Andrea de Cesaris - pictures and articles
Posted 26 April 2002 - 12:02
...De Cesaris had a secure second place until lap 45 when "something broke,big" and he had to exit his smouldering Alfa in his Nomex-stockinged feet,leaving his driving shoes behind.
Posted 26 April 2002 - 13:49
Posted 09 May 2002 - 13:17
Fined but fine
For a man who had just been fined 10000 US dollars for unsportsmanlike behaviour on the circuit for having cuffed two cops at the entrance to the circuit:one with the front of his car,the other with the door and held in a further 15000 US dollars bail to avoid spending some unhappy moments in a German jail without spaghetti,Andrea had one of his best outings ever:a second place that confirms that he has,like his Alfa,not only changed nature but also improved his temperament and consistency.As he said in his moterhome after the race,in blue briefs and a knee-brace,"It's the second race in the row I finish,that's already something!"
Indeed it is.He3 admitted,of course,that you need a little bit of luck to climb to second place-that is,having your opponenets drop out,as did Tambay and Piquet,or have to slow down,as did Prost-but he came back to the strides made by Alfa.He made a good,but for him,a restrained start:"I started third and quickly saw I wasn't that fast on the straights:Piquet went by me,then Patrese,then two Renaults.But though the Brabhams made exceptionaly brilliant pit stops,there was nothing wrong with ours."
So joy,but not unconstrained,optimism,but not unfounded.A little overheating towards the end of the race,no overheating in the brain.The brush with Cheever?"I honestly don't know much about it.I was ahead of him into the curve and it's a place where you do move sideways to stop anyone behind from getting a tow.I may have slid a little too much,but I don't know any more than that."Indeed,for once it was Cheever who was the excitable one and the spectacle of Andrea saying of Eddie"he's a little bit excited,isn't he?"is one of racing's little ironies.He's come a long way.
Posted 09 May 2002 - 21:19
I have some photos from Donington 2000, where Andrea drove the Jordan191 in the Jordan 10 years show. But I dont quit knows how to attach them.
Posted 19 May 2002 - 15:04
Something for nothing
He strides through the pits with a heavy gait.A fisherman's cap perched on his head,an uncertain shave,he looks like your typical man from Britany.These are hard days for Guy Ligier.Yesterday,he lost his temper with a crowd of press vultures waving microphones at him.He shouted"Vive la France",physically collared Bernie,and mounted a brief but choleric attack on the car Renault had lent Francois Chambeland,director of the circuit at Dijon.The car survived.All this because the marshalls had discovered that the fire extinguisher in de Cesaris' car was empty.There were less than ten minutes left in qualifying when Guy Ligier came through the door of the Race Director's office.A driving rain was inundating the valleys all around that Saturday afternoon.Andrea was not qualified.So,the man with the monkish haircut went in and,in all good faith,announced that Hesnault would forfeit the race.The Italian gladiator with the face full of nervous twitches would be on the starting grid,although at the very back.He has the status of No 1 driver.Which gives him certain privileges,undeniables ones.Returning to the pits,there was a flurry of questions for Ligier who seemed to have only stock answers:
"Hesnault offered to give up his drive.He is super guy.What he's doing is fabulous."Some doubtful looks spread among the assembled multitudes.
before going off with his characteristic long and relaxed step,Hesnault added:"On paper Andrea is more qualified than I am to guarantee tha Guy will get a good result in the French GP.It's up to him to confirm that by making it to the end and finishing in the points."No one is expected to do the impossible.De Cesaris brought his Ligier to tenth place:"Problems with shock absorbers on the rear,"he said after the finish in something of a monotone.
As for the man with the look of a fisherman,he had the last word:"For a tenth place,it would have been better to let Hesnault go out."Ligier had done something for nothing.
Posted 24 May 2002 - 22:44
Posted 11 June 2002 - 18:02
I will not finish this thread,so expect my reply soon.
Posted 12 June 2002 - 21:19
Posted 13 June 2002 - 19:59
De Cesaris go home
Ligier team manager,Guy Ligier,announced on the Thursday preceding the Dutch round that de Cesaris would be having his last race with team at Zandvort."De Cesaris is costing us too much money.I've told him time and time again that we want a calm driver,one who can control his impulses.Andrea is a really nice guy,but we simply can't afford him."
