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Long careers, few teams and loyalty


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#1 Charlieman

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:13

If you look at the career of Stirling Moss, who almost created the job specification for driver for hire, he drove for a lot of teams and manufacturers. There were others from the same period who appear to be serial monogamists. I'm thinking of Jack Brabham, who raced Coopers, a 250F and Brabhams in single seaters in Europe. Towards the end of his career, he drove a Matra in sports car racing but that seems to be an outlier. For most of his international career, Brabham raced for Cooper or something associated with MRD. Bruce McLaren had a similar career, driving for Cooper and McLaren with a brief F1 interlude with Eagle/AAR.

Both Brabham and McLaren had immense self belief and worked with people who inspired confidence. But they were also remarkable in that they became constructors, which gave them choice but also limited their driving options.

At the top of their abilities, how many drivers from the 1.5 and 3.0 litre F1 eras were non-promiscuous? Jackie Stewart fails the test because he would drive a sports car for anyone with a competitive offering.

In later times, Jacques Laffite drove for Ligier and Frank Williams in F1 over 13 years, occasionally starring elsewhere. (OK, his 1975 F2 season was the serious business.)

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#2 D-Type

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 21:08

Von Trips drove mainly for Ferrari with occasional outings for Mercedes and Porsche (admittedly only just in the period quoted)
Jim Clark drove exclusively for Lotus once he hit the big time with various one-offs outside of F1 such as a NASCAR drive but none were serious or significant races

Edited by D-Type, 04 November 2012 - 22:30.


#3 JtP1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:06

To be specific, Brabham raced his own 250F. He also raced at least once for Aston Martin in the Nurburgring 1000km partnering Moss. So if there was enough money offered, most drivers would take the drive. No multi $m contracts in those days.

Clark also did the 61(? or 60) 1000km for a low fee, non Lotus. Possibly nothing, but his hotel bill paid. So he and his team mate ate the menu. It would apparently have been cheaper just to pay them and let them settle their own hotel bill.

Edited by JtP1, 05 November 2012 - 02:11.


#4 arttidesco

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:42

While I understand the gist of this thread that Mr Brabham was loyal to Cooper and his own team I believe if the money was right Jack was prepared to hire his services to anyone willing to pay, witness outings for Aston Martin, Coombes etc. racingsportscars.com, I suspect with a far from complete list of Black Jacks achievements, no sign of his drive in a Renault 5 in 1980 for example, shows his last outing to be in works Porsche 956 which he shared with Johnny Dumfries in 1984.

#5 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:18

While I understand the gist of this thread that Mr Brabham was loyal to Cooper and his own team I believe if the money was right Jack was prepared to hire his services to anyone willing to pay, witness outings for Aston Martin, Coombes etc. racingsportscars.com, I suspect with a far from complete list of Black Jacks achievements, no sign of his drive in a Renault 5 in 1980 for example, shows his last outing to be in works Porsche 956 which he shared with Johnny Dumfries in 1984.

Jack raced the Porker at Sandown, and ooh aah he had no gloves. That being the hot CAMS topic of that year. He was just making up the numbers in a customer car but was defenitly no slouch. he raced historics WAY after that. I can remeber him having a real go in a McLaren at Adelaide as a support for the stockcar race about 10 years ago. he didnt think much of the Mac but gave it a very hard time.He raced at goodwood after that in his Repco Brabham too.
An old bloke playing maybe but still serious enough. Like several of his counterparts.
Jack and Bruce [as well as Denny] could build cars, fix them, tune them etc whereas Stirling was more just a driver, and a very good one too ofcouirse.

#6 E.B.

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 21:55

An old bloke playing maybe but still serious enough


In that famous star studded Mercedes saloon car race held to "celebrate" the opening of baby Nurburgring in 1984, everyone remembers Ayrton Senna beating all the established champions - yet Senna's fastest lap was slower than the 58 year old Jack Brabham's.


#7 JtP1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 23:59

In that famous star studded Mercedes saloon car race held to "celebrate" the opening of baby Nurburgring in 1984, everyone remembers Ayrton Senna beating all the established champions - yet Senna's fastest lap was slower than the 58 year old Jack Brabham's.


Yes,but nobody dared try and overtake Senna. :drunk:

#8 JtP1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 23:59

In that famous star studded Mercedes saloon car race held to "celebrate" the opening of baby Nurburgring in 1984, everyone remembers Ayrton Senna beating all the established champions - yet Senna's fastest lap was slower than the 58 year old Jack Brabham's.


Yes,but nobody dared try and overtake Senna. :drunk:

#9 D-Type

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 00:22

Yes,but nobody dared try and overtake Senna. :drunk:

Or, could it be that nobody else in the race was as 'hungry' as young Senna?

#10 Les

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 00:48

Gilles Villeneuve with a race for McLaren in F1 then every other one for Ferrari. Also Massa - Sauber early years and now Ferrari for 8 years.

#11 Zippel

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:01

Not F1 but Mark Skaife in the V8s believed in loyality to one team staying with Fred Gibson's mob before they looked like closing shop and then HRT for the rest of his full time racing career. He once said he doesn't understand why drivers move around so much thinking its like a footy team where a player stays for the good and bad. But I guess he never had to experience the full effects of rejection in the racing world until late in his career.

#12 Graham Clayton

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:28

On a slightly different tack, one of the longest brand loyalties belonged to NASCAR journeyman/independent driver Buddy Arrington.

Arrington was known as "Mr Mopar" for his loyalty to brands such as Chrysler and Dodge in a 20-year career. When Arrington purchased Richard Petty's Dodge Magnum cars and parts after Petty switched to GM in 1978, he was the only Mopar driver until 1985, when the Chrysler bodyshell was excluded under the NASCAR 3-model year rule, forcing him to switch to to a Ford Thunderbird for the second half of the 1985 season.

http://www.magnumgt....ingtons-magnum/

http://www.imperialc...Buddy/index.htm