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#1 Mallory Dan

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 13:10

I've just noticed that apparently its the Rat's birthday today, he's 56 would you believe. Anyway, having read the recent MS article on his going to Ferrari for the '74 season, how big a surprise was this at the time ? I was only 11 then, so it didn't really register too much with me. Was it a shock that someone with so little success behind them should have got one of the plum seats, or was the team so down at that point that none of the big shots would have taken the drive ?

I'd be interested in the views of those more mature TNFers than I re this point !

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#2 Lec CRP1

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 13:19

Well, I was minus 1.5 years at the time, but I've read that they had the choice between Jean-Pierre Jarier, Tim Schenken or Niki Lauda for that 1974 Ferrari drive. Who was the best regarded at the time, one wonders?

#3 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 13:25

The 1973 season was one of the (many) terrible-seasons the Scuderia lived... bad cars, double projects, the team downgrading. For example, if you remember, in Aug. 1973 Jacky Ickx, who was first driver of the team, ask Ferrari to run at Nurburgring for McLaren...
But at Monza in September Arturo Merzario drove a good extra-large 312 B3 (I seem to remember 4th in practice, or so), the italian press thought Merzario could be the driver for 1974, but... Enzo Ferrari had selected the good old Regga tu run for the Scuderia...
Merzario went off (and founded his deceptive Merzario F. 1), and Clay Regazzoni recommended to sign on Nikolaus Lauda, his team-mate at the Marlboro-BRM in 1973.
Italian press didn't know this new Austrian driver and : I remember an article of a newspaper writing the new driver for Ferrari is Luana. :rotfl:

#4 philippe7

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 13:57

Well, I was 16 at the time and in the full glory of my juvenile passion for racing cars ( and F1 ) so I remember well that the late-season performances of Nicky Lauda in the BRM ( specially his Canada drive IIRC ) had raised him to the status of "very good prospect" .....and since Ferrari ( nothwisthanding Merzario's promising late-season showings ) wasn't really the most desirable seat , Lauda's signing was no exceptional surprise ....a young hope joining a (formerly prestigious)midfield team.

Of course the B3 was further modified in the mid-season ( a fuel tank was added behind the driver, moving him forward and re-centering the weight ) and immediately showed well....that, indeed was a surprise and a big event ....but Nicky's signing wasn't one.

#5 Gary Davies

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 14:01

The Motor Sport article in question has not reached Adelaide yet, so pardon me if any of the following remarks are covered by it. I recall that my only surprise at the time was that this fellow with just two complete Formula One seasons under his belt should be taken on by Ferrari.

In Ferrari's Drivers Michele Fenu points out that during 1973, Ferrari became 'fed up' with Ickx and Merzario and contacted Regazzoni, who had driven for him from 1970 to 1972 but had been released after a patchy 1972 season, with a view to his rejoining the team for 1974.

Rega drove for BRM in 1973 alongside Lauda and was very impressed with his speed, as were others. Specifically, Lauda held an excellent 3rd place for much of the Monaco GP and got pole position at the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in March, beating out Beltoise in a similar car. According to Fenu: "Immediately after Brands Hatch, Ferrari gave Montezemolo precise instructions to engage Lauda, and Regazzoni's consent helped him in his choice." As an aside, that seems a bit early in the season to become disenchanted with your signed up drivers (Ickx and Merzario) ... anyone got a view on the accuracy of that assertion?

In To Hell and Back Lauda notes that Ferrari called Forghieri in 'from the wilderness' mid way through 1973 and apart from his obvious great respect for Forghieri, it is apparent that he was aware of the changes to the front end of the 312 Forghieri was implementing. Of course, Montezemolo was put in charge of the team for 1974 and again, Lauda makes it clear he was impressed, particularly with the fact that Montezemolo's connection with the Agnellis allowed him to rise above the'... daily round of intrigue' ... which was Ferrari.

Seems to me that Lauda's move to Ferrari was a typically well thought through action on his part.

#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 14:20

Originally posted by Lec CRP1
Well, I was minus 1.5 years at the time, but I've read that they had the choice between Jean-Pierre Jarier, Tim Schenken or Niki Lauda for that 1974 Ferrari drive. Who was the best regarded at the time, one wonders?



Wasn't Peter revson another candidate too: but eventyually rejected because initially he wanted to give up on Indy and then having seconfd thoughts after all and wanting to compete at Indy again.


