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Memorable motor racing quotes


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#1 Stan Patterson

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:05

I thought it would be amusing and informative to to recall famous motor racing quotes from over the years. One reads so many and forgets nearly all of them ..

I am sure forum members will know of dozens of amusing, sardonic, self-deprecating, inciteful or just plain bitchy comments and if they do, I would love to hear them.

I was prompted by a reading of Sir Jack's recent book in which he described a test day at Goodwood in early 1959...the Cooper team..Brabham, Gregory and Mclaren and Savadori with the Gilby Engineering Cooper Maserati....everybody was slow and as they stood about afterwards, Salvo suggested the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and you can never be quick at Goodwood when that occurs ...

Masten Gregory, from behind his thick spectacles, laconically drawled in his Kansas accent, ..

"It is a slow day because Moss and Brooks arent here"

Brabham records he laughed, while the young Mclaren learnt a valuable lesson ..never put up excuses

Good stuff

Stan Patterson

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#2 Barry Boor

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:02

Stan, we've sort of had this one before....
http://forums.autosp...ighlight=quotes

#3 Stan Patterson

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 09:17

Sorry..just getting the hang iof puters

#4 Mohican

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:11

Even so, the Jackie Stewart quote below is worth repeating:

"When I was young motor racing was dangerous and sex was safe...now it is the other way round."

#5 Stan Patterson

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:24

yesss...exactly what i was after

#6 f1steveuk

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:32

Graham Hill at an awards dinner. After the applause had died down his opening line was...." Thank you, that is the second time today that I have got up off a warm seat with a piece of paper in my hand............"

#7 Stan Patterson

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:41

How vulgar!!!..hehehe

#8 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:49

- Mr. Nuvolari, how did you do winning without brakes???

- Freni? 'zzo servono i freni??? (translate: Brakes? What the hell do brakes serve?)

THE GREATEST! :lol:

#9 Bernard

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 11:53

Graham Hill was asked, I believe at Riverside, why he had retired from the race. Classic Graham

"My car has broken down "

#10 Allan Lupton

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 12:00

At a point where tyre choice was of critical importance, Denny Hulme - not noted as forthcoming at best - was asked what tyres he'd be using.
"Round black ones"

#11 petefenelon

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 15:42

Originally posted by Allan Lupton
At a point where tyre choice was of critical importance, Denny Hulme - not noted as forthcoming at best - was asked what tyres he'd be using.
"Round black ones"


Roebuck reports an incident when Mark Thatcher was covering a race for an American TV network. He asked Keke Rosberg whether tyres played a big part in his win... Keke responded in the affirmative, and said that they stopped the chassis dragging along the ground...;)

#12 Peter Morley

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 16:49

Originally posted by petefenelon
Roebuck reports an incident when Mark Thatcher was covering a race for an American TV network. He asked Keke Rosberg whether tyres played a big part in his win... Keke responded in the affirmative, and said that they stopped the chassis dragging along the ground...;)


Sometime after his Paris Dakar misadventure, apparently Mark Thatcher appeared in the F1 paddock at Monaco and one of the mechanics said "so you found your way here alright?"

#13 Graham Gauld

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 17:42

I think it was in 1962, the day before Jim Clark flew out for the last race of the World Championship and his phone rang.

Clark: Hello

Caller:Hello Jim.........Jim Sprigg here of the Glasgow Evening Citizen.

#14 Graham Gauld

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 17:45

Sorry about that........

Clark says Hello

Caller: Hello Jim,....Jim Sprigg here of the Glasgow Evening Citizen. Its about this race you are
going to

Clark: Yes, what.

Caller: Well...what's your greatest opposition.

Clark: Oh Hill.

Caller: What Hill ?

Clark : Graham Hill


Caller after a long pause : Is that a particularly difficult one ?

Receiver placed down with no answer.

#15 Gary C

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 17:55

lovely stuff, Graham! :lol: :clap:

#16 Gregg

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 18:05

The 1966 Indianapolis 500, the one which Graham Hill won, and the race that had the first lap accident that eliminated 1/3 of the field.

When asked what he thought of the first lap accident Hill said (paraphrased), "It looked like a bunch of worms trying to get through a plate of spaghetti."

#17 David Beard

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 20:47

Originally posted by petefenelon


Roebuck reports an incident when Mark Thatcher was covering a race for an American TV network. He asked Keke Rosberg whether tyres played a big part in his win... Keke responded in the affirmative, and said that they stopped the chassis dragging along the ground...;)


Keke would make a good TV commentator, in a resurrected James Hunt sort of style? His comments on MS when he parked at Monaco last year were wonderfully unrestrained...

#18 glyn parham

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 22:36

My favourite one was from Peter Gethin (and I bet it appeared in the previous thread as well).

