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Michael Andretti: "Ron Dennis and Bernie Ecclestone conspired to make me look bad"


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#101 Peat

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:29

vaguely? I'd say it was pretty accurate. Do you think he couldn't afford a wheel and pedals?


For it's time it was tops. But go and play it now, it's very limited. Other than knowing which direction a track goes, there's very little else to glean from it. It would have still been a total adventure going out on track for the first time.

As for the keyboard, i'm just going by what i read in F1Racing mag many many moons ago.

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#102 Baddoer

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:32

I believe Andretti, he is respected driver and a person. What he says just confirms typical Ron and Berine characters story.

Edited by Baddoer, 15 November 2012 - 08:32.


#103 HP

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:05

I'm rather suspicious about the timing of the article. 2012, the year F1 returns to the US again...

#104 as65p

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:16

05.03.93
F1:- Ayrton Senna was delighted with the new McLaren as he posted what is though to be the fastest time of winter testing at Silverstone. He clocked 1 min 20.27 secs and then said: "The car is pretty fast! In my experience, Silverstone is one of the hardest circuits at which to set the car up properly." But the Brazilian is still keeping the team waiting over whether he will drive for them this season. "For sure if I had come here and the car did not work I would not race this year," he said.

mins:secs
1 A Senna Brz McLaren 1:20.27
2 M Andretti US McLaren 1:21.13
3 M Hakkinen Fin McLaren 1:22.05
4 A de Cesaris It Tyrrell 1:25.60
5 U Katayama Jpn Tyrrell 1:28.22
6 D Brabham Aus Footwork 1:39.31


There's quite some insights into that years testing process in the BBC docu "A year with McLaren", forgot which episode. They are showing Andretti and Hakkinnen testing, then one day Senna arrives from Brazil, after a few laps G.Ascannelli is standing trackside with other engineers, beaming all over the face "now this is how fast it can go!" :)


#105 Rasputin

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:30

I had heard the JV had ran miles on a simulator to suit himself for tracks.


Not only that, as soon as the 1995 CART season was over, JV did endless real-life testing in the Williams FW17 preparing for the 1996 F1 season.

He duly took pole in his very first race and did not take the Concorde back to rural Quebec immediately after the chequered flag.

Edited by Rasputin, 15 November 2012 - 09:31.


#106 Sakae

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:04

As much I loved CART of the early-mid 90s, there's no secret that almost every F1 reject made it there, Fabi, Johansson, Blundell and basically any
brazilian you can think of, while a former top driver from F1 could stay competitive well into their 50s, like Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Michael Andretti's approach to F1 was either ill-advised or outright sloppy on his own part, the statements made now are embarrassingly pathetic.

Al Unser Jr's horse-story about being thrown out from Frank Williams' office by Patrick Head is even worse.

Very much my story and point of view as well. Weight difference between cars, choice of racing lines and general feel was very much different between two series, and to think that you can do F1 as part time job ended with predictable results. What I do not understand that his employer has ever agreed to those terms, and if necessary, has not ended all right at the negotiating table. He should have told him, son, we will do it right, or not at all, take your pick.

#107 Tsarwash

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 13:33

I believe Andretti, he is respected driver and a person. What he says just confirms typical Ron and Berine characters story.

Bernie is respected more than Andretti.


#108 Rasputin

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 13:43

Very much my story and point of view as well. Weight difference between cars, choice of racing lines and general feel was very much different between two series, and to think that you can do F1 as part time job ended with predictable results. What I do not understand that his employer has ever agreed to those terms, and if necessary, has not ended all right at the negotiating table. He should have told him, son, we will do it right, or not at all, take your pick.

F1 at the time was a lot about names and it looked thin for 1993, Piquet and Mansell were gone, while Senna was likely to take a sabbatical, why MrE figured that an "Andretti" in a Marlboro-car would work
and promptly talked Ron Dennis into it. Amazingly enough, he was to do exactly the same thing two years later, then twisting Ron's arm to take on Mansell for 1995, even if everybody knew Ron loathed him.

#109 pdac

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 14:40

So if the fans stopped watching they would still be making money?


