The 50 greatest partnerships

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It can be a selfish sport. yet its impossible to succeed without the support of others. We felt it was time to select the most dynamic of duos. And the nominations are…

50: Ma & Pa Moss

For procreating the best all-round racing driver and finest female competition driver of all time — Stirling and Pat, that is.

Greatest achievement: See above

49: Dale Earnhardt & Richard Childress

`Ironhead’ took his time making the grade. After his driver-father Ralph died in 1973, Dale was more determined than ever to become a racer and made his debut two years later. In ’79 he took his first win from his 16th start and went on to become Winston Cup champion in ’80. The move to Childress’ squad, part-way through ’81, opened the floodgates: six more titles for the man in black.

Greatest achievement: Remaining The Intimidator to the end

48: Page & Moy

The oddest entry here maybe, but this travel company is a racing institution. It began back in 1961 when Leon Page and Tony Moy organised a trip to Le Mans for 23 people (did someone no-show?). Now it’s a giant of the tour industry. A straw poll of the Motor Sport office revealed that over half of us have been on one of their motor racing holidays.

Greatest achievement: Getting on ths list

47: Walter Rohrl & Christian Geistdorfer

Rohrl is a one-off, a true eccentric not averse to wearing a bag of lucky bones around his neck. He was also a driving genius. Geistdorfer, his codriving partner from 1978 to ’87, is a straightforward, hard-nosed businessman. They both liked winning, however (below), and notched up 13 VVRC firsts and two world titles.

Greatest achievement: Winning 1985 San Remo in monstrous Quatro E2

46: Phil Hill & Carlo Chiti

Chiti’s importance in Ferrari lore is down to the fact that he talked Enzo into building a mid-engined GP car. That he had a mechanically adept driver like Hill alongside to develop the `Sharknose’ made his job that much easier. Chiti was under huge pressure for the new car to succeed. Fortunately, it did, Hill lifting the 1961 title. Sadly, it then went horribly wrong as the American and the Tuscan became embroiled in the palace coup of the following year.

Greatest achievement: Definitely not the F1 ATS of 1963

45: Miki Biasion & Tiziano Siviero

This rally combo pushed back the boundaries of pace note preparation — there are more than a dozen different types of asphalt, apparently. The Italians had been school friends and began competing in an Opel Kadett in 1979. Within five years they were Euro and Italian champions with a Jolly Club-run Lancia 037. World titles followed in ’88 and ’89 with an Integrale. And they’re still at it, with Mitsubishi in rally-raids.

Greatest achievement: Back-to-back Safari victones.1988-89

44: John Wyer & Jacky Ickx

That the Belgian had potential was evident from the get go, but it was Wyer who set him on the road to stardom by placing the 21-year old in a GT40 at Le Mans in 1966. It retired during the night, but Ickx had done enough to land a full-time ride. Not always popular among his rivals (or team-mates!), Ickx could do no wrong as far as Wyer was concerned. It was mutual. As Ickx has said: “Wyer made my career.”

Greatest achievement: 1969 Le Mans win

43: Ron Dennis & Mansour Ojjeh

The fusion of Techniques d’Avant Garde and McLaren, and the subsequent synergy, is a modern racing success story, the epitome of what it’s now all about. Offering Ojjeh’s company a partnership in his team was one of the canny Dennis’s savvier deals. TAG financed the R&D of a Porsche turbo and McLaren ruled the mid-1980s with it.

Greatest achievement: Hat-trick of world drivers titles 1984-86

42: Jo Siffert & Brian Redman

Lancashire’s finest was offered his own car by Porsche. He declined, preferring to stay as faithful number two to `Seppe. A failing? Perhaps. But it was also a decision that oozed common sense, and illustrated why this pair gelled: Brian was as quick as Jo, but steered clear of politics and rivalries. Six wins in two years was the upshot.

Greatest achievement: Siffert first. Redman second in 1969 sportscar series

41: Sandro Munari & Mike Parkes

A partnership that resulted in three world titles and Monte Carlo wins for Lancia’s superb Stratos. Parkes was a very good driver but it was his gift as an engineer (he was partially responsible for Hillman’s Imp) that helped develop the Stratos from concept car to rally weapon. Munari pulled its trigger and, criminally, the car was getting into its stride when Fiat pulled the plug in ’78. By which time Parkes had died in a car crash.

