Editorial, January 2000

When I asked Gordon Murray to sketch out his Formula One car of future, drawn without reference to a rulebook, I expected exactly that, a sketch. As you will have seen, what we actually got was rather better than that.

Gordon Murray stopped designing F1 cars when he felt the rulebook had finally become too thick and this, coupled with his drawings, suggest to me there are two sorts of race car designer. On the one hand, there are the free-thinkers, the Murrays of this world, men not constrained by the traditional confines of the human imagination. And then there are the details men, the Adrian Neweys to whom regulations are a bonus because their ability is to exploit what’s laid down by others better than anyone else. Whose is the greater talent? I’m not in a position to judge as both seem fairly proficient at securing championships for their employers. But if you want a drawing to frame and hang on your wall, you’ll go a long way before finding one more interesting and thought provoking than Gordon’s.

The good news is not only can you have a high quality print of Gordon’s drawing, but it will also come from a run of just 500, signed exclusively for Motor Sport’s readers by the man himself. And all you need to do is subscribe or renew your subscription to Motor Sport and we will send you the signed print free of charge. Full details are on page 70 and, if you’re swift, you’ll get one.

While on the subject of F1’s future, I managed to have a long chat with Gerhard Berger at a recent BMW dinner and he was illuminating about the chances of both his team and those of his rivals. His aim for 2000 is for the BMW-Williams to match the results of the 1999 Supertec car. The first win will be 2001. In the meantime Ford has the best engine in F1, but he doubts the ability ofJaguar’s drivers, particularly Irvine, to develop the car.

He reckons Ralf Schumacher is one of the best drivers but he lacks the focus of his brother and will never be as good as a result. He enjoyed Zanardi’s company but admits he failed to do the job in 1999. He says McLaren will claim the title next year and Villeneuve is wasting his best years at BAR. Winning Le Mans in 1999 was no more than a job to be done and he will never take part in another car race. Thought you might like to know.

You will notice a rather forward-working nature to the magazine this month. Given the date, I thought it a legitimate exercise. My thanks to those who went on the record about how Fl should be in the future and to you for your on-going loyalty to this magazine. We wish you all the best for the new season and hope you will continue to share your enthusiasm for this great sport with us.