Not sure, but I think yes. One income source is selling the TV rights. If there were no fans, the TV companies might not like it, but they'd probably still be stuck with a contract that would cost them money to get out of. You can be sure that, whatever happens, Bernie would make a little money somehow.

#110 BoschKurve

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 14:59

I think Michael seriously underestimated the competition in F1...and probably thought he was close to the old man in terms of ability.

I always remembered watching CART in those days, wondering how someone in their 50s could really be competitive.

#111 Taxi

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 15:11

In Portugal we have a saying: "Taking a steep bigger than the leg". 1993 formula 1 in a Mclaren, against Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and other crazy super professional drivers like Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger, Michelle Alboreto, Martin Brundle, and young guns like HH Frentzen and Mika Hakkinen in the bench was too much for the american way of racing around.


Andretti failled completly [there was a story of him going flat out in 6th at an Estoril test and then engaging reverse, breaking the engine right way...]. He was slow, and technicaly quite rudimentary compared to the others. No way it was going to pan out.

Fortunately for the americans years later Villeneuve and Montoya came stronger.



#112 Baddoer

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 16:01

Andretti failled completly [there was a story of him going flat out in 6th at an Estoril test and then engaging reverse, breaking the engine right way...].

Everyone who knows how semi-automatic gearbox works whould say "bullshit"

Edited by Baddoer, 15 November 2012 - 16:04.


#113 Kalmake

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 18:34

Häkkinen signed late after douchery by Lotus boss blocked his Williams contract. Senna was driving on race-by-race deal and heading to Williams next year. So now Dennis had a slow American star driver, a quick test driver, and an unmotivated best driver in the world.

Had Häkkinen gone on to Williams or had Senna taken a year off, Dennis might have been more keen to support Andretti. But as it happened I can see why he would want Häkkinen in the car as soon as possible.

Bernie angle doesn't work. Top American driver would have been good for F1.

#114 Risil

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 18:35

As much I loved CART of the early-mid 90s, there's no secret that almost every F1 reject made it there, Fabi, Johansson, Blundell and basically any
brazilian you can think of, while a former top driver from F1 could stay competitive well into their 50s, like Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.


Emmo retired for good before his 50th birthday, and I reckon the last year Mario Andretti was really competitive, as in fast enough to win races, was in 1988, when he was 48. Worth pointing out as well that statistically the two most successful world championship F1 drivers kept going into their mid-forties themselves.

As for F1 rejects, you could also see that as being the result of the CART paddock having less of an interest in crushing good drivers. Like how Wordsworth justified writing about rural labourers, "the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity". Yeah, that was CART in the 1990s, at least for the drivers. There were a few quite immature team owners, I believe.

Anyway, Mark Blundell had the Right Stuff. Look how he handled that Nissan sportscar in Le Mans qualifying in 1990. (And Steve Johnson came much, much closer to winning a Grand Prix than he ever did winning an Indycar race.)

Edited by Risil, 15 November 2012 - 18:35.


#115 midgrid

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 19:20

Wasn't testing severely limited that year? With no testing on a track before a race?


It was certainly the first year that the number of laps in free practice and qualifying sessions was limited.


#116 911

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 22:58

Emmo retired for good before his 50th birthday, and I reckon the last year Mario Andretti was really competitive, as in fast enough to win races, was in 1988, when he was 48. Worth pointing out as well that statistically the two most successful world championship F1 drivers kept going into their mid-forties themselves.

As for F1 rejects, you could also see that as being the result of the CART paddock having less of an interest in crushing good drivers. Like how Wordsworth justified writing about rural labourers, "the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity". Yeah, that was CART in the 1990s, at least for the drivers. There were a few quite immature team owners, I believe.

Anyway, Mark Blundell had the Right Stuff. Look how he handled that Nissan sportscar in Le Mans qualifying in 1990. (And Steve Johnson came much, much closer to winning a Grand Prix than he ever did winning an Indycar race.)


Good points!

