To my generation, Fangio is the champion against whom all other F1 drivers must be compared, as racing drivers and as human beings.
Your excellent appreciation did not perpetuate the false claim that Fangio never married. But both the Pirelli video tribute and the Daily Mail (18 July) have made this claim. This is sad, as it ignores an influence that Fangio movingly recognised.
In Fangio by Fangio, a Trust book printed in 1961, Fangio wrote about Andreina “This book should only be about racing and engines, not a history of my private life which interests no-one but myself and my wife. But I cannot refrain from offering Andreina these few words of thanks for all that she has done for me and for our son Oscar, for her complete devotion for all she has suffered from my way of life”. He continued “What I want to make clear is that my wife shares a large part of the merit for my successes from the time we married until I retired”.
Marcello Giambertone wrote in the same book “‘Andreina smokes enough for us both’, he would say, but he knew that his wife had acquired that bad habit as a means of getting through the long anguished hours of a race, hours during which she stayed nailed to her seat in the stand, gripped by a fear that left her only when the race ended”.
In thanking Fangio for leaving us magnificent memories, let us pay tribute to his wife, who, despite her own anguish, helped make him this outstanding man.
Dr George Bailey, OBE,
A letter from Stuart Hartley in the September issue suggests there should be planned passing places on F1 circuits in the form of wider tracks.
I am sure many keen followers of F1, like myself, will still remember John Watson’s amazing drive through the field to win the American GP in the mid 80s.
This was possible because the chicanes had much more deviation than is normal. Usually chicanes can be taken in an almost straight line at high speed, making passing impossible.
Perhaps John Watson would like to comment on how he passed so many times in America, and whether such a track alteration would make better racing possible.
F E Greaves,
Right or Left
It was with great interest that I read your article on the Ford F3L in your August issue, because at the time the car was raced I worked at the Nurburgring. There seems to be a minor inaccuracy though with regards to Chris Irwin’s accident. According to the author the accident happened at the “Flugplatz, a fifth-gear left over crest”. According to the map of the Nurburgring, Flugplatz is a right-hand curve. As far as I remember the accident happened between Quiddelbacher Hoehe and Flugplatz, coming up the crest.
Regarding Chris Irwin’s accident I have very strong memories of Innes Ireland (who was writing for a motor magazine at the time). Several times he came to my office to inquire about Chris Irwin’s condition in a very compassionate and caring way. Unfortunately I did not have any information from the hospital. Ever since the question has been on my mind: Did Mr Irwin recover fully from his injuries?
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent magazine which I await every month with great anticipation.