Henri Greuter

#7 lilithson

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 14:57

Back then Ferrari was a lot different from what it's nowadays. First of all they used to compete in almost every kind of motor racing categories available and that, considering they were really a small factory (Fiat's involvement was very little, and it had almost nothing to do with competitions), begun to become unattainable with major constructors' involvement, especially in the Makers World Championship (not sure it's the correct English name, in Italian it was "Mondiale Marche"). During all the 1960s and the first years of the 1970s it was the MWC the main motor racing championship, with the likes of Jaguar, Porsche and Renault who went challenging Ferrari on great fields such, above all, the 24 Hrs of LeMans. After a dominating 1972 championship (they won every race except LeMans, which they didn't enter) with the 312PB (a car wich shared the same 3000 cc 12 cyl "boxer" of the F.1 cars), Ferrari lost 1973 championship to Matra in the last Argentinian race, but the fight for title badly hampered their efforts in F.1. Not winning the MWC and having an horrible F.1 season (full of "mad" engineering reorganizations, that finally put aside the historical chief engineer Mauro Forghieri with the "desperate" effort to have a real monocoque-chassis ordering the making of the first 312B3 to the British factory of Thompson) convinced the "old man" that it was no longer possible to sustain more than one world championship. Considering that Bernie Ecclestone had just started its reorganization of F1 to make of it the biggest racing event on earth, Enzo Ferrari decided to concentrate all the efforts on the monoplace cars. The return of Forghieri, who vastly modified and improved the 312B3 (actually a car who had almost nothing in common nor with the previous Thompson's version neither with Forghieri's "snowplough" version) and the fresh air brought in by Luca di Montezemolo (to whom Ferrari gave "white paper") contributed to start what was for a long time the most successful era of the red brand in F1 (they won WDC in '75 and '77 with Lauda and in '79 with Scheckter, lost it in the last event in '74 and '76, won the Constructors' Cup in '75-'76-'77 and '79,that year trasformed to the actual Constructors' WC, and finished second both in '74 and '78).
As to Ferrari engaging not top class drivers, it was the usual politics of Enzo Ferrari. Similarly to nowadays Sir Frank Williams it was always his cars who had to win, never the driver. The only time he had recruited a former WC had happened back in 1956, with JM Fangio and, despite winning that title, the old man always regretted it in some way. So Ferrari (again similarly to Williams) used to drop his champions after they won (or even during a title-promising season, as happened with John Surteees amid 1966),and often lost more titles than he could have achieved (again like Sir Frank Williams).
Was Enzo Ferrari still alive he would never have recruited MS, that's for sure. So the arrival of Niki Lauda wasn't a great surprise at all, it was usual Ferrari's politics (and actually not winning anything between 1964 and 1975 was due mostly to not having drivers able to compete with the likes of Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart). The same that made him take the almost unknown Gilles Villeneuve to replace Lauda himself after his second title in 1977.
Sorry formy poor English.

#8 Geza Sury

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 14:59

This thread is a good starting point: http://forums.atlasf...=&threadid=1315;)

The signing of Lauda was a huge suprise even for himself. Actually he used to joke with his brother about this. He always asked him: "Didn't Enzo Ferrari ring me?" and his brother usually replied in similarly stupid way. One day his brother told him that a lawyer of Ferrari had phoned and wanted to talk to Niki. Lauda was sure his brother was joking and was very surprised to learn that Ferrari really wanted to the talk to him!

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 15:23

Originally posted by philippe7
I remember well that the late-season performances of Nicky Lauda in the BRM ( specially his Canada drive IIRC ) had raised him to the status of "very good prospect" .....and since Ferrari ( nothwisthanding Merzario's promising late-season showings ) wasn't really the most desirable seat , Lauda's signing was no exceptional surprise ....a young hope joining a (formerly prestigious)midfield team.

Pretty much as most people saw it at the time, I suspect. Certainly I did
To suggest that in the early 1970s the WC of Makes was more important than F1, as lilithson does, is however stretching the point more than somewhat.
Also, lilithson seems to have forgotten Ferrari hiring former World Champion Farina for the 1952 season ;)

#10 Geza Sury

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 16:21

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Wasn't Peter revson another candidate too: but eventyually rejected because initially he wanted to give up on Indy and then having seconfd thoughts after all and wanting to compete at Indy again.

Ferrari did offer Revson a contract for 1974. He spends long pages in his autobiography (titled Speed With Style) to expalain his decision of signing for Shadow. It looks as though it was a question of money.