The decison came following the Italian driver's massive shunt at the Austrian round the week before,from which he had an extremely lucky escape,to say the least.Andrea admitted he was responsible,"I made a mistake,the first of the season.I don't see how I can really be blamed for that.The car wasn't going very well when I made my move.Hard times are part of F1.Ligier wants money."
Ligier had in fact asked de Cesaris to pay for his shunts out of his salary which he refused to do "Andrea is a quick driver,,"commented Ligier."One of the quickest.And I admit we haven't always given hin the best cars.What I'm against is his way of co-operating with the rest of the team.When things aren't going well the team should keep calm and work even more closely together.There's nothing gained from getting uptight and stroppy like he does."
Andrea didn't let this announcement upset him.He was quickest on Friday morning when track conditions were slippery after heavy downpours.
Posted 13 June 2002 - 20:07
(Italy was really lucky to qualify today)
Posted 26 June 2002 - 11:43
Posted 26 June 2002 - 19:15
...From Ligier it was a trip back to Italy and the Minardi team for 1986.That meant a reunion with Alfa's former boss Carlo Chiti,who was responsible for the reluctant Motori Moderni engines.
"At Minardi with the turbo engine,we had no money,nothing!Sometimes we had not to practice because we didn't have enough turbos,we had to spare the parts for the race.It was just an impossibility."
"I have to say that Minardi is a good man,and he is really trying now,and he has a much better team.But at that stage we didn't have enough sponsors to run a turbo car."
Posted 27 June 2002 - 15:12
Posted 09 July 2002 - 21:00
" At Brabham I found it hard at the beginning,because Bernie was really giving me a tough time.Because of the press-because of some English press-he was reluctant about me.So for the first four or five months he was really tough with me.But when he realised that I was not so bad as the press described,I was feeling much better in the team."
"When your boss is very tough,to keep going quick and not have problems and be overtaken by your team mate is very difficult.And that was a good test for my character.I had to be tough to get on,but I succeded,and in the end he recognisied it.The only thing was that at the end of the year they stopped,so I couldn't continue with them.Otherwise I was 100% sure to stay..."
Posted 11 July 2002 - 05:46
I was watching the '87 review last night and I was thinking what a shame it was that Brabham-BMW packed the bags at the end of the year. De Cesaris and the team were definately getting better as the year wore on, and he and Patrese featured quite strongly at the fast tracks only to be let down by engine gremlins (with the exception of Mexico where Andrea threw it away).
By the end of the year the 2 blue and white cars were well up there, but by then the Team had run it's course.
Posted 11 July 2002 - 17:10
Posted 17 July 2002 - 12:54
Posted 17 July 2002 - 22:22
For anyone who asks why we carp on about the guy so much that picture is the reason why.
Caption competition anyone?
Posted 18 July 2002 - 00:03
Originally posted by deangelis86
You just gotta love that last picture!!! its classic De Cesaris!
For anyone who asks why we carp on about the guy so much that picture is the reason why.
Caption competition anyone?
In cas it's not obvious, the last picture is him being towed back to the pits. He's holding on to the tow rope which is attached to the roll hoop behinf his head.
Posted 18 July 2002 - 08:04
Originally posted by dolomite
In cas it's not obvious, the last picture is him being towed back to the pits. He's holding on to the tow rope which is attached to the roll hoop behinf his head.
When I first glanced at this I thought the guy was celebrating his crash! It really looks like he is doing a Schumahcer style pumped fist celebration. Its only when I studied more closely did I notice the tow cable...
Posted 01 August 2002 - 19:33
Posted 24 August 2002 - 13:24
I've just arrived from holiday,so expect my reply soon.
Posted 24 August 2002 - 16:55
I'm very sorry that I don't have the picture at hand - to find someone with a scanner would be the minor problem.
This accident must have been early in his career, IIRC the car was a McLaren.
Posted 24 August 2002 - 23:02
Posted 25 August 2002 - 10:30
didn't start,although he qualifyied.
Posted 06 September 2002 - 08:37
Posted 10 September 2002 - 09:02
In November 1980 it looked as though McLaren's driver pairing for 1981 would be Prost and young Italian hope Andrea de Cesaris,but the little Frenchman was being courted by Renault,and driving for his national turbo team was an attraction he could not resist.