Also, because CART only had 2 chassis (Reynard & Lola) and a few engines (Honda, Chevy, Ford, Mercedes), I believe a driver had a better platform to showcase his talent more in CART than in F1. So, a driver that couldn't get the results he wanted in F1 could actually do better in CART, or at least be more competitive as a driver. During the '90s before its demise towards the latter part of the decade ('95 -> '99), I felt that CART gave F1 a good run for the money.

Back to Michael Andretti: Personally, although he was talented as a driver, I didn't think he was commited enough to compete well in F1. You always hear of the top drivers that spend countless hours in the factory, but Michael didn't do that because he was commuting. I also think he came in with a sense of entitlement because of his accomplishments in CART and his father's background. I was hoping that he would have done well, but he was a major disappointment. Yeah, maybe there were some people out there that didn't want him to succeed, but he didn't do himself any favors by not living there, either.

Cheers.

#117 SirPaulGerman

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 23:25

As much I loved CART of the early-mid 90s, there's no secret that almost every F1 reject made it there, Fabi, Johansson, Blundell and basically any
brazilian you can think of, while a former top driver from F1 could stay competitive well into their 50s, like Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Michael Andretti's approach to F1 was either ill-advised or outright sloppy on his own part, the statements made now are embarrassingly pathetic.

Al Unser Jr's horse-story about being thrown out from Frank Williams' office by Patrick Head is even worse.


I am not familiar with that story , can you tell me ?

#118 Red17

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 23:52

Personally I think Michael is still clueless on why he failed. But he may be right on the actors that ultimatly led to his firing.

The fact that he did not stay in the factory and rushed back the US painted a very bad picture of him. He still thinks it's no big deal, in a F1 team it's a big deal. It shows lack of commitment and professionalism, teams want the drivers full time in the team, be it on sponsor events or cracking numbers with the engineers. I am not sure if Mario had to leave his home in the US during his Lotus years, but in 1993 his son should have moved to England, period. That tiny detail alone undermined any possibility of Michael being regarded as someone who was in Formula 1 seriously. Add that to the fact that he was «Mario's son» american, etc, etc, he had a lot of suspicion to overcome.

Now, Mclaren have this driver who is showing no commitment, crashes, shows little evolution and probably costs a lot of money. Senna is rumoured to be on the way out (so the leadership on track is ending), there is a promissing fin that is a lot cheaper on the reserve. It's quite easy to see that Mclaren would gladly be sloppy in Michael's car, how could he proove the sabotage if he is not even in the shop?
To boot someone out you need to call Bernie, no mystery there, Ron calls the shots in Mclaren, no big mystery there either. That Bernie called Michael CART trash? Also quite possible and again no mystery that Bernie was blocking tracks around the world to host the 2 series.

My personal opinion is that Michael was actually allowed to stay until Monza due to the historical link to Mario. But for me, and I was actually hopefull he could succeed, he never showed anything special. He did get 3rd at Monza and can claim to have been a team mate to Senna, so no total failure there.

#119 jcbc3

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:53

I am not familiar with that story , can you tell me ?


From the original link:

"We went into Frank's office and I said, 'Let's do a deal.' And he said, 'We were only interested in you. We never said anything about having you as a driver.' Patrick was sitting there and he just instantly stood up and said, 'Time to go.' He walked me to the door and shut the door behind me. And that was it.



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#120 Dolph

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:07

That's some class from Patrick Head and Sir Williams. :rolleyes:

Edited by Dolph, 16 November 2012 - 07:07.


#121 jcbc3

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:15

I only quoted the part of being run out of the office. There's a bit more in the Kirby article. But this is just a very one-sided view of the events.

I am pretty certain that if you asked SFW and Head their stories would differ. We already had someone in this thread say Al's test was an embarassmet. And we all know how little patience Head had/has for someone that seemingly waste his time.

That being said Al Jr. was the driver I followed and rooted for back in the early 90ies. So I have a hard time believing he was so bad as that. Michael was at least equal in talent to Al, meaning he shouldn't be an embvarassment either in an F1 car. But I absolutely refuse to believe his idea that Ron didn't want him to succeed.

I remember one of my brothers American colleagues stating in '93 about Andretti's failure to shine: "In F1 they drive to kill. Michael just doesn't have that mean streak". It also ties in with Emmo's remarks. Which if you read them in its entirety doesn't slag F1 off as much as has been made out by others concluding on them.

