My favourite philosopher is Friedrich Hegel. In 1800 he published a thesis proving that there could only be seven planets. On the first of January 1801 the eighth planet was discovered.I find that the output of pundits offers similar pleasures. Those who predict the future are responsible for much wry amusement. The time-interval between prediction and it being refuted may be fractions of a second (Murray Walker) to years in the cases of those who predicted turn of the century motoring in the fifties.
Of more immediate interest Motor Sport and others informed us prior to the season that Damon Hill was unlikely to withstand the threat represented by David Coulthard. Hill’s success allied to Coulthard’s relative lack of it in the first half of the season lead to another item explaining how Hill had successfully repulsed the challenge. This article was immediately followed by a reversal of fortunes.
A further item praising Coulthard preceded this driver embarking on a bizarre series of offs. The pundits’ piece de resistance was Alan Jones savaging Hill, followed by Hill’s Adelaide victory by a margin greater than Jones ever dreamed of during his driving career. Great entertainment, as long as one does not take the output of the pundits seriously.
A year ago Motor Sport was kind enough to publish one of my letters about maintaining tradition, the tradition in question being a collision between the current star driver and another competitor at Adelaide or in Japan. It was pleasing see the tradition being maintained in 1995. However in all fairness, Schumacher’s only contribution, on this occasion, was to execute an overtaking manoeuvre. F1 seems to have reached the pitch where on the track overtaking is more or less forbidden. Has anybody, for the leading six cars, been through this year’s lap charts and calculated how many place changes there were due to pit stops compared to successful overtaking on the track (I. e. where both cars stayed on the track)?
The record for Adelaide flatters Williams and Hill. If Alesi had not taken Schumacher out, Schumacher would have probably overtaken Hill while the mechanics struggled with a front wheel. Some of us thought that Williams were likely to lose Hill’s massive lead, but as frequently happens, Adelaide was not typical of the rest of the season and the delay in the pits, like Alesi’s driving, went unpunished.
P J Huston, Boston, Lincs.
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