After much contraversy he made the move,pleading that his contract had been with Team McLaren and that organisation no longer existed.Teddy Mayer made things very hot for both Prost and Renault,but the French as usual in motor racing got their way.By Christmas it was clear John Watson's McLaren place was safe,with young De Cesaris as his number two.
GP South Africa
In practice at Kyalami,John was out-qualified by Andrea de Cesaris,whose M29/5C had its left front suspension damaged by a wild spin;John's M29/4C suffering a seized fuel metering unit which left them sharing the spare car for the rest of the session.The race was started in heavy rain,which rapidly dried,it became another tyre changing saga,and on laps 28 and 29 the dayglo-red and white Marlboro-McLaren with John Watson driving actually led across the timing line.It was the Ulsterman's first GP lead since Monaco 1978 and although John subsequently had to stop to change onto slick tyres and eventually finished fifth he was most encouraged,as were the team,setting aside any thoughts of where he might have finished in a full entry.(The South African GP was run with no participation from Renault,Ferrari,Alfa Romeo,Talbot and Osella,because of FISA-FOCA war).Young Andrea slid off at Leeukop corner,mildly damaging his car on his GP debut for the team,now on Michelin tyres.
Posted 12 September 2002 - 10:30
On March 6-th the new Barnard-designed Marlboro MP4 F1 car was shown to the press at a rain-swept Silverstone,ready to be flown out to Long Beach for its public debut.The new car marked the realisation of Dennis' ambition to run his own F1 programme,as first discussed with John two years before.One release notice read:"The futuristic new aerospace-technology monocoque in carbon-fibre was formed in conjuction with Hercules Incorporated of Salt Lake City,Utah,a chemical company specialising in work on missile rocket motors.Hercules are deeply involved in carbon-fibre technology and ,make the monocoque sections specially for McLaren International.
The MP4 (named simply to reflect "Marlboro-Project Four" although popularly the cars were very much "McLarens") broke new ground in its use of carbon-fibre mouldings to form its chassis monocoque,but coincidentally Lotus had made a considerable fuss of their introduction of Kevlar and other composite fibre mouldings in their latest monocoques.John Barnard had independently matched Colin Chapman's team step for step,and matching the maestro to that extent was a promising launch-pad for McLaren International's first product.Many critics of carbon-fibre's structural use came forward,however,warning of its poor impact resistance relative to conventional metal monocoque materials,and predicting dire effects should an MP4 suffer a heavy accident.All credit is due to John Watson and Andrea de Cesaris,for ignoring such prophets of doom,and driving the cars as hard as they did.Andrea's lengthy crash-testing programme proved them wrong.
Posted 17 September 2002 - 09:12
The MP4 was too new to race effectively at Long Beach,but the team management was keen to run the car there in deference to Hercules' interest.The sleek newcomer made the ageing M29s look positively vintage in comparasion,and it won the Californian organisers' concours d'elegance,to some surprise.It was not race-worthy and Andrea and John qualified their M29s right on the back of the grid.The impetuous Italian went out in a first-lap collision,taking both Rebaque's Brabham and ironically Alain Prost's Renault with him-two races,two accidents.John's engine misfired until he quit after 15 laps.It was not an impressive World Championship beginning.
Posted 19 September 2002 - 09:30
Two weeks elapsed before the Brasilian GP at Rio,before which a lengthy test programme had been set-up at Donington Park only to be washed-out by rain.But Wattie was bubbling with newfound confidence:"In eight laps,without any adjustments,I was easily quicker than I'd ever been with a skirtless M29..."Driving the older cars at Rio neither McLaren driver could find adequate balance,and Andrea spun repeatedly.His engine cut out early in the race,but John splashed through the rain into fifth place and held it comfortably until lap 35 when he slid the tail out of line as usual but this time it kept on sliding and he spun."It was nobody's fault but my own" he cursed,dropping back to eight for the finish.