Finally I ruled the Ferrari contract out on the basis of its exclusivity clause. I would have to make up for reduction in income it imposed somehow, but I didn't see how. The original deal was $100,000 would have been almost enough, if Ferrari had benn willing to add for prototype racing with their sports car. (Sic!) All of a sudden the deal started to look less attractive. If Ferrari had upped the ante to $150,000, it would have made sense. But in this business, exclusivity is pretty sticky. I sent Ferrari a specific telex and again they wouldn't answer. So I postponed my trip to Italy indefinetely.



#11 FLB

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 16:40

Fran├žois Cevert was offered a Ferrari contract as well but had decided to remain with Tyrrell, a very sensible move at the time ;) My understanding, though, is that it was Jarier who came closest to getting the drive before the nod finally went to Lauda.

Was The Rat offered a Ferrari sportscar drive as well? Ferrari hadn't officially pulled out of the Wolrd Championship for Makes at that point.

#12 jcbc3

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:01

Originally posted by Geza Sury

Ferrari did offer Revson a contract for 1974. He spends long pages in his autobiography (titled Speed With Style) to expalain his decision of signing for Shadow. It looks as though it was a question of money.


errrrh,

I know that he wanted to pay his own way through his motorsport career, but IIRC, he was the heir to a fortune (Revlon) so USD 50,000 really can't have been the be all, end all argument for not taking a Ferrari drive.

#13 Wolf

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:10

Jcbc3, look at it this way- heir or no heir, why would one throw away 50,000$ he could have easily made (I assume)? And as Ferrari wasn't top flight team, why would one need to?

#14 ensign14

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:14

Revson was in the Revlon family, but he was not an heir. Hence his one-man-and-a-trailer jaunt around Europe in Fj some years before. It was unfair on him as everyone thought he was silver spooned into F1, but that was not the case.

Although I would love to know who REALLY won the Canadian GP 1973.

#15 philippe7

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:17

Originally posted by jcbc3


errrrh,

I know that he wanted to pay his own way through his motorsport career, but IIRC, he was the heir to a fortune (Revlon) so USD 50,000 really can't have been the be all, end all argument for not taking a Ferrari drive.


I have read many times ( and specially from knowledgeable and trustworthy persons here on TNF ) that Peter Revson was not a "heir" as such of the Revlon empire ( which belonged to his uncle ) and that if he was doubtlessly raised in a rather well-off family, he was not quite the multi-millionnaire that he is too often depicted as ....

#16 philippe7

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:22

You beat me to it Ensign, but it's good to know my opinion is seconded !

#17 petefenelon

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:32

Originally posted by ensign14
Revson was in the Revlon family, but he was not an heir. Hence his one-man-and-a-trailer jaunt around Europe in Fj some years before. It was unfair on him as everyone thought he was silver spooned into F1, but that was not the case.

Although I would love to know who REALLY won the Canadian GP 1973.


Howden Ganley? -- the pace car thought it might've been him leading. Or Jackie Oliver, one of whose laps might've been missed....

I think Jackie Oliver's the most likely candidate, actually.


#18 Mallory Dan

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 17:47

I'd thought it was Emmo...

#19 FLB

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 18:05

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
I'd thought it was Emmo...


So did Colin Chapman!;)

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#20 jcbc3

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 20:18

This is what happens when you only read Autosport as a youngster. :lol:

Thanks for the explanation in the Revlon thing. I'm glad I put it in as a question first time instead of offering it as gospel.

#21 Yorgos

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 20:32

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich
......the italian press thought Merzario could be the driver for 1974, but... Enzo Ferrari had selected the good old Regga tu run for the Scuderia...
Merzario went off .....(


....to Frank Williams and the Iso after testing for BRM and rejecting the drive. To show his feelings towards Ferrari, he decorated his helmet with a Cavallino Rampante... hanged from its neck.

Cheers
Yorgos

#22 Twin Window

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 21:39

Lauda was one of my favourite drivers of 1972, and - being a massive BRM fan - I was overjoyed when he joined for 1973 alongside two of my other favourites! I damn near wet myself when he ran second in the early laps of the British GP... :clap:

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Equally, I was most miffed when I learned he was defecting - but I also liked Ferrari (who were much like BRM - crappy underdogs who also had a beautiful-sounding 12 cylinder engine) so it wasn't too bad.

I lost a bit of interest in him and the team when they started winning in '74.

Originally posted by Yorgos

....to Frank Williams and the Iso after testing for BRM and rejecting the drive...

