If there was ever any doubt that Fl is not what it was, look at the effort Ferrari put in to designing their cars around their drivers in the 1950s.
There is always consternation in the pits today, when one of our modem drivers has to change to the T-car after an accident. Although the cars are set up to suit different driving styles, they are at least basically the same car.
There is no way today’s teams would design a car to suit the drivers like the Ferrari Dino was fitted around Hawthorn and Collins in the ’58 season.
Comparing photographs and footage of the two, Hawthorn’s car is slightly longer than Collins’ to accommodate his larger frame. Mike seemed to like elbow room, so the cockpit sides were cut deeper. Mike’s rear bodywork is much higher and more rounded than Peter’s car.
Incidentally, the result of this design policy was that Hawthorn’s 246 Dino was, to my mind, the perfect shape of an early racing car. By comparison, the other car looked awkward and ugly. Unfortunately, the design of the Dino for the following season and into the ’60s seemed to be a development of the Collins car. What a missed opportunity, and what a shame we no longer have cars made to measure the driver’s shape as well as driving style
I AM YOURS, ETC.
John Gow, via E-mail