Greatest achievement: Completely changing public’s perception of rallying

40: Jim Hall & James ‘Hap’ Sharp

Among the most enigmatic teams of the 1960s, the Chaparral squad from Rattlesnake Raceway, Texas, was an equal partnership between these two oil millionaires. The former was its frontman, yet while his engineer’s mind was, in Chapmanesque fashion, focused on the Next Big Thing, it was the pragmatic Sharp who scored the initial results for the Chevrolet-backed (if only via the back door) crew, saying: “You win races in obsolete cars.”

Greatest achievement: Consistently breaking moulds and pushing envelopes

39: Sir William Lyons & FRW ‘Lofty’ England

For Lyons, competition was a means of showcasing his Jaguar marque and nothing more. He wasn’t, by most accounts, an overt racing fan. But team manager England was, and it was he, along with Malcolm Sayer, who made such an impact with the iconic C- and D-types. There was strong respect between the patron and his employee, but England was not beyond ignoring his paymaster: witness Norman Dewis testing and crashing the XJ13 in 1966 despite strict orders to the contrary.

Greatest achievement: Proving to Ferrari importance of Le Mars successes

38: Gilles Villeneuve & Enzo Ferrari

The ‘Old Man’ was callous about so many of his drivers, but there were a select few whom he loved. The last was Villeneuve: he epitomised everything a racer was meant to be, and driving for Ferrari meant everything to him. Enzo recognised that and revelled in Gilles’ adventures.

Greatest achievement: Two GP wins n 1981 wth truly awful 126C

37: Mario Illien Paul Morgan

It was a truly audacious act. Two ex-Cosworth engineers take on their former employers and steamroller ChampCars before dominating F1. With Roger Penske operating in the shadows, reserved Swiss Illien and the more effusive Morgan teamed up to form Ilmor in 1984. Initially with Chevy backing, their first win came courtesy of Mario Andretti at Long Beach three years later. Some 123 victories followed, including nine Indy 500s. Not to mention the ’98 and ’99 F1 titles for McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen. Tragically, Morgan perished in May ’01 after crashing his Hawker Sea Fury aircraft.

Greatest achievement: One-off 500i Mercedes pushrod V8 for 1994 Indy

36: AJ Foyt & George Bignotti

The toughest of the track and an ex-flower shop owner from ‘Frisco. Huh? While their partnership was no bed of roses — Bignotti refused to be bullied by the bellicose Texan — it was America’s finest in the early 1960s, securing 27 wins, including two Indy 500s, and four USAC titles in five seasons. It was at this point that AJ thought he knew best and went his own way. He was hardly a failure thereafter, but might he have won even more had he stayed put?

Greatest achievement: 10 victories from 13 USAC starts in 1964

35: Markku Alén & Ilkka Kivimäki

Brooding in the service halts, max-attacking on the stages, Alén sounds like a co-driver’s nightmare. But Kivimäki clearly didn’t think so and sat alongside the Finn with a Latin temperament from 1975 to ’93, helping him to 20 WRC victories. The world championship never came their way, but you don’t always need a tide to prove your greatness.

Greatest achievement: Only Finns to win on Corsica in 1982 and ’83

34: Graham Hill & Tony Rudd

BRM had promised much. But it had delivered so little that it was time to get real. Rudd, who had come up through its ranks, was made chief engineer and team manager early in 1962, and given a chilling brief: win or shut up shop. Hill’s career was on the cusp, too. But he was as determined as Rudd. and they turned it around, winning four GPs and the drivers’ and constructors’ titles that year. BRM entered its golden age.

Greatest achievement: Monaco hat-trick. 1963-65

33: Lord Hesketh & James Hunt

The carefree, cashed-up young aristo and the stockbroker’s son moved F1 from the back pages of the dailies to the front. Beneath their seemingly laissez-faire appearances, however, Hesketh and Hunt were competitive, and Britain got itself a new hero when ‘Master James’ defeated Niki Lauda at Zandvoort in 1975 for the first of his 10 GP wins. The rest of them would be secured in McLarens, but Hesketh had sown the seed.

Greatest achievement: Making teddies hip

32: Timo Mäkinen & Stuart Turner

The young man in horn-rimmed specs was determined to turn rallying on its head when he became BMC’s comps boss in the early ’60s. And he did just that with Issigonis’s design of the century and Finnish driving talent. Timo was the big fella who flogged the Mini on all surfaces, in all weathers. That car was always going to succeed, but those rally wins cemented its legend. And this pair did the same for Ford’s Escort!