...followed by outings with Copersucar Fittipaldi, a quasi-works Ovoro March, Wolf Williams, his own March and then Shadow before that dreadful Merzario chassis appeared.

Merzario wore the Cavallino Rampante on his helmet right up to the end of his career I believe (I took this at the Thruxton round of the 1981 F2 Championship), but I don't know about that being a noose round it's neck...

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#23 Mohican

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:10

Originally posted by lilithson
and actually not winning anything between 1964 and 1975 was due mostly to not having drivers able to compete with the likes of Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart).


Hmmm...Surtees, Amon, Ickx and Lauda ? To which could be added Bandini, Regazzoni and Giunti; all of whom were good enough to run at the front of the field. Ickx was second in the championship in 1970, and could easily have won had the car been more reliable earlier in the year; the speed was certainly there. He was a front-runner all through 1971 as well, but Ferrari suffered badly from the tyre situation that year.
Regazzoni went into the final GP of 1974 as a title contender, although Lauda was the faster of the two by then.

The real reason Ferrari did not win the chamionship during those years was simply the DFV...the combination of power, reliability - and the fact that there were so many of them !

#24 Mohican

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 08:15

Sorry, of course forgot Mario Andretti above !

Who today remembers the Ferrari superteam of early 1971 ? Ickx, Andretti, Regazzoni and (sadly) Giunti...not bad. And Andretti won both in South Africa and the non-championship Questor Grand Prix at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Wheras Ickx had a difficult first half of the season, given the unreliability of the car - but above all the injuries sustained in the fire at Jarama (the Spanish GP) when Oliver's BRM crashed into him and where he could easily have been killed.

#25 john aston

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 12:37

The key thing to remember is that Ferrari in the early 70s wre nothing like the efficient ,ruthless megalith they became in the Schumacher era .They were immensely charismatic - more than now by far- but shambolic and given to erratic lapses in form. The 73 F1 car was a shed and represented a nadir in the team's fortunes. In previous seasons they had been on the pace some of the time and quite brilliant at other times.The 1970 car was a cracker and essentially the same thing was still at the sharp end in 72.

And Lauda...well I thought he was another rentadriver mediocrity on his March debut, but we admired his spirit in telling the team- correctly - that the 721 was crap.In his BRM he was a star and it was obvious he'd got what it took.I remember watching the 73 GP at Silverstone and thinking that he was going places after his performance in the race.

But the really big difference is that GP racing was so unreported upon then - and so competitive that we tended to focus on the races rather than the peripherals. Compared to now there were many more teams and drivers coming and going - Tecno,Connew, March privateers, Politoys et al - that it did not rally figure too much as a talking point in my circles(which were impoverished motorsport obsessed students )

#26 jj2728

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 13:32

Originally posted by ensign14

Although I would love to know who REALLY won the Canadian GP 1973.


as one who was there and witnessed the post race confusion i was convinced for a time that i'd won the race :rotfl: .....that said, i could'nt help but to have been most impressed by lauda's drive that day in the early laps...

#27 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 16:15

Originally posted by Mohican
Who today remembers the Ferrari superteam of early 1971 ? Ickx, Andretti, Regazzoni and (sadly) Giunti...not bad. And Andretti won both in South Africa and the non-championship Questor Grand Prix at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. Wheras Ickx had a difficult first half of the season, given the unreliability of the car - but above all the injuries sustained in the fire at Jarama (the Spanish GP) when Oliver's BRM crashed into him and where he could easily have been killed.

I think you're confusing 1970 and 1971 here. The Ickx/Oliver accident happened in 1970, when indeed Ickx had a very poor first half of the season. In 1971 he was second in Spain, and was only five points behind JYS after the first four races. In fact, if the championship had run from mid - 1970 to mid - 1971, he'd have won it by a country mile.

