Prize repossessions

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Mark Hughes

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Jarier made his F1 debut in 1971 in a March 701 – but in bizarre circumstances.

“I’d met Hubert Hahne around the paddocks and we became good friends. Then he retired from racing and set up his garage business in Dusseldorf. He told me he had an F1 car still. I asked if I could borrow it. He said yes. I asked how much. He said, ‘For free’.

“I collected it from his garage and loaded it onto the trailer that was for my boat. The car didn’t really fit and I bent the rims forcing it on. Later I stopped and, using my hammer, I flattened the rims.

“There was anon-championship race at Oulton Park and I drove there. I met Brian Kreisky, who ran a team, and he rented me one of his mechanics for £200. This meant I could have nearly nothing to eat. We finished the race and that entitled me to some good prize money. But when I went to get it, Kreisky had claimed it and I couldn’t find him anywhere.

“As I had finished well at Oulton, I was invited with this car to Monza. I had no mechanic, but Jean-Pierre Jaussaud agreed to be my mechanic, and then, when we got there, we got Vittorio Brambilla to help, too.

“I had no tyres, but I was given a set by McLaren. I had a problem with the brakes and I had an oil leak, too. But I earned so much money I couldn’t believe it. To called it I had to go downtown on Monday morning, where they paid you in cash. I arrived at 9.30, but Max [Mosley] had already been there and claimed the money for my car because it was a March. I got nothing! And so now I had no money for fuel.

“I was finding out about F1.”

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