That Five Year Quest
Posted 10 October 2000 - 18:11
Reading the pithy comments of such as Alain Prost, Bernie Ecclestone and Ross Brawn, who should be in a position to know, I’ve been trying to assign some historical significance to Schumacher’s achievement. Certainly Lauda and Brabham had to wait even longer to win their third Championships, but Lauda took two years off in between and Brabham drove Coopers and Lotuses before finally bringing it off in his own chassis- and I can’t believe Jack was subjected to the same pressure, suffered the same level of angst or had any sense that the stakes, financial and political, were as high.
Who else managed to stick with it for so long, with the same team, after having ditched the employer who’d made him Champion for one who was in the wilderness, to embark on such an epic, quixotic venture? I’d love to know the reaction of Brabham and such as Andretti, Mansell, Moss, Amon... I’m resolutely convinced that the best part of banging your head against the wall is that it feels so good when you stop, but nevertheless there must have been plenty of times when Schumacher wondered why he was putting himself through all this. Anyone care to speculate on who else in racing history may have been in a remotely similar situation?
Posted 10 October 2000 - 18:51
Posted 10 October 2000 - 19:13
As for the next in line, that particular place on the mantle will be occupied by Keke Rosberg for many, many, many years to come for his performance in 1982. That was an absolute great championship. I mean, keep in mind that Keke had scored absolutely ZERO points the prior season and was essentially a place-holder until Frank Williams could find someone else! A great effort by a superb driver.
Another one I really enjoyed was Mario Andretti in in 1965 winning the USAC crown. When he mentioned Ascari as one of his heroes, I knew I had found someone I could relate to!
Just my disjointed thoughts on the topic...
Posted 10 October 2000 - 19:59
Posted 10 October 2000 - 20:09
Posted 11 October 2000 - 00:28
The Ford fiasco, the Serenissima stupidity, patience with the BRM V8 before the V12 came on stream, then a year of watching the DFVs before he could get his own.. and he never won.
He had his compensations, though. Tasman Cup, 1964; A couple of Can-Ams as a driver and more as a constructor:
Posted 11 October 2000 - 10:34
Posted 11 October 2000 - 16:35
I also suspect that the money had much to do with it.
>>Anyone have any insight...
Cheever comes to mind...many F1 and CART rides but no successes. I'd be tempted to guess Geoff Brabham but I'm not aware of him ever having driven F1. Derek Daly? He drove F1 and CART w/ no victories, and he has some sports car successes in the Nissan. I think you are thinking about Cheever.
I suspect that they guys have an enormous amount of self-belief, and an enormous amount of resiliancy
>>Anyone care to speculate on who else in racing history may have been in a remotely similar situation?
How about Dave Ware, who always wanted to be a racing driver, who drove a Formula Ford at a racing school in 1978 and didn't drive anything again until he got his Formula Vee in 1999? It is a sad, sad story of emptyness and yearning, one which is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes......
Posted 11 October 2000 - 22:15
Posted 12 October 2000 - 09:41
Posted 12 October 2000 - 09:50
But for some luck gone their way, might Damon Hill been as far down as fifth as far as winning second generation GP racers go?
Posted 12 October 2000 - 13:41
Gary Brabham's ear problem was not to do with balance, it is a hearing problem. He explained it to me quite recently.
It is in no way connected with Sir Jack's deafness; Jack's is due to listening to too many loud engines. Gary's was something to do with bone growth (again, I have it noted somewhere, but not easy to find at this point) and I THINK (so don't take this as gospel) that he said it was hereditary and from his mother's side.
I do know for sure it is not connected in any way to Jack's problem.
Gary actually said the main trouble was he was racing Champcars at the time and you had to hear the whistle of the turbocharger to know when to change gear - and he couldn't hear it. So he was either changing early or hitting the rev limiter - either of which cost time. You would think shift lights or something might have been a solution, but apparently not.
Posted 12 October 2000 - 20:44
His answer was that he would just keep on going in America... to which I asked if he felt he would finish up in his fifties still racing like Foyt..
He said yes.
Did he retire before he turned 50?
Posted 13 October 2000 - 05:36
Did who retire before he turned 50?
Originally posted by Ray Bell
Did he retire before he turned 50?
If you're talking about Geoff, he's two years away from being 50 and he's not retired.
Posted 13 October 2000 - 07:38
Posted 13 October 2000 - 08:34
Originally posted by fines
No, I don't know of any other driver who endured earning 4 million USD a month to drive the best car in the best team and still took that long to win the WC.
Alain Prost, 1981-84. Correct, Michael?
Well the salary was a bit lower in those days.
Posted 13 October 2000 - 17:37
As a related query, did Pat Moss and Erik Carlsson produce any offspring, and if so how's his/her car control and peripheral vision?
Posted 13 October 2000 - 20:02
Posted 14 October 2000 - 05:52
I remember Stirling once talking about having taken him for a fast drive around the block when he was very young and, after a period of silence when they'd stopped, he said "That made my willie tingle" - so he understands what it is all about!
Posted 15 October 2000 - 05:28
Posted 15 October 2000 - 13:37
Along with Stirling saying he could 'hear' understeer, you must wonder if this is the first indication that the lad does have that kind of ESP...
Posted 15 October 2000 - 18:51
Niki Lauda in My Years With Ferrari:
"Imagine if you really felt a thrill racing; you’d get a centrifugal force orgasm on corners, a speed orgasm on the straight, you would go from one emotion to another and with so many thrills you wouldn’t be able to drive at all. People whose ‘needs are satisfied’ are wankers, not racing drivers."
I'm gonna go wash my hands now.
Posted 15 October 2000 - 22:24
Posted 15 October 2000 - 22:41