Posted 24 September 2002 - 12:53
Back home the MP4 again tested well,and was flown to Buenos Aires for the following Argentine GP and John promptly lapped fourth fastest during pre-race testing.Understeer-as of old-dogged him in early practice,the team not tracing it to a dud damper until too late.Andrea spun and spun again.Ron Dennis had a quiet chat with him."Don't try to run before you can walk.Don't try to get more out of the old car than there is in it."
John ran eight but competitively until severe rear end vibration ended his race,and Andrea placed eleventh.It was progress.
Posted 30 September 2002 - 12:53
The European F1 season commenced at Imola for the so-called San Marino GP,and there McLaren fielded two MP4s,the latest one fitted with progressive double spring system,though John found it bottoming badly before going well later on.Ron decided against giving Andrea an MP4 as it would put him under "unacceptable pressure" there on home soil.He drove M29/5 very well until spinning late in practice and knocking-off a rear corner.John qualified seventh,while in race morning warm-up Andrea crumpled his M29F's nose.At the end of the opening lap John was harrying Arnoux's Renault for fifth place but while attempting to pass the French car he misjudged things slightly and knocked-off the MP4's full-width nose wing.Again he made no excuses."It was a foolish mistake" he admitted after having a new nose fitted in the pits and chasing back through the field into 11-th place,and setting second fastest race lap on the way.Andrea did his job well,trailing Villeneuve's sixth-placed Ferrari until last lap,when the French-Canadian's slipping allowed the youngster by to score his first World Championship point.It was promising.
Posted 04 October 2002 - 19:47
There was still no MP4 for Andrea at Zolder,where John cumpled the latest car's rear wing and side pod in practice on his way to qualifying fifth on the grid.Andrea's M29F ended practice 23-rd;his Italian sighs and wistful looks at Wattie's spare MP4/1 saying it all.
John was charging along fourth in the race until his car began jumping out of gear and he fell away to finish seventh.It was a disappointment.Just twelve months previously it would have been a triumph!Andrea's race ended early,with gearbox failure.
Posted 08 October 2002 - 07:59
Hydro-pneumatic lowering suspension appeared on the MP4s at Monaco,but John abandoned it on his car,complaining it felt too stiff and twitchy "just like a go-kart".Andrea was allowed MP4/1 for the first time,but the streets of Monte Carlo were not the best place and he clipped the chicane and bent a rocker arm.Nobody minded,John and the Italian qualified 10-11-a good effort in such a competitive situation.Unfortunately on the opening lap Andrea got his wheels interlocked with those of Prost's Renault and attempted to accelerate his way out of trouble.The MP4 bounded high over the Renault's wheels and crashed down on top of Andretti's Marlboro-Alfa Romeo nose,taking both out of the race.John has a good run and looked bound to finish fourth,when his engine quit.
Posted 14 October 2002 - 09:24
John qualified fourth fastest on row two,as one report described:"It was heart-warming to see the popular Ulsterman pull of such an impressive practice performance and everybody in McLaren Intrernational camp had their fingers well and truly crossed in preparation for the race..."
John's time was set on the second of only 11 laps he managed in the all-important final hour after earlier troubles.Andrea meanwhile spun with a broken steering arm on his MP4 but made the middle of the grid.The race became a classic victory for Gilles Villeneuve,blocking a train of four other cars to produce some sensational TV coverage,with just 1,24seconds covering all five across the line...and amongst them John's MP4 was third,058 second behind the Ferrari.Early on,Andrea had become involved in a battle for 15-th place with Hector Rebaque's Brabham which the Mexican won,though not before the Italian had banged wheels furiously with him into the first corner beyond the pits.Andrea dropped the MP4 and slid gently into retirement amongst the catch-fencing halfway round lap 10.
Posted 15 October 2002 - 09:24
Originally posted by andrea
This is very interesting Andrea's interview from Grand Prix International 1981:
I am in what you call a "vicious circle:" you have an accident and the pressure becomes more, not less.
I don't want to blame my team, but there is one thing I want to say. This year, except for a few laps before we went to Monaco, I have only tested my Marlboro McLaren MP4 once outside official race practising, at Silverstone. I never tested the M29 at the begining of the year.So every 15 days,when I go to race,I have problems which I have difficulty in solving... and every time I go to a race track I find a lot of pressure on me in qualifying. I don't have the relaxed atmosphere which you get in testing, when you can try different things on the car. I don't think it's very easy...