Commentator - "Peter, What was your best moment in motor racing?"

Peter - "Two sisters from Bradford" :rotfl:


At one of the last Coys meetings at Silverstone in the nineties Tony Brooks was asked the same question (probably by Ian Titchmarsh) and had no hesitation in saying when the BRM threw him out of the car at Abbey and caught fire. Tony was mighty pleased as it meant that he no longer had to race that great pile of junk again. :eek:

Glyn

#19 Stan Patterson

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 04:01

speaking of Nicki Lauda...

In the early 80's, the Australian GP was in danger of extinction and thanks to Bob Jane, it was saved. Jane imported several top upcoming European drivers each year to race Formula Atlantics against the top locals.

Bear in mind the locals were not the old Tasman heroes of the 60's who regularly raced against the world's top drivers, but were the new breed of young guns who had never raced against the likes of Piquet, Prost et al. There was a lot of "offs" by the locals who were obviously trying very hard to impress.

Lauda was the guest TV commentator..prior to his F1 comeback ...

He was asked "Nicki..what do you think of our aussie drivers?"..

"Zere driving ist very gute.....zey just need to improve zeir spinning"

Never forgot it.

Stan Patterson

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:50

Late at night at Warwick Farm, when the beer was running freely but some of us were sober...

Gary Campbell, one of the all time great gentlemen, launched into a speech.

"We're all here in the pits and watching, and over there (pointing in the general direction of the Western Crossing and Homestead Corner) Fred puts it into the fence. And we all laugh and point at Fred and make comments about Fred."

Pausing, he continued in earnestness and with real feeling, "but over there, Fred is having his own personal tragedy!"

Ironically, it was in that very spot that Gary ended his all too brief career...

#21 ezequiel

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 23:30

I've read once that Stirling Moss said that Fangio and Lauda were "racing machines", but the difference was that Fangio had heart...

#22 Dave Ware

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 23:54

Smokey Yunik: "Fireball drove it just like we planned, balls-out and belly to the ground."

#23 petefenelon

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 00:46

Originally posted by glyn parham
My favourite one was from Peter Gethin (and I bet it appeared in the previous thread as well).

Commentator - "Peter, What was your best moment in motor racing?"

Peter - "Two sisters from Bradford" :rotfl:


At one of the last Coys meetings at Silverstone in the nineties Tony Brooks was asked the same question (probably by Ian Titchmarsh) and had no hesitation in saying when the BRM threw him out of the car at Abbey and caught fire. Tony was mighty pleased as it meant that he no longer had to race that great pile of junk again. :eek:

Glyn


I'd heard it as "Those red-haired twins from Barnsley" but knowing "Rabbit"'s reputation it could well have been all four.;)

#24 Dave Ware

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 00:50

Peter Collins, on the eve of the '58 Sebring 12 hours, which he won with Phil Hill:

"We find no one in front of us at the end of a race, we're always very surprised."

(Laughing all around)

Quoted from memory, from hearing it on the Riverside recording of the '58 Sebring race.

#25 Dave Ware

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 00:55

Phil Hill, on the eve of the '58 Sebring 12 hours, which he won with Peter Collins:

"I think drum brakes are perfectly adequate for this race..."

Mid way through the race the Ferraris lost their brakes and they had to gear down to slow down for corners!

Also quoted from memory, from that same recording as referenced above.

And another from that recording, while I'm thinking about it:

Interviewer: "So where are you going to after the race, Mike?"

Hawthorne: "Ah, think I'll go to Palm Springs, have a sniff around there..."

Interviewer: "No, I mean racing."

#26 MPea3

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:56

I don't know who first said it, but one of my all time favorites is in response to the question "how do you make a small fortune in racing?"

"Start witha large fortune."

#27 Stan Patterson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:12

Ray,

I have read your posting re Gary Campbell several times..and i dont have the background knowledge to understand it.

Could you explain it please?

Stan

#28 Stan Patterson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:33

Ray,

After a Google search, I note, ominously, Gary Campbell DNS Warwick Farm Tasman 1973... "Accident"....after that I can find no further reference to him.

Does this explain your posting?

Stan

#29 Sharman

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 11:57

Peter Collins recorded after driving the Mercedes 154 & 163/ at Oulton in 1957 "I woke up this morning and saw that it was raining and thought Oh my God"

#30 Stan Patterson

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:18

YES.....Brooks complains of vibration ...which was just feral wheelspin ..but really these cars were just crude blunt axes ala Indy...compared with the F1 cars of 1961 to 1965

#31 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 20:08

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
After a Google search, I note, ominously, Gary Campbell DNS Warwick Farm Tasman 1973... "Accident"....after that I can find no further reference to him.

Does this explain your posting?


Well, more or less...

