Continental Notes revisited: Jarama 1976, June 2004

Jenks on Jarama ’76

One thing I like to do is dilly-dally after a race to talk to people after the noise has died down, and wait until the dust has settled and the last car is loaded — or as an American friend says, “Until the last dog’s bin hung”.

At Jarama, the dust never did settle, for in post-race scrutineering Hunt’s McLaren and Lafitte’s Ligier were excluded for measurements which were over the prescribed limit. I’ve always felt that Formula One (I can’t bring myself to call it grand prix racing any longer) should be above such pettifogging restrictions, but as there has been a lowering of engineering integrity, the rulebook has got fatter.

With Ecclestone and Mosley as the mouthpiece and brainbox of the Constructors Association, we have been getting the impression that they run F1 racing, not the CSI of the FIA. With this race being the first one for various new rules, it was suggested that the CSI let it be seen that they control F1. They promptly submitted that the two cars contravened various rules. I think we now know who’s in charge: the CSI, even though Ecclestone and his cohorts thought differently.

I never thought I would see grand prix racing dragged down to the level of rallies, saloons, Le Mans and other lowly levels of the sport. — Yours, DSJ