#122 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:01




If someone else but me wrote the following I know some might take it serious.

But since I'm known for being.....


One other thought crossed my mind about this accusation by Michael.

Could it be that his performances had do be reduced in order to retain the status of Senna? Micheal not permitted to do very well to avoid that Senna's legendary status got hurt too much? The more since the year before (1992) Senna's status had taken a beating because of the sheer dominance by Wiliams and Nigel Mansell?
Ron Dennis being part of it in order to protect his greatest asset (after loosing Honda): Senna.

I know it sound very paranoid and way off. But there is one other odd thing to be told about 1993.
FIA always released videos of the season highlights for each year. Most often the title of the documentary was related with the World Champion.
The title for the 1993 Documentary?

"Senna fights back"

Not a single mentioning in the title to Prost and/or Williams. But Senna appraisal instead.
Did FIA and/or others had something in mind to focus on Senna and keep him in the limelight no matter how? Even if that meant hurting the teammate?

If such is indeed the case, perhaps Michael's comments make a bit more sense. While `hurting` Michael was also very convenient in this case because it made an accomplished CART driver look poor and thus made F1 looking even better over CART. Killing multiple flies with one stone.


(And now I can wait for the things to come.....)


Henri




#123 jcbc3

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:10

In a word, Henri.

no.

#124 motorhead

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:20

What is it with these ex cart/indy drivers, first Villeneuve now Andretti. What a whiners...

#125 BoschKurve

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:22

What is it with these ex cart/indy drivers, first Villeneuve now Andretti. What a whiners...


A lot of drivers are whiners.

The current grid is filled with them.

#126 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:28

In a word, Henri.

no.



I admit that my theory is far sought and looks very unlikely.
But is it impossible? Given Senna's status at that time and the worshipping for him?
And the ever increasing popularity of CART worldwide?
It certainly helped FIA and Ecclestone massively if F1 remained popular in a number of countries because of a certain hero keep doing very well. And outside MansellmaniaMad England, Senna was likely the most reverred driver worldwide.
Stranger things have happened
(and happened in later years)


Henri

#127 Risil

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:29

What is it with these ex cart/indy drivers, first Villeneuve now Andretti. What a whiners...


I dunno, guess they put something in the water over there that makes drivers more likely to speak their mind.

#128 engel

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:30

If someone else but me wrote the following I know some might take it serious.

But since I'm known for being.....


One other thought crossed my mind about this accusation by Michael.

Could it be that his performances had do be reduced in order to retain the status of Senna? Micheal not permitted to do very well to avoid that Senna's legendary status got hurt too much? The more since the year before (1992) Senna's status had taken a beating because of the sheer dominance by Wiliams and Nigel Mansell?
Ron Dennis being part of it in order to protect his greatest asset (after loosing Honda): Senna.

I know it sound very paranoid and way off. But there is one other odd thing to be told about 1993.
FIA always released videos of the season highlights for each year. Most often the title of the documentary was related with the World Champion.
The title for the 1993 Documentary?

"Senna fights back"

Not a single mentioning in the title to Prost and/or Williams. But Senna appraisal instead.
Did FIA and/or others had something in mind to focus on Senna and keep him in the limelight no matter how? Even if that meant hurting the teammate?

If such is indeed the case, perhaps Michael's comments make a bit more sense. While `hurting` Michael was also very convenient in this case because it made an accomplished CART driver look poor and thus made F1 looking even better over CART. Killing multiple flies with one stone.


(And now I can wait for the things to come.....)


Henri


Senna wasn't Ron's asset in 93. Senna didn't even want to drive for McLaren in 93, he drove for them cause Prost locked him out of Williams and he still only drove with a race by race deal

Edited by engel, 16 November 2012 - 14:30.


#129 Henri Greuter

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:42

Senna wasn't Ron's asset in 93. Senna didn't even want to drive for McLaren in 93, he drove for them cause Prost locked him out of Williams and he still only drove with a race by race deal



I know. But he still ended up with Ron. And it could help Ron quite a bit if, at whatever manner, he and other people could pull some strings.

