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Who wasn't all that bright?


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#1 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 13:21

After yesterday's fiasco at the USGP by "Monkey" Montoya, over time who have some the other top drivers who weren't great thinkers?

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#2 ensign14

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 13:28

Given that JPM speaks English fluently, that probably puts him on a higher level than a LOT of British/American drivers...

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 13:47

Originally posted by ensign14
Given that JPM speaks English fluently, that probably puts him on a higher level than a LOT of British/American drivers...

... for sure.

#4 Wolf

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 13:51

Originally posted by ensign14
Given that JPM speaks English fluently, that probably puts him on a higher level than a LOT of British/American drivers...


Maybe, but Ron Dennis would be well advised to take away his copy of 'Demolition derby' video-game... And his vocabulary leaves something to be desired too.

In response to original question- I'd say both Senna and M. Schumacher for starters. By watching replay of Jerez incident, e.g. I made up my mind it was deliberate and premeditated move- his instant reaction was to steer away from Villeneuve the lesser, but then he must've thought 'must stick to plan B, must stick to ...' and steered into him. Same goes for Senna, who might've been a bit too hot headed announcing he would run into Prost in Suzuka, yet after having enough time to think it over, and sleep on it, still decided to do it. Neither of those qualifies as 'dumb move', but they do reflect a serious defect in cognitive proccess.

However, except in latter days, I'd say a GP driver had to have intelligence and situational awareness in the old days merely to stay alive- so, I wouldn't care to even guess...

#5 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 13:55

This is a question without borders, not a nationality one. "We" practically consider JPM to be American. I asked this question reluctantly...believe me; but rule #1 is don't take your teammate out. Plus he took out the only American in the race. His stupidity ruin the race and took 50% plus of the crowd out in 30 seconds. He ruined the race...period. The crowd headed for the gates shortlt thereafter. He wasted our time and our money. Up till that moment it had been a magically weekend. It was a very dumb move.

So I guess dig this hole a little deeper. I never considered Surtees or Peterson "Rocket Scientists"
either...

#6 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 14:02

Mark Blundell.

In more ways than one. :rolleyes:

#7 RTH

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 14:17

Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.

#8 ensign14

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 14:19

At least JPM went out racing, even if it was a boneheaded move. I don't think he was thinking about catching Speed in the crossfire. Not stupid so much as a misjudgment.

Wasn't there a story about Gilles and a new Ferrari in '81? About the last thing Forghieri said was "don't prang it" and he went off on the first corner...

#9 ian senior

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 14:30

Originally posted by RTH
Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.


Because it's all they know.

#10 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 15:15

Actually I spent Saturday in the infield and that was fairly entertaining considering it's Tilke influence. BTW, do REALLY think Silverstone is all that much more interesting?

#11 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 15:28

This is the reality of the Ecclestone/Tilke era in Formula 1 today. I will agree that Indy is not the most exciting venue of current tracks, but at worst, it is not any less exciting that many others currently on the calendar.

The choice in comparing the circuits of old and today is to enjoy what F1 is, or pine for the old and ignore the present. In my case, I still enjoy modern F1 for what it is while recognizing that F1 has moved beyond, for good or bad, what it once was. The argument was the same in the seventies when people were bemoaning the loss of the good old days.

IMHO, watching the WRC competition today is the closest thing to F1 of old, and damned exciting to watch as well.

I am one of those who will always treasure each era of F1, without failing to enjoy the current state of the sport.

In response to the spirit of David's original question, Willy Mairesse comes to mind.

#12 Stephen W

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 15:31

Originally posted by David M. Kane
do REALLY think Silverstone is all that much more interesting?


YES!

:wave:

#13 FLB

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:00

Originally posted by ensign14

Wasn't there a story about Gilles and a new Ferrari in '81? About the last thing Forghieri said was "don't prang it" and he went off on the first corner...

Zandvoort.

Forghieri was trying a new engine development. The only the he asked Villeneuve to do was to bring it home in one piece. The Italian wanted to do a reliability trial in real race conditions.

Gilles stuffed it and almost went over Giacomelli's Alfa even before he reached Tarzan for the first time...

#14 petefenelon

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:00

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury

The choice in comparing the circuits of old and today is to enjoy what F1 is, or pine for the old and ignore the present.

...

IMHO, watching the WRC competition today is the closest thing to F1 of old, and damned exciting to watch as well.

I am one of those who will always treasure each era of F1, without failing to enjoy the current state of the sport.

