The following is one of many letters received; they were expected. We were 100 per cent. keen on the B.R.M. project in 1949 and criticised only when we saw the wrong policy being adopted and silly things done—not, as some have done, when they knew criticism was a good bet, because the whole project was being wound up!
We were careful to go “behind scenes” to check information before publishing our views and, while we are exceedingly sorry that Mr. Mays’ excellent idea has failed, we must remind our correspondents that he did not work for this ideal on a voluntary basis, as some people seem to believe.
Some of our correspondents, indeed, seem singularly unimaginative. The slashing acceleration of Gonzalez’ and Parnell’s B.R.M.s at Goodwood is cited as showing up Farina. Has it not occurred to them that the experienced Italian driver probably knew the Thin Wall’s final-drive was liable to collapse and made his getaway accordingly.
I have just finished reading your Editorial in the October issue of Motor Sport and I regret to note that you are still “slanging” the B.R.M.
We all know that it has not been a success and that the real enthusiast has been bitterly disappointed, but I do consider that as the Editor of the major, if not only, motor sporting paper in the country, you should refrain from the rather childish and sneering remarks with which you always greet the B.R.M.
If it fails in a race it is wrong; if it wins a race, however small, it is condemned as being of no account and having no opposition.
I saw the B.R.M. driven by Parnell at Goodwood in the pouring rain and that was condemned as of no account, but if they had been withdrawn you would have piped up that the only proof of a car is to try it under racing conditions. It seems to me that you have some sort of personal vendetta against B.R.M. and that nothing they can do will be acceptable to you. After all the design was quite a way out of the ordinary and I feel sure that drivers of the standing of Parnell, Gonzalez. the late Raymond Somner, Walker, etc., could not have been bullied into driving the car if they had considered it to be the washout that you believe it to be; there must be something fundamentally good about it. If the B.R.M. had been a cracking success and swept the board, you would, I am sure, come to the rescue of your Italian and German cars by saying that they could not be expected to produce a winning Grand Prix car after (losing, so I have been told) World War II.
In fact, I believe it is practically impossible for you to see anything at all good in the B.R.M., but you have not, to my knowledge, given any constructive criticism of what could have been done in its place. All the present Continental Formula I cars have had untold gold spent on them and racing experience going back for, I suppose in some cases, 30 years or more, and under conditions which would make any such project in this hag-ridden and pedestrian-penalised country, as near perfect as can be imagined.
I believe that it was not until the B.R.M.s were tried out at Monza that true testing conditions could be arrived at.
Anyway, I feel that you should at least give credit to the B.R.M. for trying, and I honestly believe trying really hard, and not condemn them out of hand just because the colour of their eyes does not agree with your somewhat jaundiced outlook. I would much rather have the opinion of the aforementioned drivers than the somewhat quasi-humorous remarks from the Editorial Chairborne Brigade. I feel that if Motor Sport had helped a little more and sneered a little less, perhaps Raymond Mays would have felt a little more encouraged: to know that a journal with such a following as Motor Sport was behind him, he may have had a little less worry than he did have. A sober thought to those who can only condemn and jeer was expressed by some well-known character in history, who is alleged to have stated when passing by the scaffold upon which stood the condemned man: “There, but for the grace of God, stand I.”
I am, Yours, etc.,
C. W. G. Kinipple.