This month our series of photos taken by you features Adelaide GP’s, rookie F1 tests and candid paddock scenes…
Denis Jenkinson’s Motor Sport reports were the best way for John Holloway to keep in touch with GP racing until Formula One arrived on his doorstep for the first time in 1985. He attended every one of the Adelaide races and was disappointed when the event was switched to Melbourne in ’96: “The atmosphere was wonderful as the whole city got involved. In addition there was an end-of-term feel because it was the last race of the year.”
One of the most popular events was the Climb to the Eagle: historic racers were paraded through the streets and on the circuit, leading up to the Eagle on the Hill hotel about 14km outside the city. “There the cars were displayed while their drivers/crews enjoyed morning tea before driving back the way they had come. Over the years it gave spectators some wonderful sights, sounds and, in some cases, smells!”
Just weeks after Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle had concluded their duel for the 1983 British Formula Three Championship, the pair were being put through their paces by various Formula One teams — and Chris Riggs was at Silverstone to watch.
The McLaren test took place in October. “The atmosphere surrounding the team was not helped by the fact that John Watson, who was present to set the cars up and set a benchmark time, had just been advised that he would not be driving for them in 1984” says Mr. Rigg.
In contrast, the Tyrrell test in November was much happier. “Danny Sullivan might have been on the way out of F1, but the difference was that he had chosen to quit, hence the smiles.”
These colour photos from the 1965 British GP and the following year’s International Trophy emphasise once again just how close you could get 40 years ago. Ian White remembers getting a real insight when he took these shots. “The areas allocated to each team were defined by ropes around which the public could gather and not only see the action up close but also listen to the conversations between drivers, engineers and team managers.”
In fact, the whole British GP experience was less formal back then: “You could dodge the jams by turning off the A5 at Paulerspury, a few miles south of Towcester, and taking the yellow roads on the OS map to arrive opposite Silverstone village on the A43. There a policeman would hold up the queue to let you in. I don’t think they’d let you do that now.”