Schlesser is innocent!

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Sir,
May I, through your columns, appeal for a concerted effort by all motorsport enthusiasts, to persuade the BBC to replace its current Grand Prix commentators, Murray Walker and James Hunt? The performance of this pair has long left a great deal to be desired, but their efforts during the Italian Grand Prix surpassed any of their previous performances.

One can ignore the continual cliches, the banalities, and the repetitive statements of the obvious (“As it is the Italian Grand Prix, we can expect the producer to concentrate on pictures of the Ferraris”), but they really excelled themselves over the Senna/Schlesser incident.

Their semi-hysterical outburst and condemnation of Schlesser was stupid, and totally incorrect. From numerous replays, it was plainly obvious to even the meanest intelligence that Senna had made a bad mistake. He had goofed. Schlesser did everything to keep out of Senna’s way, braking furiously and locking up a wheel, and getting so far on to the right-hand side of the track that he was driving on the kerb. He ran around the outside of the chicane, whilst Senna tried to “straightline” his way through. As Senna clipped the apex of the right-hand corner, he chopped right across the nose of Schlesser, who was unable to avoid hitting him.

The final insult was to state that Schlesser was a driver of limited experience. Either they were unaware that he was leading the World Sportscar Drivers’ Championship, or they deliberately chose to ignore the fact. The Sauber-Mercedes team does not employ novice drivers, and neither does Williams. The race was spoilt, for me, by this commentary.

JR Murray, Manley, Cheshire