My post was basically about Gary's little speech on the night, but as an aside I mentioned that his accident took place there.

He aquaplaned into the fence, quite gently, and I think he sprained his ankle or something. But it was the final straw for him, quite likely because Gloria wouldn't like to see him hurt, or it might have been a cost of repair issue.

Like I said, Gary was among the greatest of gentlemen. A real loss.

#32 Captain Vimes

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 20:27

I think soneone on here has this at the bottom of their posts, but it's worth repeating nonetheless.

Stewart to Purley "Where do you brake for the esses?"

Purley to Stewart "What do you mean brake?"

#33 Mohican

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:06

Originally posted by Gregg
The 1966 Indianapolis 500, the one which Graham Hill won, and the race that had the first lap accident that eliminated 1/3 of the field.

When asked what he thought of the first lap accident Hill said (paraphrased), "It looked like a bunch of worms trying to get through a plate of spaghetti."


Post-race, and more specifically post-victory ceremony, there was talk of Hill's victory being protested on account of a lapkeeping error.

To which GH replied: "No way, mate. I drank the milk."

#34 Stan Patterson

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:51

Geelong Speed Trials 1996


The Geelong Speed Trials were based on the famous Brighton Speed Trials..US suscribers may google ......and were conducted along Ritchie Boulevard on the seafront of lovely rural Geelong.

The event had become iconic in Au motor racing because, in the pre taxi- cab obsessed Brock era, real drivers in real cars, lined up to beat the clock.

In 1996, Bib Stillwell, 4 times Gold Star Champion in the heroic Tasman era, and fresh from US Historic victories, appeared in his beautiul 1969 2.5 Torqouise and Yellow Repco Brabham, Tasman Car

Under the soft Atipodean spring sun, the Brabham rocketted off the line, spectatrors hairs standing on end, as the veteran champion reached terminal velocity .......then, sans rear wing, the Brabham took off at 255kph at crashed into a electricity supply pole...

The rear of the car careered crazily back onto the road

The veteran chanpion now 73,with 2 boken legs and serious head injuries, asked as the cloth was closed around the accident site, "Did I Make FTD?"
"

#35 sterling49

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 23:40

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
Geelong Speed Trials 1996


The veteran chanpion now 73,with 2 boken legs and serious head injuries, asked as the cloth was closed around the accident site, "Did I Make FTD?"
"


Did he make a full recovery? And did he make FTD Stan?

#36 Stan Patterson

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 06:56

Yes Sterling,

His Grace made a full recovery, the lovely Brabham was fully rebuilt ....but Bib had lost his speed..and i dont blame him...............I dont know if he did FTD..i remember when i got back to Melbourne that day, I left immediately after the accident, I rang the Geelong Police Station to enquire if there had been a fatality at the speed trials...they didnt know


He died of a heart attack in 1999......and the Brabham., just like his Cooper Monaco, is now in UK being driven by some rich toff who prolly has no idea of its history.


My Pet Hate

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#37 sterling49

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 23:43

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
Yes Sterling,

...and the Brabham., just like his Cooper Monaco, is now in UK being driven by some rich toff who prolly has no idea of its history.


My Pet Hate

Stan Patterson
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As maybe advertised by one of the auction houses in MotorSport ?

#38 David Birchall

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 00:15

I have heard of a driver-I don't know who-saying after stuffing a Cooper in a GP in the late fifties "Well, I suppose you'll have to unwrap another one, ha ha"! Anybody know who?

#39 oldtimer

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:52

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
YES.....Brooks complains of vibration ...which was just feral wheelspin ..but really these cars were just crude blunt axes ala Indy...compared with the F1 cars of 1961 to 1965


Try telling someone who has seen a W154 sans bodywork that it was crude compared to those 1.5 litre mini cars. And with body work, it became a trend setter.

IIRC, Brooks was experiencing wheelspin at 140mph or so in the 1937 W125 with 22in. wheels, which, I suppose, made it a blunt axe of sorts.

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#40 Stan Patterson

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:12

Sorry Sterling,

I have stopped buying Motor Sport, after having been brought up on it since 1956.

Too much "COMPULSORY" American content these days.

Stan

#41 fuzzi

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 11:25

Luigi Villoresi was asked before the 1951 Mille Miglia whether the rain would bother him. He gestured at the 4.1litre Ferrari Coupe and said,
"For us it is always raining."

He still won.

Roy Salvadori was a fast and furious road driver and when asked by a nervous passenger whether he knew the road they were travelling said "No. "
"So how do you know which way it goes over blind brows and round blind bends?"
"It must go somewhere."

#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 11:59

Originally posted by MPea3
I don't know who first said it, but one of my all time favorites is in response to the question "how do you make a small fortune in racing?"