There has been a lot of comment in the press about the dose relationship between your family and the Philip Morris/Marlboro company. Can you ex-plain these connections and how impor-tant they are?
Well, in Italy the sale of cigarettes is a monopoly which is owned by the go-vernment. But between the government and the tobacconists there are distribu-tors, and my father is one of these distri-butors. He distributes all brands of ciga-rettes, including Marlboro, but there is no special relationship between his busi-ness and Marlboro. He has friends at Marlboro, just as he has friends in the Italian and American tobacco compa-nies. That is his job. But he is not em-ployed directly by Marlboro, which has been suggested
BTW: Quote from Marc Surer's book "Motorsport Explosiv"
"after Hockenheim 1981 John Hogan from Marlboro called me: "do you have a contract with
Theodore?", "no" I replied "I didn't signed yet". "Great, get in touch with Ron Dennis".
"nice that you called me" Ron said "we got problems. Andrea de Cesaris just wrecked McLaren No 8, we want to get rid of him. It's got to do with politics. All must kept as a secret. I want that you come over here for making your seat, that we are prepared when we annouce you as John Watson's new teammate"
"I went to England tuesday evening - nobody should know about-" When I arrived in Colnbrock at McLaren only two man were still working - the hall is empty... all went well - my seat fits well - and at 10 I was back at the airport - confident that I'll drive for a very good team soon"
After the Austrain GP, John Hogan called me back. "We got difficulties with the father of de Cesaris. At the moment nothing is fixed. I hope that you could drive for us from Monza on".
Monza? In the heart of italian motorsport? Too good to be true...
Later Ron Dennis called me: "I'm very sorry Marc, but the father of Andrea got lot's of power - tried everything to prevent that Andrea is loosing his drive... we can't sack his son"
"Once again a rich father's son is getting my drive.... Hogan had to admit that Aleardo Buzzi, No1 at Marlboro Europe, was less than happy about our plans: "There's no way. Andrea will stay at McLaren, it doesn't matter how many McLaren he will destroy in the future"
Posted 19 October 2002 - 14:18
The MP4 looked terrific at Dijon,fast and stable on the tight French GP venue's climbs,dips and swerves.John set fastest time on Friday practice,and in a battle royal for pole position in the final Saturday session he was almost immediately down to 1:6.3 while his rivals were still in the 1:7s.But then came Arnoux's final spurt for Renault,and Wattie was demoted to line-up alongside him on the front row,second fastest.Andrea performed very well,qualifying fifth and being well briefed to keep out of trouble on the charge into the first corner.
Unfortunately the race was stopped after 58 laps due to torrential rain and the cars were fitted with soft qualifying tyres for a 22-lap resumption,final results being decided on aggregate of these two "heats".John was third when the first part was flagged down,and finished second in part two for second overall.He had driven aggresively throughtout the meeting and the MP4 was the fastest of the Cosworth brigade.Andrea seemed set to finish in the top six only to stop for wet tyres just before the "first heat" was flagged down falling from eight to 14th,and finally being classified eleventh overall.
Posted 21 October 2002 - 19:15
Any comment on that Marc Surer quote "Once again a rich father's son is getting my drive", etc.?
I like Marc (also for being an excellent f1 commentator on germany pay tv). His book "Motorsport Explosiv" ist superb - one of the best one - not only about f1, Robin Herd, Guenther Schmidt, Jochen Neerparsch, Gordon Murray, Paul Rosche and the 1200 HP BMW Turbos but also about "Gruppe C" and his friend Manfred Winkelhock and of course his horrible rallye shunt. Lot's of background stories f.a. about Teddy Yip. Lot's of fun to read...
Talking about Teddy Yip: He even printed the whole 1981 contract (!) with Theodore Racing Team Limited (never seen a f1 contract anywhere before) in his book. BTW: He never signed it (as I mentioned im my posting above) - "I would have been a modern slave - a bad joke for 4800 Swiss Franken" I would love to share it with you (no problem scanning it with my ocr software in 2 minutes) but it is in german and *very* long. So a translation would take lot's of time...
