Editorial, October 2002

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Paul Fearnley, Editor

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the just-gone Goodwood Revival was bigger and better than ever before. It was merely as good as last year’s. That is to say fantastic. Perhaps not every race was a thriller as in 2001, but to see Duncan Dayton hang out David Piper’s 275LM, Patrick Tambay and Emanuele Pirro tweak Cobra and E-type through the Chicane, and Win Percy effortlessly float a D-type around this rhythmic track was to be enthralled.

There was more. Lots more. The Spits and ‘Stangs flew low and fast before soaring high into a deep, deep blue cumulus sky, the sun shone in the face of dour forecasts, and even when a brief shower scudded in, the subsequent rainbow had one foot at Madgwick’s first apex. Not only does Charles March own some prime real estate and have a keen eye for detail, he also seems to be in cahoots with the Holy Ghost.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that racing was better in the old days and that modem Formula One is rubbish. I still love F1 dearly. But I do have an admission to make: while the Hungarian Grand Prix was running its course, I was at a llama farm in Surrey. By chance I saw a glimpse of the race on a TV above a country pub’s bar. It was when Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen rubbed wheels for half a lap or so. By chance I had seen the most memorable part of the race.

Spa, of course, you cannot miss — unless Ron Dennis gets his way. Schumacher’s performance there was awesome. Remember that lap at Hungary, when he dropped back from his team-mate and banged in the race’s fastest lap — by far —just to show who’s the boss? Well, his every lap of Spa was like that. He labelled it one of his best drives — and he has a lot to choose from.

But what I will remember from Spa is Raikkonen’s save at Pouhon, a 150mph downhill double-apex left. His McLaren rode the kerbs, snapped sideways and looked destined for a Big One. But the young Finn held it. And held it. And held it. And brought it back into line. Lost a tenth or two, he reckoned. Has a Formula One car been that sideways for that long since Ronnie Peterson creamed a Lotus 72? Probably not.

And that’s what F1 is short of, and Goodwood has in spades: moments that make you catch your breath. That is to say slides, provoked and caught. The talent is there in F1, all the Montoyas and Raikkonens of this world need is a showcase that allows their talent to flower in a more ostentatious way than do the current generation of cars. So give them fat slicks. Give them suspension movement. Give them reduced downforce. And give us all Goodwood on a summer’s day.

Better book now for the 2022 Revival if you want to witness Raikkonen and Montoya team up to win the TT Celebration in a sideways, spitting Cobra.

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