In response to the spirit of David's original question, Willy Mairesse comes to mind.


I find nothing to attract me to modern F1 - the drivers are uncharismatic, the cars look fundamentally ugly and interchangeable, the rules are taking it further and further towards "sports entertainment"; fortunately there are still forms of racing where proper cars driven by human beings compete on untilkefied circuits, and the outcome of the race depends more on what happens on track than in the pits. So these days for me it tends to be Champcar, or GTs, or sports cars, WTCC when it goes somewhere decent.... even A1GP and GP2 because they're much more "human" cars even if they compete on the Tilkedromes.

I loved WRC - until precisely the thing that destroyed F1 happened to it - it became entirely manufacturer-dominated, totally homogenized, and the individuality of the rallies started to be stripped away. I still admire the car control of the bobble-hat and bacon butty brigade, but I do yearn for the days when there was more than a touch of the epic to major rallies.

Re: rock-ape drivers - the lift never seemed to go right to the top floor for Taki Inoue, did it?;)

However, I've only ever once watched a driver at international level and thought "Cor Blimey, he would've failed his ARDS if he'd tried to get a licence here" - a bloke called Jean-Luc Maury-Laribiere who had a McLaren F1GTR. Saw him at Silverstone and his ignorance of what a racing line was and how to use it was phenomenal - he pootled round in the middle of the track at low speed getting in everyone's way and generally drove like a maiden aunt carrying a tray of eggs. It clearly wasn't the car that was slow.

#15 petefenelon

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:05

Originally posted by David M. Kane
After yesterday's fiasco at the USGP by "Monkey" Montoya, over time who have some the other top drivers who weren't great thinkers?


Montoya worries me. He was sublime in F3000 and Champcar, but he just seems to have completely lost the plot in F1. I can only suggest it's one of the following:

* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he knows he's unlikely to ever be champion
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he doesn't like the kind of car that's evolved
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he's made his pile and doesn't need to work hard
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because of the PR grind that McLaren puts its drivers through

- but at heart there seems to be one root cause - he just doesn't seem to be enjoying his driving, and he's making stupid mistakes. I begin to wonder if he shouldn't just jack it in and go back to the States - Chip Ganassi's made noises....

#16 ensign14

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:11

Originally posted by petefenelon

* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he doesn't like the kind of car that's evolved

I get the feeling it's that one. That he's a seat-of-pants driver who is happy if the car is only "close" rather than fine-tuning to perfection. Unfortunately in the electrickery era that's not good enough. Driver talent on certain things is now covered by the 'lectrix.

#17 2F-001

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:17

I wonder if he'd enjoy racing historics then...?

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:46

I always thought Montoya was the 'new Senna' in the sense that if he had been racing F1 in Ayrton's era rather than the current one...

#19 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:48

Dennis:

Willy was a little crazy too. I always considered Gordon Smiley to be the Willy M. of America.

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#20 stevewf1

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 16:49

Originally posted by Wolf
In response to original question- I'd say both Senna and M. Schumacher for starters. By watching replay of Jerez incident, e.g. I made up my mind it was deliberate and premeditated move- his instant reaction was to steer away from Villeneuve the lesser, but then he must've thought 'must stick to plan B, must stick to ...' and steered into him. Same goes for Senna, who might've been a bit too hot headed announcing he would run into Prost in Suzuka, yet after having enough time to think it over, and sleep on it, still decided to do it. Neither of those qualifies as 'dumb move', but they do reflect a serious defect in cognitive proccess.


I guess it depends on what the definition of "bright" is.

What Montoya did yesterday was certainly dumb, but I always felt that both Senna and Schumacher were very "bright"... Cold and calculating, yes, but definitely not dumb...

#21 kayemod

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 17:17

Originally posted by David M. Kane
So I guess dig this hole a little deeper. I never considered Surtees or Peterson "Rocket Scientists" either...


I never got the impression that Mad Ronnie was lacking in the intelligence department, judgement certainly, but even intelligent drivers do some pretty crazy deals. Big John on the other hand was & is no-one's fool, though he's certainly another one who's been guilty of bad judgement at times.

I'd go for Vittorio Brambilla.

#22 RTH

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 18:43

Sharp contrast to this weekends motorcycle Grand Prix at Donington which for the second GP in a row was a last lap thriller. The problem is not with the drivers its with the type of equipment they have to use.

#23 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 18:58

Different type of crowd though. One of the reasons I wont cheer for Americans in 4 wheel, but actively will on two.