#28 lilithson

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Posted 23 February 2005 - 17:00

OK, I admit it that even when I read it myself I found that assuming as the "main" cause of Ferrari not winning titles duting 1964-1975 was not hiring top class drivers was a bit out of the mark affirmation, but it was already written, so I had to go with it. Anyway, no one of those years drivers where comparable with the likes of Jim Clark or Jackie Stewart. They were sure good drivers but, at least in my opinion, no one of them had nor the pure speed of Clark neither the total dedication (really similar to nowadays MS's one) and tactical ability of Stewart (one of the few who knew when he really had to push and when it would had been nonsense risking). Obviously all the drivers that some of You mentioned have all the respect they deserve, especially when you consider they raced in an age where it was really easy to suffer injuries, even by "minor" incidents, not to speak about the chance of dying... Surtees, among that period Ferrari's driver was surely the best, but after clinching 1964 title (had we back then TV coverage now we'll had flamed threads like those about Suzuka '89 and '90, Adelaide '94 and Jerez '97, I suppose...), couldn't fight anymore for title in 1965 because of the difficulties of developing the new 12 cyl 1500 cc and the usual bias due to the fact that until Lemans Ferrari main efforts where concentrated on preparing that race. About 1966 You should ask Eugenio Dragoni... Regazzoni was some kind of "ante-litteram" Alesi,and never definitely a WDC winning man. he had his occasion in 1974 and failed: yeah, he had some bad-luck, if You believe in such a thing, with reliability, but the fact is he lost the championship to Emmo finishing behind team-mate Lauda in Jarama and Zandvoort and spinning by himself in Monaco (ok, he claims that Lauda was constantly attacking him, and that's true, but You shouldn't spin because someone is trying to overtake...). Ickx was fine too, especially on wet track, but he had a somewhat difficult character that prevented him from achieving the title. By the way he was maybe closer to it in 1968 than in 1970. After Clark's death it turned out a year somehow similar to 1982, with a lot of guys who could win it,but nobody who really deserved it, and Jackie was definitely put out of question by his accident during Canada practice. In 1970 he risked to clinch title only after Rindt's death.I don't know how that was the situation in Great Britain (it looks like a lot of You are British) but in Italy those years the Makes' Championship was really felt as the most important motor racing event, or, if You prefer, so thought Enzo Ferrari, but that was exactly the same thing. Another thing we could say about Lauda's arrival at Ferrari is that it caused, in a manner, Merzario's departure, and with that event started the forever going on ban of Ferrari to Italian drivers that ultimately ended with Alboreto in 1984 (ten years after).

#29 Mallory Dan

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 14:01

To return to my original posting, how well was Niki regarded in those days ? From what I've read in more recent times, he never stood out from the crowd in F3 or F2 with his March works drives.

When he got the March F1 ride in '72, admittedly up against Ronnie, again he was pretty much outpaced all year. And as regards the 721X debacle, was it reported at the time that he told March it was c--p, or has that come out much later ?

On the subject of 'pay-drivers', were these reported as much back then as they are now, eg Jordan/Minardi. Or were grand words spoken by the likes of Sir Louis, Frank and Max about how they were taking on a 'future star', and a 'bright new talent who can take the team to the top', while all the time only hiring them 'cos of the money they'd bring ?

I don't criticise pay-drivers as such, they've been in F1 since it began, I just wonder whether things were as clear as to why drivers were with such and such teams then, as they are now.

#30 SEdward

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 14:29

Until he started putting in some good drives for BRM in the second half of 1973, I always regarded Lauda as just another pay driver at the time.

Completely wrong in hindsight of course.

I think that the impact of the Lauda/Montezemolo pairing on modern F1 is underestimated. I think that they contributed massively to what F1 has become today.

Edward

#31 philippe7

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 15:40

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
On the subject of 'pay-drivers', were these reported as much back then as they are now, eg Jordan/Minardi. Or were grand words spoken by the likes of Sir Louis, Frank and Max about how they were taking on a 'future star', and a 'bright new talent who can take the team to the top', while all the time only hiring them 'cos of the money they'd bring ?


Sometimes there were "pay drivers" that were shamelessly presented as such : the extreme might be Jo Volanthen who rented a Williams for a non-championship Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon ( and for one GP before that to practice ) , but some other - often very capable- drivers were already very talented to bring the major sponsor who would help the decisison made in their favour ....Vittorio Brambilla with Beat Tools , Guy Edwards with Embassy .....

And then sometimes, indeed , some drivers were presented as selected "on merit only" , but soon were on their way out when funds dried out.....the case of Richard Robarts being promoted "on merit" to the second Brabham in 1974 by Mr E. has already been mentioned on another thread ...although Robarts had fared well in Formula 3 the year before , his nomination to a top-team ( which Brabham certainly was in 1974 ) raised quite a few eyebrows......of course, poor Richard was out after 3 Grand Prix, replaced by a driver with an even bigger wallet (Rikky von O.)