Greatest achievement: Plunging through deep deep snow to win 1965 Monte

31: Carlos Sainz & Luis Moya

Easygoing Moya sat alongside the unofficial King of Spain for 14 consecutive world championship bids from 1988, reeling off his sing-along pace notes to the tune of two titles (’90 and ’92) and 24 wins in a variety of Toyotas, Subarus and Fords. The two got on famously, but it was clear who wore the trousers, and who was unwilling to take the blame for any failures. It wasn’t Moya. But he did not seem to mind, which is probably why it worked.

Greatest achievement: First non-Scandinavians to win 1000 Lakes

30: Gerry Marshall & Bill Blydenstein

As the winner of innumerable races (he reckons more than 600) during a 40-year career, Marshall has long been a crowd favourite — and never more so than in the 1970s when he drove a succession of Blydenstein-prepared Vauxhalls. With the ‘Old Nail’ Firenza alone the duo racked up more than 60 wins, and Gerry’s showboating, sideways style was a treat for onlookers when he was in the Blydenstein-built Repco V8-powered ‘Baby Bertha’ supersaloon.

Greatest achievement: Second in 1977 Spa 24 Hours in a Vauxhall Magnum

29: James Hunt & Murray Walker

Fire and water. Take a boorish but ever-entertaining former GP god and place him alongside a commentator who, as Clive James once put it, “Sounds like his trousers are on fire.” Then throw in a microphone. Just the one. And stand back. What began as mutual antipathy grew into real affection and BBC’s F1 viewers reaped the benefits.

Greatest achievement: Not punchng each others lights out

28: Juan Manuel Fangio & Stirling Moss

Still today Moss reckons the burly Argentinian to be the greatest. That respect paid him back a hundredfold when he signed up as a 24-year-old to be Fangio’s Mercedes team-mate. Onlookers called them ‘The Train’, and sages clucked over how close Stirling ran behind ‘The Maestro’. But what better place to learn your trade — and to prove that you are the future of the sport?

Greatest achievements: Two household names in perfect harmony under one roof

27: David Richards & Colin McRae

That McRae would become a rally driver was a given. That he would make the grade rather less so. The son of five-time British champion Jimmy, the Scot began his career in 1986 in a Talbot Samba. The speed was there. So were the big crashes. But Richards took the gamble and (eventually) succeeded in reining in McRae’s ebullience; his eight years in Subarus for DR’s Prodrive team netted a brace of British titles and the ’95 world championship. Oh, and an RAC Rally hat-trick.

Greatest achievement: Giving Subaru’s farmers’ runabout image the new Evo

26: Bernie Ecclestone & Max Mosley

Batman and Robin or Bonnie and Clyde? Whatever your view, Bernie and Max (right) have clearly wielded more influence on motorsport than anyone else. Poachers turned gamekeepers, it’s thanks to them that F1 is no longer a minority sport. We are closer to the end of their era than the start, however, so what happens next? Spot any successors?

Greatest achievement: Making F1 into a TV phenomenon — and safer

25: Emanuele Pirro & Frank Biela & Tom Kristensen

Three drivers whose careers in topflight single-seaters fizzled, but who subsequently crafted their place in history by becoming the first squad to win Le Mans three times in a row. Armed with an Audi R8, they took top spot from 2000-02. Kristensen, having already tasted victory in ’97, went on to clock wins for Bentley in ’02 and Team Goh Audi last June, equalling Ickx’s tally.

Greatest achievement: Keeping so calm

24: Alan Jones & Patrick Head

They even looked alike. No driver since has matched Williams’ expectations like Jonesy. The Australian shared the team’s hard-headed outlook and, armed with Head’s series of FWO7s, put the team on the map and won its first title in 1980. Poor old Reutemann might have been the talent, but he could never hope to be a true Williams driver like AJ.

Greatest achievement: Not allowing their stubborn streaks to stop them winning

23: Piers Courage & Frank Williams

There’s not much in the way of top-level results for these two, but some would argue that they were just getting started when Courage crashed fatally in the 1970 Dutch GP. This unlikely pairing had been hoping to build on the two seconds scored the previous season in their privateer Brabham. The Old Etonian’s death profoundly affected Frank and he scraped by at the tail of the GP grid for much of the rest of the decade.