#24 jo-briggs

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 19:43

Willy Mairesse had a death wish - he eventually comitted suicide.

#25 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 20:05

You're not a bad judge then, Scott!

David: Surtees thick? Forget it. Absolutely not so - in certainly aspects perhaps not universally liked, but actually quite a decent 'rocket scientist'. Ronne Peterson thick? His more talkative rivals made out he was. He just smiled happily, and ambled off to bank his earnings. He was a very pleasant man and (admittedly only most of the time) a superb racing driver. He didn't need to be a 'rocket scientist'. As for Wild Willy - there's a difference between being reckless and actively wishing for death. The death wish emerged only when he could race no more...

DCN

#26 Antoine Pilette

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 20:17

Makes me think how many other drivers than Willy committed suicide or lost "le gout a la vie" (taste to life?) after being injured and not being able to race or drive anymore but that would be a thread drift.

#27 Macca

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:18

'Jumper' Jarier - the recent article in MS mentions a predictable shunt in Porsche racing quite recently that showed he still doesn't use the grey matter......

Paul M

#28 macoran

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:25

Funny how all the footage I've seen of the US GP's start shows the IcePick braking so
f...... hard Monty HAD to hit him.

#29 Jim Thurman

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:42

This ought to go over well ;)

Tony Stewart.

On top of many brick headed moves and rage problems, he was quite a car breaker as well.

He had to have NASCAR's help and much more bullet-proof cars to achieve and even with all of that, the old Tony still resurfaces often.

Oh, and don't cite the cliched "won all three USAC open wheel championships in a single season" as without some very fortuitous scheduling, it never would have happened - and Pancho Carter and Rich Vogler (another non-favorite of mine) would likely have pulled off the same feat had they had the opportunity.

I will admit that I witnessed Stewart drive an incredibly sharp race in a Silver Crown event at Mesa Marin Raceway in October 1994. He preserved his tires and paced himself for a well time late charge after "rabbit" Kenny Irwin...and nearly pulled it off, finishing just a couple of car lentgths back after being almost a half lap behind. Still, I wonder how heavily medicated he was for that to happen :D

#30 ensign14

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:51

Originally posted by macoran
Funny how all the footage I've seen of the US GP's start shows the IcePick braking so
f...... hard Monty HAD to hit him.

Ron Dennis didn't seem to agree, but it was difficult to tell on the ITV interview.

#31 kayemod

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:54

Originally posted by ensign14
Ron Dennis didn't seem to agree, but it was difficult to tell on the ITV interview.


I've always liked Ron, but even after he's spoken, it's quite often hard to tell what he said.

#32 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 21:58

Nobody has yet mentioned Andrea de Crasheris.

I remember reading somewhere that the control for adjusting the turbo boost on Bobby Unser's cars had to be disabled as otherwise he would just wind it up to the maximum and leave it there, with predictable results. Anyone know if there's any truth to this?

#33 macoran

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 22:06

Originally posted by ensign14
Ron Dennis didn't seem to agree,


Of course Ron didn't agree, he has got to try and keep the IcePick and dump the Monty !!

#34 WDH74

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 01:35

Originally posted by petefenelon


Montoya worries me. He was sublime in F3000 and Champcar, but he just seems to have completely lost the plot in F1. I can only suggest it's one of the following:

* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he knows he's unlikely to ever be champion
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he doesn't like the kind of car that's evolved
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he's made his pile and doesn't need to work hard
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because of the PR grind that McLaren puts its drivers through

- but at heart there seems to be one root cause - he just doesn't seem to be enjoying his driving, and he's making stupid mistakes. I begin to wonder if he shouldn't just jack it in and go back to the States - Chip Ganassi's made noises....


Wonder if he shouldn't just jack it in and go race ALMS, or European equivalent? The historics suggestion is interesting too.

-William de H

#35 cosworth bdg

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 03:04

Originally posted by David M. Kane
After yesterday's fiasco at the USGP by "Monkey" Montoya, over time who have some the other top drivers who weren't great thinkers?

I think this thread is way off the NOSTALGIA topic . What do you think.?????

#36 David Hyland

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 05:27

I'm in two minds. Strictly speaking I guess it's an RC topic, but many of the regular participants there don't have much knowledge of motor racing outside F1/before Senna (that's an observation, not a criticism), so introducing the topic in TNF probably allows for a broader scope of discussion.

