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Intentionally disabling a healthy car


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#1 dbltop

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 19:33

In an article on Autosport+, Franz Tost suggests that out of shape drivers have dropped out of races in the past because of physical difficulties and then blamed the retirement on the car. I have never heard of this before. Any idea who he may have been referring to?



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#2 chr1s

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 19:53

Possibly Nelson Piquet? In the back of my mind I remember him saying when he made his Grand Prix debut that he had underestimated the level of fitness and endurance needed for Formula one compared to formula 3 and was on the point of giving up when the engine blew.  He also confessed to deliberately over revving the BMW turbo engines to blow them up, in either 1984 or 85 when they weren't so competitive,


Edited by chr1s, 15 June 2019 - 20:02.


#3 ensign14

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 20:24

Piquet though was cussedly determined enough to finish regardless; he collapsed on the podium at South Africa 1982 and was on the point of exhaustion (I think through illness) at Vegas 1981.  (Running for the title obviously helped with that.)

 

Chuck Daigh remarked that Lance Reventlow buzzed the Scarab engine in his one World Championship start at Spa 1960 because he basically scared himself on such a lethal circuit.

 

Wasn't there some suspicion that Hawthorn slipped his clutch at the Ring after seeing Collins' accident?  On the basis he no longer had any appetite for racing that day?



#4 Collombin

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 20:53

Piquet though was cussedly determined enough to finish regardless; he collapsed on the podium at South Africa 1982 and was on the point of exhaustion (I think through illness) at Vegas 1981. (Running for the title obviously helped with that.)


He also said that he basically just kept going for the mechanics at the 1984 Canadian GP when he would much rather have retired due to his burning foot.

#5 Glengavel

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 21:31

Piquet though was cussedly determined enough to finish regardless; he collapsed on the podium at South Africa 1982 and was on the point of exhaustion (I think through illness) at Vegas 1981.  (Running for the title obviously helped with that.)

 

Chuck Daigh remarked that Lance Reventlow buzzed the Scarab engine in his one World Championship start at Spa 1960 because he basically scared himself on such a lethal circuit.

 

Wasn't there some suspicion that Hawthorn slipped his clutch at the Ring after seeing Collins' accident?  On the basis he no longer had any appetite for racing that day?

 

I've seen that accusation directed at Peter Collins as well, relating to the Le Mans 24 Hours. Well, it's in his Wiki article, for what that's worth.

 

A disgruntled AJ Foyt junked his engine at the Questor Grand Prix when he realised the F5000 cars weren't going to cut it with the F1 lot. I don't know if that is in the spirit of the topic though.



#6 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 23:54

Time to set the cat among the pigeons here...

Harry Firth nobbled Peter Brock's car in the 1974 Bathurst 1000.

How? Nobody is sure. It happened during a pit stop after which Brock resumed the race with a huge lead, something like six laps. His fellow Holden Dealer Team driver, Colin Bond, had been right with him, the team had a tremendous lead until Bond's car suffered a huge oil leak.

After Brock's pit stop he did, as I recall, just one lap and then burned a hole in a piston on the next lap.

The circumstances were that Firth was under instruction to rid the team of Brock because of the adverse publicity relating to his dysfunctional marriage to Michelle Downes (sp?). A very public affair, this girl was the weather girl on a Melbourne TV channel and repeatedly turned up with severe bruising which make-up people had to cover up, then she went off-air as things got worse.

But Brock was the public's darling. Everybody loved him, he charmed them when he was interviewed, he was the public face of the anti-drink driving campaign in Victoria and broke hearts everywhere. How could General Motors-Holden sack him without getting a lot of backwash in the showrooms?

The only way, Firth (or GM-H executives) reasoned was to have the public see him toss away a win, to do something silly and disgrace himself in that way.

My personal belief is that Harry put something into the fuel churn to cause the detonation which burned the piston. But we will never know for sure.

We just know that after Brock pitted that day we had to wait five laps before he lost his lead...

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 23:58

Oh, and just in case anyone thinks Firth would not do such a thing...

The 1968 Bathurst 500 saw one of his cars, the Falcon driven by Bo Seton, pit with a leak in the radiator.

It was leading the race, but to change the radiator would take time and lose the lead, probably drop the car to third or fourth place. It was the last car in his team left in the race.

He told Seton to drive on...

#8 stuartbrs

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:56

Cole Trickle did it...

 

:) 



#9 Porsche718

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 07:22

In his Cooper-Maserati days, Jochen Rindt became fed up with the uncompetitiveness of the overwieght Cooper that he regularly seemed to blow engines. It got to the point when the car was returned to the pits, the team manager, Roy Salvadori, would go over, tap the tell-tale on the rev counter to see 1500-2000 rpm over-rev. Every time. 

 

Needless to say, Rindt was moved on.



#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:38

John Kocinski once very publicly and obviously wilfully slaughtered a Suzuki engine by revving it to death in burnout mode, but I think that was after the end of a race, sometime in the nineties. If memory serves, he wasn't even sacked for this disgraceful episode, at least not immediately. Talk about a flawed "genius"...