Greatest achievement: Proving that they were to be reckoned with

22: Tazio Nuvolari & Vittorio Jano

Trained over in Turin at Fiat, Jano joined Alfa in 1923 and promptly designed the P2. Nuvolari crashed this model on his first big test for the team, but he was the finished article by the time he stepped aboard Jano’s legendary P3, the first monoposto GP car, in ’32. Perhaps Jano’s powers waned thereafter, but without his subsequent 8C35 and 12C36, combined with Tazio’s god-given talents, there would have been no opposition at all to the German GP machine. Jano’s other role was to oil the fractious relationship between Enzo and Tazio.

Greatest achievement: Updating the P3 just enough then driving its wheels off to win German GP of 1935

21: Derek Bell & Hans-Joachim Stuck

Considering Ickx and Jochen Mass scored 19 major sportscar victories together, and that five other pairings scored more wins than this Anglo-German partnership, it’s perhaps a surprise to see `Dinger’ and Stuck Jnr so high up. Until you remember that over the course of 1985 and ’86 few came close to matching the ‘BEST’ combination for pace and reliability, hence two (shared) World Sports-Prototype Drivers’ titles. And let’s not forget Le Mans wins in ’86 and ’87 (with Al Holbert) and a near miss in ’88 (with Klaus Ludwig).

Greatest achievement: Shading Ickx

20: Colin Chapman & Mario Andretti

“The 79? Well, I’ll tell ya — it’s just beautiful. It feels like it’s painted to the road.” The union between the charismatic, quotable American and ‘Chunky’ was very potent. Chapman went on record as saying that Mario was the driver he was closest to after Clark, while Andretti’s famed work ethic and mechanical grasp helped develop the ground-effect car into a championship winner.

Greatest achievement: Spot-landing a GP quantum leap

19: Brian Lister & Archie Scott Brown

That Scott Brown achieved so much is testimony to his sheer grit. With a partially formed right arm and distorted legs and feet (by-product of his mother’s German measles during pregnancy), he nonetheless made a big impression with an MG TD in 1951. But it was his partnership with the ever-supportive Lister from ’54 that saw his talents shine. After his death at Spa in ’58, Lister’s enthusiasm for the sport effectively went with him.

Greatest achievement: Wnning the Lady Wgram Trcphy in New Zealand after finally being granted an international race licence

18: Rudi Caracciola & Alfred Neubauer

At the precise moment Neubauer decided he wasn’t cut out to be a GP driver, Caracciola was kicking his heels as Merc’s rookie reserve driver at Monza, 1924. They went a long way back, this pair, and so Neubauer was happy to nursemaid his injured friend through the first year of the Silver Arrows 10 years later. His other drivers felt he always favoured `Caratsch’, but Rudi was a real team man who loved playing the strategy card as much as Neubauer did. Plus, 15 wins and two titles in this silver era proved he was no has-been.

Greatest achievement: Avoiding a wheel hammer thrown by an angry Luigi Fagoli

17: Nelson Piquet & Gordon Murray

The joker in the 1980s F1 pack combined brilliantly with the decade’s most free-thinking designer. Piquet and the Parmalat-backed Brabhams don’t get enough credit for the 1981 and ’83 world titles. Maybe Murray’s ability to find loopholes in the regs — for example, the hydro-pneumatic ground clearance system on BT49C — has contributed to that, but with sensationally beautiful cars like the BT52, this pair defined their era.

Greatest achievement: Channeling 1400bhp of BMW turbo grunt

16: Stirling Moss & Alf Francis

Alphons Kovaleski apprenticed as a clockmaker in Poland. After WWII he emigrated and ended up becoming Moss’s faithful mechanic. Prone to moods and delusions of designing grandeur, he was also a top-notch technician and preparer who guided Stirl’ through all stages of his career. A serious man, Britain’s gentleman racers bemused him, so the ever-professional Moss was much more down his pitlane.

Greatest achievement: Upstaging Ferraris in outgunned Cooper and outdated Lotus

15: Roger Penske & Rick Mears

Penske proved that he’d lost none of his ability to scout for new talent when he brought this Kansas-born off-roader and stock car driver on as a sub for Mario Andretti in the second half of 1977. Within two years Mears had taken his first Indy 500. Three more followed, and though primarily remembered as the best oval driver of the ’80-90s, he was also a superfast road racer. Penske gave him the tools, and Mears was nigh-on blameless.

Greatest achievement: Three CART titles

14: Bruce McLaren & Denny Hulme

Two Kiwis, different personalities: McLaren was extremely friendly and approachable, Denny introverted and less trusting. But together they were absolutely formidable. Bruce had no qualms about playing second driving fiddle to Denny while he concentrated on running his fledgling team, confident in the knowledge that his compatriot would give it his all. He was right to put his trust in him. When Bruce was killed testing in 1970, a devastated Denny, dealing with his own painful injuries from a fiery Indy 500 shunt, drove the team on through its grief.