#32 Stefan Schmidt

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 20:14

In one of Niki Lauda's books (Protokoll, meine Jahre mit Ferrari) he says that in his point of view Enzo Ferrari was impressed by his performance during the Monaco and Spain GP in 1973. These races and the recommendation from Clay Regazzoni helps him to get a seat for 1974

#33 Mohican

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 09:02

Originally posted by Tim Murray

I think you're confusing 1970 and 1971 here. The Ickx/Oliver accident happened in 1970, when indeed Ickx had a very poor first half of the season. In 1971 he was second in Spain, and was only five points behind JYS after the first four races. In fact, if the championship had run from mid - 1970 to mid - 1971, he'd have won it by a country mile.


You're right, of course. Am getting my years mixed up here - the Ickx/Oliver Jarama accident was at the Spanish GP in 1970; won by Stewart's March, by the way.

reason this was on my mind was that i came across a short videoclip of this accident the other day - showing Oliver's BRM crashing into Ickx's Ferrari in a very tight left-hand corner, the two cars sliding part way off the track and bursting into flame. Whereas Oliver made it out of his car immediately, Ickx somehow got stuck in the Ferrari and only made it out of the fire after quite a long time; sustaining quite severe burns of course.

I remember reading about the race at the time, but what really struck me on seeing it on TV was the following:

1.
The shocking speed with which the fire erupted; the crash itself looked fairly easy - occurring at fairly low speed, etc.
2.
The ineptness with which the fire was fought. The film clearly shows a marshal trying to hose the cars down, from across the circuit...
3.
The fact that everybody, including Stewart who was leading, kept going - between the burning cars (with Ickx trapped inside) and the marshals !

Watching this 30-second clip really brought the fire hazard of the era home.

#34 caneparo

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:46

Originally posted by Stefan Schmidt
In one of Niki Lauda's books (Protokoll, meine Jahre mit Ferrari) he says that in his point of view Enzo Ferrari was impressed by his performance during the Monaco and Spain GP in 1973. These races and the recommendation from Clay Regazzoni helps him to get a seat for 1974


The counterpart will confirm it. I recently saw an interview to Enzo's natural son Piero Ferrari who reported:
"At the Monaco GP the TV was showing a group of midfield runners. Then he was impressed by the BRM driver and he said: I want Lauda". Franco Gozzi reports that the original choice for 1974 was Jarier but Ferrari was not really convinced on his own, believing that Jarier was some kind of "too much tough in duels", and at the end he listened to Regazzoni advice to bring the Austrian to Maranello.

Lauda accepted because he was full of debts and needed a boost up to his career. He reports that he "signed for nothing, but that was the only way to drive for a top team".

At the first outing with the B3 at Fiorano Lauda was completely disappointed and when Ferrari came to the pits and asked him how was the car he answered "car is crap". Ferrari was not much impressed by the young Austrian bravery with words and told him that if he wasn't able to go 5 tenths faster he would have been sacked from Ferrari. Then Lauda worked on the suspension and went 8 tenths faster. The rest is history

#35 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:01

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
To return to my original posting, how well was Niki regarded in those days ?


In F2 and then March F1 pretty much as just another apparently moneyed hopeful from central Europe. I think relatively few realised how deeply in hock to the bank Lauda had put himself to pay for his racing, but his ambition was white hot. He still had a realistic view of how he was viewed. When he joined BRM and first met the mechanics he apparently introduced himself with the words "Right now you all think I am just another Vanker - but vun day I vill be Vorld Champion".

Ten out of ten there then.

DCN

#36 David M. Kane

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 19:45

Charles Revson basically stole the business from Peter's father. He was apparently a real bastard.
In fact, Helena Rubenstein hated him so much she only referred to him as "that man". So Charles create a line of products called "That Man"! They were very successful...poor Helena!

#37 Paul Parker

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 22:36

Lauda was very realistic, pragmatic, determined and not burdened by sentimentality or spurious delusions of grandeur.

Without him Ferrari would have drifted even deeper into the 'doldrums' without a doubt and of course it must be said that he would also have been the '76 World Champ but for the 'Ring crash. Ferrari owe him a big debt historically.

#38 cosworth bdg

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:16

Originally posted by Lec CRP1
Well, I was minus 1.5 years at the time, but I've read that they had the choice between Jean-Pierre Jarier, Tim Schenken or Niki Lauda for that 1974 Ferrari drive. Who was the best regarded at the time, one wonders?

Yes one does wonder, don't you. If we look at the past in hignsight we would be able to give a very definitive answer to this complex question, i personally think the wrong choice was made....