Matters of moment, January 1993

It’s OK to smile
As we greet the arrival of 1993, our enthusiasm for the forthcoming sporting year is marked with a degree of caution.

The past 12 months will be remembered as much for the unhappy contractual machinations which went on behind the scenes in F1 as they will for Nigel Mansell’s domination of Grand Prix racing, which gave Britain its first world title for 16 years.

Compare the petty disagreements in F1 with the atmosphere at the RAC Rally, where three drivers chased the ultimate prize in their own branch of the sport in civilised and honourable fashion. Or look at the present co-operation between F3000 manufacturers, which shows that self-interest can be cast aside for the long-term good of the formula.

There will always be a degree of bickering in any competitive sport: that’s why a handful of footballers will be sent off every Saturday, and boxers, immersed in their own hype, sometimes come close to blows before they get anywhere near the ring. Certainly, F1 was by no means alone as a den of recrimination in 1992: the British Touring Car Championship had its fair share of arguments, both on and off the circuit.

Aggression is an essential part of any racing driver’s make-up, which is all very well when it’s tempered by common-sense. The RAC Rally proved that motorsport can be simultaneously competitive and cordial, and as we wish all our readers, advertisers and friends within the industry a happy and prosperous new year, we sincerely hope that this lesson will be taken on board throughout the sport.