Back to McLaren 1981. IMO Watson and Surer would have been a great team - both very fast and able to bring the car home in one piece.... Surer would have deserved it before he had that second nasty crash at Kyalami where he broke his legs again - and at that point of his career he was still fit (in his late Brabham BMW days he had lot's of problems with hard braking) and would have been as fast as Wattie...
Posted 22 October 2002 - 08:07
By the way I have read that de Cesaris sr.,who looks like Bud Spencer,punished Andrea when he made mistakes in his early racing days.
About Marc Surer.He was European F2 Champion in 1979,but Kylami accident with ATS slow down his F1 career.In 1981 he drove excellent race in Brasil,when he finished 4-th,but I doubt that he could do something in McLaren instead de Cesaris.
Posted 30 October 2002 - 09:07
Third in Spain,second in France,could Wattie win at Silverstone?After dominating the 1977 race until his Brabham faltered,he seemed owed victory in the British GP but fairy-tales don't come true.
He and Andrea qualified 5-6,their dayglo-red and white cars packing row three of the starting grid behind the two Renaults on row one and a Brabham and Ferrari on row two.Andrea drove cooly and smoothly for his good time,but spoiled it in the race morning warm-up,crumpling his MP4's wings in the catch-fencing at Stowe.The damage was rapidly repaired but on the fourth lap of the race Villeneuve whacked his Ferrari over the kerbing at the Woodcote chicane and the turbocharged car bounced into a lurid high-speed spin,tyre smoke blinding the queue of cars hot on his heels which included both MP4s.John came almost to a halt on the verge before selecting first and tearing away after the field,but Andrea had no such luck,locked-up everything and hurtled into the catch-fencing at high speed,erupting from the cockpit furious in his frustration.
John resumed ninth,and flying...He made up places and profited from retirements amongst the leaders.When Piquet crashed his Brabham on lap 11 John took fifth,two laps later outbraking Reutemann at the chicane for fourth.Squeezing ahead of Pironi's Ferrari the Italian turbo catr promptly blew-up,John third and clear.Only the Renaults of Prost and Arnoux were ahead of him,until lap 17 when the former McLaren's driver retired.John ran second more than half minute behind Arnoux's leading REnault and for 30 laps the race was processional.But the Renault's exhaust note ran ragged,and by lap 51 Arnoux was clearly in trouble.
John gained four seconds in one lap,three seconds on the next.The crowds packed all round the circuit were waving him on,he could see the flurry of movement,the fluttering programmes.By lap 57 the gap was down to 4,5 seconds,lap 58 only 2,5.
Still closing,lap 60 John on the renault's tail,lap 61 the MP4 lunging for the inside at Copse Corner,clinging to the tight inside line round the right-hander and wheel-to-wheel with the Renault away,round the left-hand kink at Maggotts,leaving John on the favoured inside line for the tighter right-hander at Becketts.Arnoux fell away,the enthusiastic crowd thundered its approval,and John Watson and the McLaren MP4 were leading the British GP.Seven laps to go,would it last?
It did,and Wattie scored a marvellous emotional victory on home soil,the first for McLaren and Barnard's carbon-fibre MP4,McLaren's first since James Hunt,the M26 and the Japanese GP of 1977.It had been a long dry three-and-a-half years for the team,and over four years since John's only previous Grande Epreuve victory-for the Penske team in Austria '76.
The Ulsterman again was objective as ever:"I just can't get used to the idea it's me they're cheering for...Sure it's a justification and reward for all the bad years.But I'm not totally satisfied.It wasn't a win from the front.I was slightly lucky,even though I had to work pretty hard to make up the ground I'd lost.There is a difference between winning and coming first...
"The car was better in the race than it had been in the warm-up during the morning.It was good by comparison witheverything but Piquet's Brabham and the Renaults.But I still couldn't pitch it into the corners and nail the throttle like I wanted to.The back end was pretty skittish.Sure I'm over the moon,but we've still got to improve if we want to win again..."