#11 Risil

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 16:13

In an article on Autosport+, Franz Tost suggests that out of shape drivers have dropped out of races in the past because of physical difficulties and then blamed the retirement on the car. I have never heard of this before. Any idea who he may have been referring to?

 

Given that Franz Tost's experience in motor racing was all Formula Ford, Formula 3 and Formula Nippon until joining Williams in 2000, then Toro Rosso after Red Bull bought Minardi, I'm going to look through Ralf Schumacher and Scott Speed's race records to see if I can spot any suspicious retirements.



#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 16:33

In his Cooper-Maserati days, Jochen Rindt became fed up with the uncompetitiveness of the overwieght Cooper that he regularly seemed to blow engines. It got to the point when the car was returned to the pits, the team manager, Roy Salvadori, would go over, tap the tell-tale on the rev counter to see 1500-2000 rpm over-rev. Every time. 

 

Needless to say, Rindt was moved on.

IIRC there's a quote from Jochen in Pruller's biography in which he claims to have deliberately over-revved an engine when he detected it was going sick - 'just to make sure'.

 

Varzi blowing up his 4CL during qualifying at Indy in 1946 may be another similar case - he certainly didn't like the track, but equally Nalon was only 29th fastest in another 4CL and only finally qualified on Bump Day. The same year, Harry Schell withdrew with (officially) magneto problems - he later admitted he'd just been too scared!



#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 16:59

I believe Jochen Rindt detonated his Cooper's Maserati V12 engine in the 1967 US GP at Watkins Glen...he claimed it was a case of euthanasia...

 

DCN



#14 Jim Thurman

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 22:00

Some year in the 1960s at Indianapolis, Roger McCluskey favored his old car over his new one. He wrote the new one off in a practice crash. Some (jestingly) accused him of crashing it on purpose. Someone wrote that when asked about it, McCluskey gave no reply, but had a sly grin.



#15 FLB

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 23:19

I once asked one of the early Porsche 917 drivers if Mitter had blown his engine at the 1969 Spa 1000 km on purpose, like Richard Attwood believes. The answer I got was: 'That's very possible...'

 

Source (Attwood's claim) :

 

https://christophoru...17-k-17047.html



#16 Nemo1965

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 13:22

Possibly Nelson Piquet? In the back of my mind I remember him saying when he made his Grand Prix debut that he had underestimated the level of fitness and endurance needed for Formula one compared to formula 3 and was on the point of giving up when the engine blew. He also confessed to deliberately over revving the BMW turbo engines to blow them up, in either 1984 or 85 when they weren't so competitive,


Brazil 82, rather and 83 also. In Kyalamy 82 he flunked his start and later spun out of the race.

Edited by Nemo1965, 12 August 2021 - 13:23.


#17 Gene

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 13:54

It was well known here in the states Scheckter didn't like the Trojan he was driving in 73 (?) F5000 and wanted a Lola. But Theodor refused to buy him one. So, he went out and crashed the Trojan, writing it off and got and finished the season Lola!



#18 9203RW

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 15:01

Alan Jones, Le Mans 1987?  He doesn't hide his dislike of the event and he didn't seem too upset when his car ran out of fuel out on the circuit before its first pit stop.



#19 AJCee

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 16:01

Nelson snr’s F1 debut did end after 31 laps with engine failure, so it’s possible. Of course his son did ‘intentionally disable an otherwise healthy car’…

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#20 small block

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Posted 13 August 2021 - 20:17

 Of course his son did ‘intentionally disable an otherwise healthy car’…

On the orders of that nice Mr Briatore...



#21 chr1s

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 20:13

Nelson snr’s F1 debut did end after 31 laps with engine failure, so it’s possible. Of course his son did ‘intentionally disable an otherwise healthy car’…

I think i need to clarify my original post, I wasn't suggesting that Nelson blew the engine in his debut race on purpose, just that he was "relived when it did let go."  However, i don't doubt for a minute that had the engine held together, he would have had the resolve to keep on going to the end. I wish i could remember where i read the original quote, but i can't! Although i am pretty sure the BMW turbo quote came from Alan Henrys' Brabham book.



#22 Parker1

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Posted 17 August 2021 - 21:07

Alan Jones, Le Mans 1987?  He doesn't hide his dislike of the event and he didn't seem too upset when his car ran out of fuel out on the circuit before its first pit stop.

Im friends with one of his ex team mates and he shall I say there is truth in the fact Alan would over rev to help an engine on its way …



#23 d j fox

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 14:33

In 2021 Moto GP Maverick Vinales was accused by Yamaha Motor of deliberately trying to blow up his bike in the first Austrian race. Subsequently he was suspended by the team for Austria 2 and, just announced, Silverstone’s British round. Has this ever happened in the four wheel world?

#24 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 15:05

At Le Mans in 1957, Phil Hill was paired with Peter Collins.  They had engine trouble in practice and agreed that they would take it easy in the early stages.  Collins took the start, had a three second lead at the end of the first lap and didn't complete the second.  Later he laughed and said "It was going to break anyway"/