Oh, by the way, I don't believe that Ron and other conspirators actually `bought`lots of rain for the Brazil and Donington races in order to help Senna even further.....;);) :)


Henri

#130 Rinehart

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:51

What a load of nonsense.

Andretti was slow and uncommitted.
Reverse engineering that into a monumentally silly conspiracy 20 years later is pathetic.

Bernie had no issues with Villeneuve looking good.

Next!

#131 engel

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:11

I know. But he still ended up with Ron. And it could help Ron quite a bit if, at whatever manner, he and other people could pull some strings.

Oh, by the way, I don't believe that Ron and other conspirators actually `bought`lots of rain for the Brazil and Donington races in order to help Senna even further.....;);) :)


Henri


nah ... I can sort of live with the theory Ron knew Senna was williams-bound and Andretti couldn't really lead McLaren so he was out of drivers for 94 so he may have hastened Andretti's exit to give Mika mileage, but sabotaging and all that, I don't really buy it.

#132 BoschKurve

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:16

nah ... I can sort of live with the theory Ron knew Senna was williams-bound and Andretti couldn't really lead McLaren so he was out of drivers for 94 so he may have hastened Andretti's exit to give Mika mileage, but sabotaging and all that, I don't really buy it.


Well...had Ron used the Lamborghini V12's like he had initially agreed to, I often wonder if Senna ever would have left for Williams. He had very positive things to say about the potential of that engine when he did the test in the reworked MP4/8 chassis that October.

#133 ensign14

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:17

Could it be that his performances had do be reduced in order to retain the status of Senna? Micheal not permitted to do very well to avoid that Senna's legendary status got hurt too much? The more since the year before (1992) Senna's status had taken a beating because of the sheer dominance by Wiliams and Nigel Mansell?

Senna's status had not taken a beating though.

FIA always released videos of the season highlights for each year. Most often the title of the documentary was related with the World Champion.
The title for the 1993 Documentary?

"Senna fights back"

Not a single mentioning in the title to Prost and/or Williams. But Senna appraisal instead.
Did FIA and/or others had something in mind to focus on Senna and keep him in the limelight no matter how? Even if that meant hurting the teammate?

It was because Prost was non gratus for coming back to F1, waltzing to the title and then sodding off rather than defending it.

#134 BoschKurve

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:32

Senna's status had not taken a beating though.


It was because Prost was non gratus for coming back to F1, waltzing to the title and then sodding off rather than defending it.


Senna called Prost a coward in the post-race press conference at I believe Estoril in 1992 for coming back under the circumstances he did. He wanted a stacked deck for 1993 and did not want any high level teammate. Ah well, it is what it is.

#135 DanardiF1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 15:53

Emmo retired for good before his 50th birthday, and I reckon the last year Mario Andretti was really competitive, as in fast enough to win races, was in 1988, when he was 48. Worth pointing out as well that statistically the two most successful world championship F1 drivers kept going into their mid-forties themselves.

As for F1 rejects, you could also see that as being the result of the CART paddock having less of an interest in crushing good drivers. Like how Wordsworth justified writing about rural labourers, "the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity". Yeah, that was CART in the 1990s, at least for the drivers. There were a few quite immature team owners, I believe.

Anyway, Mark Blundell had the Right Stuff. Look how he handled that Nissan sportscar in Le Mans qualifying in 1990. (And Steve Johnson came much, much closer to winning a Grand Prix than he ever did winning an Indycar race.)


I think some CART team owners thought that they should sign any foreign driver that came looking for a seat, just on the basis that they'd raced in Europe and therefore had to be good (rather than the truth which was that these drivers were largely crap in Europe and had come to the States to escape their bad reputations)...

They overestimated how good the fields of F3000 and the like were... obviously lots of decent F1 drivers came up that route, but there was so much rubbish to sort through.

It's the same problem that English football has sometimes... that a player must be better just because he's foreign.