#37 cosworth bdg

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 06:19

Originally posted by David Hyland
I'm in two minds. Strictly speaking I guess it's an RC topic, but many of the regular participants there don't have much knowledge of motor racing outside F1/before Senna (that's an observation, not a criticism), so introducing the topic in TNF probably allows for a broader scope of discussion.

David, you may just be correct in your observation, everyone to their own views ,Regards Peter N

#38 Gary Davies

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 06:24

Originally posted by Dennis Hockenbury
The choice in comparing the circuits of old and today is to enjoy what F1 is, or pine for the old and ignore the present. In my case, I still enjoy modern F1 for what it is while recognizing that F1 has moved beyond, for good or bad, what it once was. The argument was the same in the seventies when people were bemoaning the loss of the good old days.

I am one of those who will always treasure each era of F1, without failing to enjoy the current state of the sport.


By jingo, that's a rather politically incorrect thing to say in some quarters at TNF sir!

I agree with you completely! :up:

#39 cosworth bdg

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 07:37

Originally posted by RTH
Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.

My words exactly................... :up: Also the 2 cars on the front row had an unfair tyre advantage....................................................................................................

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#40 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 07:55

Originally posted by RTH
Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.


Because, sadly, they've never known anything better. How could they possibly know anything of great races & racers of the past? From video games?

#41 Peter Morley

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 08:17

Originally posted by petefenelon


Montoya worries me. He was sublime in F3000 and Champcar, but he just seems to have completely lost the plot in F1. I can only suggest it's one of the following:

* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he knows he's unlikely to ever be champion
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he doesn't like the kind of car that's evolved
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because he's made his pile and doesn't need to work hard
* he's thoroughly bored with it all because of the PR grind that McLaren puts its drivers through

- but at heart there seems to be one root cause - he just doesn't seem to be enjoying his driving, and he's making stupid mistakes. I begin to wonder if he shouldn't just jack it in and go back to the States - Chip Ganassi's made noises....


I agree, some of his F3000 drives were amazing - Monaco particularly showing incredible control.
And his Champcar drives were also stunning - far more so than Villeneuve for example (but, dare I say it, you would expect someone half decent to have stood out given the competition).

I think that modern F1 is not really about driving (let alone racing) in terms of car control - look at the drivers the teams want these days, young kids with no experience, basically a video game player who does what he is told (Computer says (brake/accelerate/turn) NOW!!).

(The very end of Paul Van Valkenburg's book on race car preparation starts on this subject - saying that teams don't want drivers who automatically correct the car since that upsets their data!!!).

F1 has become a team sport where the people on the pit wall can have an effect on the race's outcome after the race has started - the idea of it being a driver's championship is getting as ridiculous as the World Cup trying to eliminate racism while promoting extreme patriotism.

If that is the case then it is quite easy to see why someone who is used to really taking control of his car would get bored.

Another factor could be that he is fed up seeing his team manager idolising his incredibly dull team mate.

As for this quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by RTH
Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I wondered which particular race he was on about, the statement fits pretty much every recent (e.g. for many years) Grand Prix.

#42 petefenelon

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 08:36

Originally posted by WDH74


Wonder if he shouldn't just jack it in and go race ALMS, or European equivalent? The historics suggestion is interesting too.

-William de H


Putting two and two together and getting about nine, if he went back to Ganassi he could do Champcar or IRL (or a unified series, should one happen for '08!) and a fair chunk of a Grand-Am programme. I know it's fashionable to dislike GA in some circles, but I really enjoy it and I think it would give exactly the sort of racing J-PM would enjoy -- balls-to-the-wall stuff, with good drivers, not too much technology or testing, and strong, safe cars.


#43 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:29

Originally posted by cosworth bdg
My words exactly................... :up: Also the 2 cars on the front row had an unfair tyre advantage....................................................................................................



err how?

#44 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:39

Being fairly practicle about the place, when I have to put fuel in my car from a jerry can, I use a funnel. It has the effect of concentrating a broad stream of fast, semi out of control liquid into one tiny area, the filler neck of my car. All those droplets of liquid with a mind of their own magically end up on the other side of my car's filler neck. It works like a dream most of the time.

I worked out from experience at a very young age not to throw the whole five gallons at the funnel at once, and also that the funnel I use to top up my battery with distilled water doesn't work so well when I use it to fill my petrol tank.

Those scientists that run Formula One these days thought that they could apply the same principles to a race (in the name of safety you understand, and to ensure the speeds don't get too high) and adapted a huge expansive race track made for a freight train of 30 or more 200mph race cars, so that they could travel at 60mph over a printed circuit board (printed circuit boards being all the rage, and proven to be very safe).