Greatest achievement: Making Can-Arn their personal playground

13: Jack Brabham & Ron Tauranac

They had known each other since Jack’s dirt-oval days Down Under, corresponded as pen pals during his Cooper glory days, and set up shop together in 1961 as Jack looked to break away from the Surbiton outfit. Tauranac is arguably the greatest blue-collar designer, a tireless force whose superb privateer cars helped Brabham provide the backbone of the 1960s single-seater scene. Conservative Ron and elbows-out Jack were the very antithesis of Chapman and Clark, but that didn’t stop them from being super-successful.

Greatest achievement: Eponymous car/driver F1 champonships. 1966

12: Jack Brabham & John Cooper

‘Blackjack’ was the perfect man to prove a fretful John Cooper right. Brabham was on his uppers after a disastrous 1956. Hungry, desperate and technically gifted, he grafted with Cooper until his mid-engined cars were winners. While he pushed his car to title glory in 1959 by the skin of his teeth, he dominated ’60 with five wins. Cooper had reached its Zenith, a fact Jack recognised. It would soon be time to move on…

Greatest achievement: Changing the face of F1 forever

11: Roger Penske & Mark Donohue

The combination of Penske’s business nous and attention to detail. and Donohue’s ability to find the Unfair Advantage in such unlikely racers as a Daimler Dart and AMC Matador, shone as brightly as their immaculate cars. Though *Captain Nice’ had earned success in SCCA. and been part of Ford’s GT40 programme. it was Penske who nurtured his potential. Together they dominated US road racing from the mid-1960s to the early ’70s.

Greatest achievement: Taming those 1000bhp-plus turbo Porsches

10: Nikl Lauda & Mauro Forghieri

Forghieri’s Ferrari 312T was one of the most beautiful F1 cars and, in the hands of Lauda, the dominant force of its era. When Niki joined Ferrari for 1974, Forghieri was returning to favour in Enzo’s court. The brilliant engineer’s flat-12 and (by ’75) transverse gearbox were the tools that Lauda needed in order to shine, and two titles followed in three years. Mention should also be made of Luca di Montezemolo, the politician who cleared the path for the Lauda/Forghieri axis to prosper.

Greatest achievement: Finding 1 sec at Fiorano in a week to convince Enzo

9: Jacky Ickx & Derek Bell

The dream ticket of endurance racing. Ickx was an established superstar, Bell rather less so, when they teamed up for Le Mans in 1975 with Mirage. Against admittedly limited opposition (no Matras, Ferraris or factory Porsches), they won. As they did in ’81, a commanding win in a Porsche 936. Happy to stay in Ickx’s shadow, team player Bell nonetheless blossomed following that second victory and commendably backed up Jacky when needed: witness the narrow win at the ’82 Brands 1000Km which secured Ickx the world title.

Greatest achievement: Putting Bell’s career back on track

8: Ayrton Senna & Ron Dennis

From the start, it was cut-throat — albeit with some rich man’s humour: flipping a coin for the last half-mil during negotiations for Senna’s first McLaren contract went in Dennis’ favour. But Ayrton got his own back: race-by-race deals in 1993 kept the media guessing and forced Ron to put his hand much deeper into his pocket than he would have wished. But for so long these two both needed and respected each other. When Senna signed for McLaren, Dennis and Alain Prost were firm allies. In less than two years, the Brazilian had reversed the situation.

Greatest achievement: The longest-running soap opera in F1

7: Keith Duckworth & Mike Costin

Thrown together at Lotus in the late 1950s, ‘worth and Cos’ soon jumped ship — Chapman and Duckworth were too alike to work under the same roof — and formed the best engine-building partnership in history. Duckworth was its public face, the argumentative designer touched by genius, Costin was the self-effacing sheet anchor, the sounding board for his mate’s muse. From tweaked Anglia motors to the most successful F1 engine ever took them less than 10 years. There were, however, very few weekends off in that time!

Greatest achievement: Immortal DFV. 8 cylinders. 155 GP wins

6: Stirling Moss & Denis Jenkinson

Stirling’s victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia was undoubtedly a truly great performance. It’s etched on the mind of every English-speaking fan, however, because of the role played by Jenks. His ‘toilet roll’ of pace notes was vital in keeping Moss on the straight and narrow route to success, and his subsequent Motor Sport story remains the greatest piece of racing writing. Two other MM attempts ended in failure, but their work was already done.