#136 Risil

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 16:43

Which drivers did you have in mind? (Unless you meant drivers who came in during the CART/CCWS twilight of 2002-7, that is.) Most of the Euro drivers with F3000 experience showed quite well. Even Andrea Montermini (F3000 runner-up in 1992) had a couple of heroic street-course races in 1993 in a year-old, Chevy A powered Lola. There was Tarso Marques, I suppose. But he spent most of his career driving for Dale Coyne Racing, which until recently had been Champ Car's version of Minardi.

#137 DanardiF1

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 18:01

Which drivers did you have in mind? (Unless you meant drivers who came in during the CART/CCWS twilight of 2002-7, that is.) Most of the Euro drivers with F3000 experience showed quite well. Even Andrea Montermini (F3000 runner-up in 1992) had a couple of heroic street-course races in 1993 in a year-old, Chevy A powered Lola. There was Tarso Marques, I suppose. But he spent most of his career driving for Dale Coyne Racing, which until recently had been Champ Car's version of Minardi.


I was thinking along the lines of Alessandro Zampedri, Franck Freon, Conquest owner Eric Bachelart...

#138 Rasputin

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 18:20

Well...had Ron used the Lamborghini V12's like he had initially agreed to, I often wonder if Senna ever would have left for Williams. He had very positive things to say about the potential of that engine when he did the test in the reworked MP4/8 chassis that October.


The funny thing about that October test, other than Ayrton being reportedly two seconds faster with the "Chrysler",
was that Nelson Piquet had called the very same engine "unsophisticated" and "brutish" when he tried it at Lotus.

How different driving-styles could be in those days?

A qoute from MrE at Montreal in 1993 on the difference between Mansell and Andretti's results after swapping series;

"Well, they got our best and we got their best."

#139 olliek88

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 18:31

Since i wasn't into F1 back in 1993 i can't comment fully but i read somewhere that he used to fly back to the US after each race. You can't do that, that not only shows a lack of commitment but its going to take its toll on you and tire you out, surely! As for his level of talent etc i can't comment but it sounds like an all to familiar case of sour grapes.

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#140 Risil

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 18:38

I was thinking along the lines of Alessandro Zampedri, Franck Freon, Conquest owner Eric Bachelart...


Bachelart and Fréon did things the hard way, coming up from F3000 to Indy Lights. By the time they found CART rides they were known quantities in the Indycar paddock. Also I believe they were of the scrape-together-enough-personal-sponsorship school of paydriver, like Tiago Monteiro or Tom Coronel. Nothing to be ashamed of there. In fact, passports aside they were exactly the sort of drivers the IRL was established to help. Still, I don't think Indy Lights was a real quality series until 1997 or so.

Zampedri I know very little about, apart from his trip into the catchfencing on the last corner of the first IRL 500. But his record doesn't look much worse than Christian Danner's, who was certainly talented. Those teams like Regency, Euromotorsport, Coyne, Pro Formance, were not good places for an up-and-coming driver to be. The practice of running one, two or three year old cars with older specs of engine pretty much disappeared altogether after the Split, and with it went most of revolving door teams.

Edited by Risil, 16 November 2012 - 18:47.


#141 BoschKurve

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 21:18

Something interesting I heard, not sure if anyone can confirm any of this.

But I did hear from someone that said for the 1993 season, the reason Hakkinen did all the testing was so Ron Dennis could justify paying him the salary he was getting. He had essentially three drivers he was paying, Senna, Andretti and Hakkinen. The other thing was that Michael was always using Mika Hakkinen's setup on his cars, not a setup he preferred. When he got that podium at Monza, prior to the race, Senna told them to use his setup on Michael's car.

Again, I do not know how valid this all is, but if any of this is true, it adds a new dynamic to the whole thing.

#142 Red17

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 21:22

Something interesting I heard, not sure if anyone can confirm any of this.

But I did hear from someone that said for the 1993 season, the reason Hakkinen did all the testing was so Ron Dennis could justify paying him the salary he was getting. He had essentially three drivers he was paying, Senna, Andretti and Hakkinen. The other thing was that Michael was always using Mika Hakkinen's setup on his cars, not a setup he preferred. When he got that podium at Monza, prior to the race, Senna told them to use his setup on Michael's car.

