I must disagree with Simon Yates’ letter in last month’s Motor Sport. As he states, Grand Prix racing is a highly exciting sport, but it is also an extremely competitive one, necessitating stringent rules which should be adhered to completely.
If a car is fractionally too wide, as was Hunt’s McLaren at Jarama, then it should be disqualified. If cars are running with a fuel octane rating higher than is permitted by the rules, however marginal, then they should be disqualified. My answer to the McLaren team is that it is no good breaking a rule and then, once you are caught, saying that it is a ridiculous rule. If you can’t obey the rules, don’t enter the race. If the rules are considered impractical, then by all means possible get them changed, but keep within the regulations until they are amended.
I am surprised that octane testing is not done at all races, on all cars to be scrutineered after the race. Surely it is up to each individual team to ensure that their fuel does not exceed the limit before even contemplating entering a race!
James Hunt’s attitude towards these infringements does not promote public opinion of either himself or Grand Prix racing in the right direction, but whilst I am not a Hunt fan, I was disgusted to learn of his disqualification from the British Grand Prix results. I agree entirely that Hunt should never have been allowed to start the race if a full first lap was needed, but to allow him to start and then win the race in a “legal” car and rob him of his nine points afterwards, to me is not in the true spirit of Grand Prix racing. The governing body at Brands Hatch was entirely to blame, and in my opinion if the race was not run properly, as was found by the CSI Court of Appeal, all points should be made void.
No complaints about Motor Sport!
Huntingdon STEPHEN J. CRISWELL