On a brief sombre note, today (January 18th) marks the 60th anniversary of the Argentine Grand Prix disaster.
As the 1961 season drew to a close, Ferrari's Wolfgang von Trips was leading team mate Phil Hill and only needed a podium to claim the crown. In the end, death betrayed the German – with von Trips dead in the circuit’s medical unit and Sir Stirling Moss eleven points adrift; Hill became the first American World Champion with one race to spare.
It is often remembered as a time of honour, sportsmanship and openness in motorsport. Simpler times when safety was not an issue and drivers were daredevils playing in the fire – and when Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh took to the wheel; motorsport felt the rare touch of royalty.
Many who follow this blog may be keenly aware of my appreciation of the history of motorsport, as well as more modern endeavours. It is through the channels of history that one can build a sense the direction for the future – of course that only works if one is clever enough to learn from one’s errors.
When Karl Jochen Rindt's Lotus 72 ploughed head-on into the guardrail at Monza's fast, sweeping Parabolica, motor racing was robbed of one of its most outstanding talents. At 28, the exuberant Austrian was to become Formula 1's first - and thankfully only - posthumous world Champion.
One of the current themes of not just Formula 1, but motor racing in general, is one of cost-cutting and material conservation. Mention those two elements in the same sentence as F1 fifteen years ago and you would have been laughed out of every room, but times have changed. In a greater push to bring … Continue reading The Banks of Monza