was accident-prone, wasn’t he? Not on Sunday afternoon in Barcelona, he wasn’t.
So can Williams and its 27-year-old lead driver who still wears braces on his teeth really win the world title? On Spanish form, of course. But so much will depend on those Pirellis. What seems likely is that we’ll enjoy some more ‘pinch-me’ moments in what looks set to be the most unpredictable Formula 1 season in years. Good, solid Fl drivers who would never have had a hope of winning a Grand Prix in previous eras could rack up a hatful, and as for the next race, I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a Monaco GP as much.
Is it racing for the purists? Well, in Reflections Nigel Roebuck compares it to NASCAR, so there’s your answer to that one. Given the magazine you’re reading, you won’t be surprised to hear we have our reservations about the path Fl has taken. But still, as spring turns to summer, we can’t resist. What happens next is anyone’s guess, and that makes for unmissable sport. month, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Group C, an era of sports car racing that will always be close to my heart. Throughout the 1980s, the Brand Hatch 1000Kms was a bright highlight of my season — even when it
hissed it down (1983, ‘Del Boy’ and ‘Fitz’ in the J David 956 springs to mind. The mud. It was glorious if you were nine).
By the end of the ’80s, the depth of quality within the World Sportscar Championship, in terms of manufacturers, constructors and drivers, was awesome. I’ll never forget the anticipation before the 1989 Brands race: Jaguar vs Sauber-Mercedes vs Nissan vs Toyota vs Mazda vs the usual multitude of privateer Porsches… It was just too good. And so it would prove when the FIA, with more than a modicum of influence from that man Bernie, torpedoed the scene by allowing Fl `atmo’ engines in. The rules would at least give us the Jaguar XJR-14, the Toyota TS010 and the Peugeot 905 — three wonderful racing cars — but we all knew it was a stupid decision then, and that view hasn’t changed today. At least now, 20 years later, we’ve finally got a proper world championship back again. On the evidence of the opening European round at Spa (see p24), the new FIA World Endurance
Championship is on the right track as a true successor to the spirit of Group C. Give it time. It’s already good — it could be amazing.
closing, allow me to direct you to p44 and details of an online reader survey we are undertaking. This is your chance to tell us directly what you think about the Green ‘Un in 2012: what you like, what you don’t like, what you want more of — and what you’d choose to cut. We’re lucky that Motor Sport’s loyal readers care so much about the magazine that they’re rarely slow to offer their
opinions. We listen to every phone call and read every mail and letter. But collectively, surveys are a great chance to make your views count. Magazines that stand still die, and if we are to continue to thrive we need to evolve — but we can’t do it without you. If you can spare the time, I’d be delighted to read your thoughts.