Posted 05 November 2002 - 10:16
It was down to earth with a bump at Hockenheim where the MP4s "porpoised" badly over the undulations of the super-fast Autodrom.Angle of incidence between the underwing floors and the road surface could be critical in ground-effect cars,and fore-and-aft pitching would alter the wings' angle of attack and in certain cases their down force.This effect could become self-exciting,with the wings making and braking downforce and making the car progressively oscillate until the driver either backed off to regain control or flew off the road.Andrea was a gnat's whisker off John's best time when he spun off on the last lap of qualifying,rumpling his car's underside over the chicane kerbing.They lined-up on row five,John spun further back down the field in the early stages and Andrea spun under braking on lap 5,slightly bent a steering arm and in any case was stranded on the grass,unable to restart his hot engine.Wattie was having a dreadful time:"...without doubt the worst-handling car I've ever driven in my life.I couldn't beleive how badly it was porpoising.My feet were being thrown up off the pedals and smashed against the steering rack.The front wheels almost seemed to be coming off the ground at one point on the circuit..."
But he tucked his chin down and persevered,and was rewarded with sixth place and another championship point.At this stage of the season he was sixth in the Drivers' competition,as were McLaren in the Constructors'.
Posted 08 November 2002 - 09:18
In Austria the McLaren enclave was still an unhappy place,John complaining they must get their downforce under control,and the understeer.And Andrea surpassed himself.He set off for the second timed session and on his first lap crashed heavily,the MP4's carbon-fibre monocoque again surviving well as the suspension,wings and pods absorbed the impact.But John struggled home sixth for another point in the race and a muted Andrea survived for eighth.
Posted 13 November 2002 - 08:50
At Zandvoort the MP4s wore new underwing panels in an effort to eradicate the porpoising problem,and Andrea walked back to the pits close to tears after trying to brake late into the Tarzan Loop,locking-up the wheels and slithering straight-on very rapidly into the rubber tyre barrier there.His reception was frosty and the management were to decide he would not stay on.John inherited a distant fourth place in the race before his electrical system cut-out on lap 51,while Andrea was denied a start.
Ron Dennis,Teddy Mayer and John Barnard had each had a word with the impetuous Italian,he would nod and agree he must temper his enthusiasm.
Posted 15 November 2002 - 14:15
Andrea did manage to keep everything in one piece during practice at Monza,where John qualified seventh and de Cesaris 17th on his home ground.The Ulsterman was running sixth on lap 20 during the race when he ran wide out of the second 150mph fourth-gear right-hander at Lesmo.The MP4 put both left-side wheels up the polished kerb and began to spin.It spiralled back across the track and slammed violently tail-first into the right-side Armco.The steel rails forced apart and literally "bit off" the left-rear wheel and suspension,while the right-hand corner complete with gearbox were yanked off the back of the engine and bounded back across the circuit.John,strapped in the monocoque with just a shattered engine bolted behind it,went scuttering along the right-hand verge,a brief flash from disrupted fuel-system's dry-break couplings caused no fire,and the British GP winner,miraculously unhurt,was able to unstrap himself and walk away unaided.Andrea was running consistently and would have taken sixth place only to slide off on oil from Piquet's blown Brabham on the last lap.He was classified seventh instead.
Posted 20 November 2002 - 10:32
A new MP4 was available for John in Canada and at last the team seemed to have taken a grip on the "bouncing" problem.It was horribly wet race but John groped his way up to second place behind Jacques Laffite's Talbot-Matra in the murk,proving the value of Michelin's wet-weather tyres as the Goodyear runners all struggled.Andrea made a late stab to pass Piquet for fifth place,just as Laffite was poised to pass them both.The Italian banged wheels with the Brabham giving Piquet a horrible moment while the McLaren MP4 spun to a halt on the soggy verge,unable to restart and out of the race.
Posted 22 November 2002 - 09:40
The final World Championship round was at Las Vegas on a sinuous course laid-out around the carpark of Caesar Palace Hotel.There in practice John was suffering from sinus trouble and took sixth place on the grid despite feeling himself a danger on-circuit.Andrea qualified 14th in what would be his last McLaren ride and this time kept his car intact.Mid-way round the second race lap,however,he dived inside Tambay's Talbot into one of the tight right-hand corners,made contact and spun the Frenchman round.Andrea stopped to complain of bad handling and resumed with four new wheels and tyres.A later stop replaced a bent steering arm,shortly before John came in to complain of dreadful oversteer and resumed with fresh Michelin tyres.He finished seventh,Andrea twelfth.
Posted 22 November 2002 - 09:46