Again, I do not know how valid this all is, but if any of this is true, it adds a new dynamic to the whole thing.

This bit was said by Marco a few months ago, tho the purpose was more to say Senna was the only good guy at Mclaren.

Edited by Red17, 17 November 2012 - 21:23.


#143 BoschKurve

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 21:24

The funny thing about that October test, other than Ayrton being reportedly two seconds faster with the "Chrysler",
was that Nelson Piquet had called the very same engine "unsophisticated" and "brutish" when he tried it at Lotus.

How different driving-styles could be in those days?

A qoute from MrE at Montreal in 1993 on the difference between Mansell and Andretti's results after swapping series;

"Well, they got our best and we got their best."


I've got a feeling had Senna had the Lambo V12 for the 1993 season, assuming reliability wasn't an issue, he would have walked away with the championship that year. The electronics on the McLaren at least made him competitive relative to 1992. The car still needed a little more to it though.

But even better was the whole bit of Lambo going to work and making the necessary adjustments to the V12 engine that Senna wanted. since Ron had agreed to a deal at the 1993 Frankfurt Auto Show. Then when Peugeot came calling with a big bag of Francs, suddenly that whole deal he agreed to never existed. Sort of ironic Peugeot found themselves in the same boat when Merc came calling with an even bigger back of Deutschmarks. But, not exactly like Jabouille helped matters.

I think Piquet's problem is that he was a very smooth driver, and I can't imagine he liked any sort of rough and tumble with regards to his engines. Although it makes one wonder considering those BMW turbos he had in his Brabham days. Not exactly like those things weren't brutish when the turbo spooled up. Maybe it was just Nelson being Nelson, and nothing else really?

#144 BoschKurve

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 21:26

This bit was said by Marco a few months ago, tho the purpose was more to say Senna was the only good guy at Mclaren.


Do you think there is any truth to the car setup maybe being part of the problem for Michael? Obviously setup does matter, but Monza also isn't a fairly technical circuit by any means which may have played into Michael's favor?

#145 scheivlak

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 21:33

Something interesting I heard, not sure if anyone can confirm any of this.

But I did hear from someone that said for the 1993 season, the reason Hakkinen did all the testing was so Ron Dennis could justify paying him the salary he was getting. (......) Again, I do not know how valid this all is, but if any of this is true, it adds a new dynamic to the whole thing.

Michael tested as well - seen my earlier post in this thread and this piece of video: http://www.gpupdate....t-1993-mclaren/

There's a nice review of Michaels's McLaren year at http://www.f1rejects...etti/index.html BTW.

#146 LittleChris

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 23:28

Since i wasn't into F1 back in 1993 i can't comment fully but i read somewhere that he used to fly back to the US after each race. You can't do that, that not only shows a lack of commitment but its going to take its toll on you and tire you out, surely!


It worked for Mario in his F1 championship winning year in 1978, but of course he was running the USAC series at the same time ( to the extent that he couldn't attend Ronnies funeral because he was racing at Trenton that weekend ) so had no choice but to hop on Concorde each week, whereas received opinion regarding Michaels season was that Sandy Andretti couldn't handle any food except the burgers served up at McDonalds in Nazareth Pa !

#147 Jackie

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 00:30

.... Sandy Andretti couldn't handle any food except the burgers served up at McDonalds in Nazareth Pa !


Journalistic bollocks. :) Just to put the record straight, I have met Sandra several times and she is a very caring, thoughtful lady. Just sayin'.


#148 Rasputin

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:51

It worked for Mario in his F1 championship winning year in 1978, but of course he was running the USAC series at the same time ( to the extent that he couldn't attend Ronnies funeral because he was racing at Trenton that weekend ) so had no choice but to hop on Concorde each week, whereas received opinion regarding Michaels season was that Sandy Andretti couldn't handle any food except the burgers served up at McDonalds in Nazareth Pa !

Mario Andretti only took part in 8 of 18 USAC-races in 1978, besides, he was instrumental in developing the ground-effect Lotus 78 and 79.

What his son was thinking in 1993 is unfathomable and judging from his appearance, I figure that he was the one craving the Penna-burgers?