Greatest achievement: Leading at Rome and Brescia

5: Stirling Moss & Rob Walker

They shook on it — and shook the works teams to their roots. Moss was as cussed as he was fast. He drove his socks off for whoever was providing the car (and cheque), but he liked his independence and revelled in the role of underdog. His ‘gentleman’s agreement’ — which lasted from 1958 until his Goodwood crash four years later — with the urbane Walker fitted his bill exactly. Moss was the cherry on its cake, but Enzo would not have offered Walker’s team an F1 car for 1962 had Rob not been anything other than professional in execution, if not outlook.

Greatest achievement: Monaco 1961

4: Frank Williams & Patrick Head

“Are you prepared to work 24 hours a day to achieve success in racing?” asked Frank when he interviewed Patrick. “No,” was the robust reply, “because anybody who has to do that must be extremely badly organised.” There it is in a nutshell: Frank, totally dedicated to the cause; Patrick, a no-nonsense F1 pragmatist who simply won’t accept excuses. They spark off each other and continue to run things their way. Recognised as the last of the purists in the modern F1 paddock, they refuse to live off past glories. Williams has never been an outfit to wallow in nostalgia. This pair live in — and for — the here and now.

Greatest achievement: Treating prima donna drivers with contempt

3: Michael Schumacher & Ross Brawn

The greatest driver of his generation and the master strategist have broken all records together. Of Schuey’s 82 GP wins (and counting), Brawn has been on the pitwall for all but three (during Michael’s first year at Ferrari). They might seem unlikely allies: Schuey, a car mechanic in another lifetime, is an introvert from rural Germany who’s never shown affinity with the Brits, a breed of which Brawn is an archetype. But there’s a real steel behind Brawn’s benign exterior that matches his driver’s, witness 1994 and his willingness to push Benetton to the legal limits — and some say beyond. Work is what they have in common, but still theirs is a relationship built upon a real warmth and bullet-proof respect.

Greatest achievement: Unwavering loyalty through thick and thin mainly thick

2: Jackie Stewart & Ken Tyrrell

Ferrari was desperate to sign him, but JYS shunned the Fiat Group’s advances in favour of a team based in a shed in Surrey, running a French-built car new to F1. His decision was a canny one. His two GP wins in three years with BRM became five in 1968 with Matra. Six more wins in ’69 netted him his first title. His second came with six more in ’71 — incredibly, Uncle Ken’s first year as a genuine constructor — and his third in ’73 with five. Tyrrell knew what a talent he had in Jackie and wisely clung on, building his tight-knit team around him. Just as likely to be listening to Test Match Special as one of JYS’s whiney debriefs, and not averse to subjecting his star to one of his famous fuming ‘froth jobs’, Tyrrell’s last-true-gent-in-F1 status sat well with Jackie’s moral outlook.

Greatest achievement: Doing it all with genuine affection

1: Colin Chapman & Jim Clark

Bold as brass. Bullish. And brilliant. But almost beaten by a shy, sheepish Scotsman. Chapman was very handy behind the wheel, and knew it. Had it not been, however, for an errant backmarker, Clark would have won their Lotus Elite battle at Boxing Day Brands in 1958. Impressed, ACBC was convinced he’d found his superstar and signed Clark for ’60. Twenty-five GP wins, two drivers’ (it was a handful of laps away from being four) and two constructors’ titles are impressive stats, but they fail to capture how completely Clark and Chapman dominated their era: they were the best, everyone knew it. From the moment Jimmy finessed another of his how’d-he-do-that? getaways, an air of inevitability would descend. But old-style approachability and reliability imbued the process with a human touch that Schumacher’s high-tech victories have ruthlessly dispensed with. Chapman ensured that Clark had the best car in the field too, of course — including two huge strides in the shape of 25 and 49— but they were fragile and would not have won so frequently shorn of Clark’s caressing style. Chapman, understandably, genuinely loved Clark, but he dominated their relationship and perhaps worked his prize asset unnecessarily hard on occasion. The dynamics of it were changing by 1967-68, tax exile status in Paris having widened Jimmy’s horizons and increased his self-worth… but then his F2 Lotus bent around that Hockenheim tree and his Chapman axis became enshrined.

Greatest achievement: Winning in the Americans’ own Brickyard in 1965

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