"Start witha large fortune."

Pretty much like the axiom that trying to win the Americas Cup is like standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 bills.

Although while trying to find the original attribution for that I did find it as a 2005 quote from an SCCA national champion! His name? Pratt Cole ....

#43 stevewf1

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 16:17

Graham Hill at a sports car race at Riverside California, being interviewed by Chris Economaki...
Economaki: "Now, Graham, what's significant about the straight here?" Hill: "Well, it's significant insofar as it joins one corner with the next". This went out over the PA.

Graham Hill again, on the start of the 1966 Indianapolis 500: "The starter (Harlan Fengler) waved the flag like it was alive and he was trying to shake it off".

Price Cobb at an IMSA race in the 80s, after he had car problems when running well: "Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug".

#44 petefenelon

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 19:46

Originally posted by stevewf1

Price Cobb at an IMSA race in the 80s, after he had car problems when running well: "Sometimes you're the windshield and sometimes you're the bug".


I wish I could repeat some of the conversation between Price Cobb and Stefan Johansson that virtually paralysed the Synergy paddock in Mexico back in 2005, alas libel laws probably prevent it! - two very bright middle-aged delinquents who've been in he game for years reminiscing about the worst prototypes they'd driven, trying to work out who'd written off more cars over the years, and the worst manufacturers to work with... let's just say that Porsche are far more respected than loved ;P

(Mr Cobb did suggest that at one test he was tempted to shave his moustache into the distinctive 'toothbrush' style and dye it black....;) I felt more than a small amount of sympathy, at the time my professional life was being made hell after my workplace had been taken over by a certain very large Stuttgart-based German automotive electronics company, and we were being thoroughly shafted by a Munich-based German manufacturer.... German corporate culture and free spirits do not mix).

We aren't quite sure why Stefan wasn't eating with his own team, either. Watching Messrs Cobb and Johansson spending half an hour failing to make the coffee machine work was another reminder that driving and engineering are often two entirely separate trades these days ;)

#45 canon1753

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:49

Two of my favorites Price and Stefan....

#46 Stan Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 02:30

Salvo's comments remind me of the remark made by triple Australian Grand Prix winner Doug Whiteford, in relation to Skyline on the dangerous old Bathurst circuit.

When asked how he could drive the 300S Maser over the blind hump, flat chat, the road falls away dramatically, he replied..

"I have been driving over there flat out for 10 years and the road hasn't moved yet"

Stan Patterson

Old Aussie Grump

#47 cosworth bdg

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 05:27

Originally posted by Stan Patterson
Salvo's comments remind me of the remark made by triple Australian Grand Prix winner Doug Whiteford, in relation to Skyline on the dangerous old Bathurst circuit.

When asked how he could drive the 300S Maser over the blind hump, flat chat, the road falls away dramatically, he replied..

"I have been driving over there flat out for 10 years and the road hasn't moved yet"

Stan Patterson

Old Aussie Grump

Isn't the circuit at Bathurst still a very dangerous venue for drivers.....................?????????????????

#48 Stan Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 05:47

Well, apart form the odd historic event, there is no serious motor racing now at the circuit..just the motor company orchestrated circus events for the gullible media-herded consumer crowds.

I have seen the plans for the new de-balled permanent circuit..........no comment


Stan Patterson

#49 Sharman

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 10:52

Originally posted by Vitesse2

Pretty much like the axiom that trying to win the Americas Cup is like standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 bills.

Although while trying to find the original attribution for that I did find it as a 2005 quote from an SCCA national champion! His name? Pratt Cole ....


I think the original was either Sopwith or Lipton in the 30s

#50 Andrew Ford &F1

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 15:02

Originally posted by MPea3
I don't know who first said it, but one of my all time favorites is in response to the question "how do you make a small fortune in racing?"

"Start witha large fortune."


I heard something like this from Eddie Irvine, one of my favourite drivers. Once Eddie said:"To become a millionaire in F1 one has to be a billionaire". From my personal observations I can state that the same goes for women :)

Mr. Irvine on the national anthems played as the race winners accept their trophies: "I couldn't give a s**t which song is played or which flag is flown. I race for myself and for no-one else."

Another one by the 1999 World Championship runner-up.Miss Belgium asked Irvine in the Spa paddock: "How can I seduce you?" Irvine replied, "Take your clothes off."
And the last one for today :) An interviewer asked, "Eddie, if you have Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher on a tower, whom would you throw out?" Irvine answered, "Mika Häkkinen, because Michael Schumacher is already out of this championship."

I really think that Eddie deserved to win the 1999 World title. He let SCH through a couple of times and that basically were the points that the Irishaman lacked to beat Hakkinen. And by the way, under current point sysytem Eddie would have been 1999 F1 Champion.