Montoya was simply a victim. He may be a monkey but monkeys are pretty adept in their own environment. The modern view is that encapsulated performing monkeys should not be kept in zoos, or Circuses. Leave the circuses to entrepreneurs and clowns.

#45 David Beard

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 11:53

Originally posted by Peter Morley


F1 has become a team sport where the people on the pit wall can have an effect on the race's outcome after the race has started.


Nothing wrong with the people on the pit wall, in the pitlane, in the garage, in the design office, and in the test and development departments having as much importance as the driver. Wouldn't it be nice if a few more of them got credit for what they do? At very least on race day it would be nice if all the pits crews were named.

#46 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 12:01

I think Grand Am is great too, really good bang for the dollar. The racing is intense and hard fought with lots of real racing.

Having driven the Indy GP circuit I can personally assure you that the 1st lap between turn 1 and 2
is a crap shoot. It's very deceptive as the road pitches at the apex of turn 2. Having said that less than an hour before the GP, the Porsche Cup guys had a big pile-up there too...was anyone watching in the pitlane...apparently not.

I turned to my wife before the start and said, "I got a bad feeling."

Without even seeing the footage, I said, "I bet it was JPM...desperate people, do desperate things."

Face it modern F1 is out of control, they don't understand their product, they don't understand their audience and they don't know how to display it.

$48M US for testing? Turning Friday into a test day is a no brainer!

Doug I believe it was Robin Herd, out of frustration, who nicknamed Mad Ronald "Bungalow" because of his inability to give him feedback on the car. Personally, I think they hung too many of the team's dreams on his shoulders. There were other flaws within March...like money...that not even his magic could cover up.

As for John Surtees, maybe he should have passed on being a team owner; but should have Chris Amon. Funny, both left Ferrari under a cloud and saw this as their only viable solution.

#47 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 13:23

Originally posted by RTH
Other than the crashes, another desperately dull dreary event at a venue with a layout with no interest and not suited for the job in hand. You can't help wondering how many people are left watching and why.

For the same reason people will happy sit around and watch cars go up the hill at Goodwood, despite being effectively zero competitive aspect. While a competitive race might take it to another level, sometimes the sights, sounds and atmosphere are enough. Personally, I've never seen the point in leaving early - you've paid your money, you might as well kick back and enjoy whatever it is that unfolds.

#48 kayemod

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 13:28

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Doug I believe it was Robin Herd, out of frustration, who nicknamed Mad Ronald "Bungalow" because of his inability to give him feedback on the car. Personally, I think they hung too many of the team's dreams on his shoulders. There were other flaws within March...like money...that not even his magic could cover up.


Robin Herd and Ronnie got on very well, so I'm sure that wasn't serious a dig at Ron's intelligence, he was one hell of a gin rummy player. Herd was continually frustrated by Ron's ability to drive around any chassis problem, hence the lack of feedback, something he was famous for. At Lotus he let Mario sort out the car, copied his settings, and just got on with the job in whatever Lotus gave him. There's another side to this though, how many supposedly 'intelligent' drivers have screwed up racing programmes by going completely the wrong way on chassis development?

Have you got 'The little book of English humour' to work from DMK? Some of the furriners on this BB won't know that 'bungalow' means 'not much up top'. Unless they come from India of course, where the word originated.

#49 David M. Kane

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 13:47

Kayemod:

Wish I had that little book! No, but I have been reading Autosport since 1964 and I have a LOT of English racing books. I own two March, a 741 and a 76B...I even had Team March shirts made for our team.

And yes, I did idolize Ronnie...seeing him in the 721G in the rain at Watkins Glen was magical. Who else could smoke a rain tire half sideways through the downhill section...made me jump back from the fence!

In hindsight Robin Herd admits he shouldn't have left McLaren. I won't hazard to speak for Oswald's son...

#50 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
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Posted 04 July 2006 - 13:52

Kayemod:

Wish I had that little book! No, but I have been reading Autosport since 1964 and I have a LOT of English racing books. I own two March, a 741 and a 76B...I even had Team March shirts made for our team.

And yes, I did idolize Ronnie...seeing him in the 721G in the rain at Watkins Glen was magical. Who else could smoke a rain tire half sideways through the downhill section...made me jump back from the fence!

In hindsight Robin Herd admits he shouldn't have left McLaren. I won't hazard to speak for Oswald's son...