doctors also point out that they have a medical service geared up to look after a race meeting perhaps once every two or three weeks at a given circuit, and the Grand Prix circus visit that circuit only once a year. They bring with them their own Grand Prix Medical Unit and expect the whole medical organisation of the circuit to re-orientate itself to their system for that one meeting. This is considered unrealistic by the medical profession. A circuit, like Rouen, that holds one meeting a year is only too pleased to make use of the Medical Unit, but such circuits are fast disappearing, and all the new permanent circuits and stadiums have medical facilities designed into the original layout. —D. S. J.