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The lost F1 skill of passing back-markers


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#1 bathceltic

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 20:44

A few observations from my childhood.

It was a good skill but not being the best at it didn't stop you from being a great. (e.g. I think Prost is a great but he was not nearly as good at it as Senna)ie if I was having pint with someone and having a discussion about who was the greatest it would not be in my top 3 criteria.

Murray and James were a bit hypocritical, they would in the same race slam a Groulliard or De Cesaris for being in the way while later praising Brundle for sticking to his line.
On the same theme to be fair to Martin, Ken Tyrrell would always say it was the faster car's responsibility to get past. Why should someone in 8th ruin their tyres for the leaders?

To me it was part of the natural development of a race, as the race settled down to a bit of a procession, coming across the back markers would give the race for the lead new impetus, in short I miss it.

Bad back markers did change results, eg Giacomelli Brands 1978, Lauda suffered, Reutimannn benefitted, poor Tambayat Austria 1983, Jarier scuppered his race.

Final observation, I like Coulthard overall, but I am right to hold a grudge against him as the f1 character who was instrumental in getting rid of this skilll mainly because compared to his main competitors he was not very good at it?

Edited by bathceltic, 01 October 2011 - 20:49.


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#2 MCS

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 21:16

Final observation, I like Coulthard overall, but I am right to hold a grudge against him as the f1 character who was instrumental in getting rid of this skilll mainly because compared to his main competitors he was not very good at it?


Coulthard had the latest (and often, arguably, the best) machinery right through from his Formula Ford days to Formula One. In itself for a British driver a quite remarkable situation. My personal view is that he failed to deliver (especially in F3000), although others on here will have a much more detailed opinion. He won races in Formula One simply because he was in the best car at the time when others (usually team mates) fell by the wayside.


#3 bathceltic

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 21:25

Yes, Coulthard never had to run at the back earlyin his career so maybe never knew what it was like to compromise your race for the leaders.

#4 ensign14

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 21:29

Murray and James were a bit hypocritical, they would in the same race slam a Groulliard or De Cesaris for being in the way while later praising Brundle for sticking to his line.

Wasn't that because Grouillard or de Cesaris would not stick to their line? Or sometimes had nothing approaching a line?

#5 kayemod

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 22:11

Yes, the leaders finding a way past the sometimes unco-operative backmarkers was one of the things I enjoyed most about racing, but that was before they changed the rules, making blue flags compulsory rather than advisory. Surely though, that was largely brought about by the massive reduction in braking distances we've seen in recent years, getting past another car, even a slower one, is very much harder than it used to be, so maybe something had to be done.

On Coulthard, I have to agree, a good driver certainly, but only a moderate talent flattered by the machinery he was lucky enough to have at his disposal, to give just one example, the difference between him and Mika Hakkinen was night and day. Going back to the first point, would Mika have followed Bernoldi for as long as DC did at Monaco in 2001? Everyone knows that passing is difficult at Monaco, but some drivers used to manage it. Blue flags wouldn't have helped Coulthard in that case of course, as weren't they on the same lap racing for position?

#6 scheivlak

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 22:26

A few observations from my childhood.

It was a good skill but not being the best at it didn't stop you from being a great. (e.g. I think Prost is a great but he was not nearly as good at it as Senna)ie if I was having pint with someone and having a discussion about who was the greatest it would not be in my top 3 criteria.

Murray and James were a bit hypocritical, they would in the same race slam a Groulliard or De Cesaris for being in the way while later praising Brundle for sticking to his line.
On the same theme to be fair to Martin, Ken Tyrrell would always say it was the faster car's responsibility to get past. Why should someone in 8th ruin their tyres for the leaders?

On a lot of occasions, Brundle could be as annoying s well! I vaguely remember either Murray or James mentioning/explaining how Brundle got very much in the way of somebody because he still had a feud over something in the past like Senna over their F3 days etc.

Final observation, I like Coulthard overall, but I am right to hold a grudge against him as the f1 character who was instrumental in getting rid of this skilll mainly because compared to his main competitors he was not very good at it?

Holding a grudge against anybody for something of that magnitude of importance is always wrong  ;)

#7 jj2728

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 22:26

Wasn't that because Grouillard or de Cesaris would not stick to their line? Or sometimes had nothing approaching a line?


Olivier Grouillard? Surely you jest....... ;)

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#8 GD66

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 02:03

On Coulthard, I have to agree, a good driver certainly, but only a moderate talent flattered by the machinery he was lucky enough to have at his disposal


He lost me with a series of own-goals, including crashing at Ascari on the warmup lap at Monza after he'd qualified on the front row, and understeering off into the armco when entering the pits at Adelaide... :rolleyes:


#9 stevewf1

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 09:12

Wasn't that because Grouillard or de Cesaris would not stick to their line? Or sometimes had nothing approaching a line?


No. I see a pattern here (British). Just sayin'... :smoking:



#10 JtP1

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 17:58

Re Coulthard. Probably the worst at lapping someone and the worst to lap.

#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 18:23

Two things changed over the years. The drivers became a lot less professional about knowing when to concede to cars lap(s) ahead, and the dreaded aero turbulence became so pronounced it was difficult to overtake them even with a significant speed advantage.

#12 bathceltic

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 21:22

All fair observations on why it wasn'tall dc's fault although his hypocricy in being hard to pass is certainly true eg Kovalinen found that out in 2008 at Monaco. The Bernoldi one was for position but it certainly was a skill dc really struggled with. Being young and hungry certainly helped, I watched a full re run of Monaco 1982 (in french) and Prost was incredibly brave and forceful. Later on of course compared to Senna the boot was on the other foot. Interestingly il leone seemed to get mixed up with the likes of Groulliard more than say Senna. Nigel always felt that the yellow helmet helped with the back markers jumping out the way.

#13 GMACKIE

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 21:33

I'm wondering if you could have left off "of passing back-markers"?

Perhaps it would have 'clogged' this forum. :rolleyes:

#14 fbarrett

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 23:29

Having raced a bit but never as the fastest car on the track, I feel that when a backmarker sees a front-runner approaching in his mirrrors--and he'd better keep a keen eye on said devices--he is duty bound to let the faster car by. End of story.

Frank

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:31

An old-fashioned viewpoint Frank, but one which I totally agree

#16 E1pix

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:46

I agree with a sentiment above that an 8th-place car needn't clag their tires to an overtaking front-runner, but there's straights for that. A simple lift of the throttle. Courtesy has a place everywhere.

#17 cheapracer

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:13

Apparently you only got in Alan Jones way once and seems to be born out when I watch replays of races then.

#18 GMACKIE

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:22

I agree with a sentiment above that an 8th-place car needn't clag their tires to an overtaking front-runner, but there's straights for that. A simple lift of the throttle. Courtesy has a place everywhere.

I'm glad you didn't say "Common Courtesy", as it certainly not very common!


#19 E1pix

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:28

I'm glad you didn't say "Common Courtesy", as it certainly not very common!

Hence my uncommon reply. :) You're right, and it should be, not that hard.