It's not just the results though. Have you actually *watched* those races?
Well, let me not take this as an ad hominem.
Yeah, I actually did watch those races... as far as Dutch TV broadcasted them. Otherwise I had to hunt across German or French channels to find footage. I was a big Lotus-fan and until about oh, twenty years ago, I was completely convinced that Poor Ronnie was not allowed to beat Mario and then at every race Peterson clung to his leaders exhausts to protect him from other cars trying to overtake. That was the image seared in my memory. THIS image.
And I was also convinced that indeed Riccardo Patrese was the culprit in Petersons fiery accident and death. THAT race I saw live, on tv... and I saw the crash, as much that could bee seen from it. Funnily, it was just years later I realised that I always seemed to have a break in watching F1 after a deadly accident, at least if I knew the driver well: I did not see the 1979 season (until later), skipped the 1995 season, mostly...
Anyway... Life progressed and thanks to more money, I could buy more books, read more magazines, learned analytical skills, became an adult, learned critical thinking... and then internet came along...
Finally, I could re-watch those race I had seen as impressionable youngster. And there was only once race (1!) where I could see Peterson tucked under Mario's rear-wing, like in my memory all the races had been... Thanks to the predecessor of this Forum, in a lengthy and hotly contested debate about Monza 1978 (my impression is that several posters back then got banned for their contributions), I could finally get a clear perspective of Petersons accident at Monza... thanks to digital archives like Forix, I could see into the details of the results. And my analysis was: Mario was a better driver than Peterson, could develop cars better, was more often than not faster than Peterson in qualifying and in races.
Was there a number 2-contract for Ronnie? Yes, but in most races of 1978 Mario did not need it to be enforced. Ronnie's death - as so often - made him a martyr, and this particular subject: the martyr for all drivers 'who are not allowed to beat the number 1 in the team', which is a narrative that keeps being repeated over and over. The same was (in a slightly less clear way) suggested about Gilles Villeneuve losing the world-championship to Scheckter in 1979, where in one race he indeed could have overtaken Jody but didn't, because of a former agreement. (I believe it was Monza?) For the rest of the year Gilles was not held back, he did not have bad luck that he did not made himself *, Jody was just a smarter driver, out-qualified Gilles 8/7 and in races was often plain faster (13 times times the fastest lap, against 2 for Gilles).
* Take Monaco 1979, for example. Jody Scheckter tells in the Gilles-biography of Gerald Donaldson that Gilles often created his own mechanical misfortunes. As an example Jody describes how Gilles kept his foot on the gas when exiting the last corner before the straight of Monaco. Tells Jody: there was a bump there, and Gilles always kept his foot down, which would mean the engine would rev extra high, howling. Every lap that was a blow to the clutch and transmission. And sure enough, Gilles could not finish the race... because his gearbox gave out.
Are not we way off-topic with this? Or is this in the line of the discussion?
EDIT For grammar and other mistakes.
Edited by Nemo1965, 09 June 2022 - 13:28.