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#1 Rumblestrip

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 16:02

I just read an interesting article on Kevin Magnussen over at The Race
https://the-race.com...r-f1-team-mate/

 

It made me wonder exactly how many senior drivers reach that point of attempting to help the team as a whole, instead of just their narrow interest (i.e. them), and what persuades them to do it. I can think of many examples of teammates fighting over the focus of a team and hiding data but not many that followed the Jackie Stewart example.

https://www.formula1...AECo24KSmc.html

 

Magnussen's experience after his initial F1 career seems to have helped him see the benefits of such an approach. Is this more common away from the dog-eat-dog world of F1?



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#2 jjcale

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 16:45

Edited 15:25 8/6/22

 

SLH .... since 2009.... but esp 2022 .... which is a kind of 2009 all over again. 

 

Heiki looked very competitive with LH until they got the car fixed in 2009 .... not saying its going to be the same with GR but its clear that the focus so far this year is on getting the team forward rather than winning the team mate war ... a lesson learned in 2009 and implemented ever since. 

 

Even before 2009 Ron Dennis/Macca taught him well ...No hiding data ... no games - and its been the same ever since. The guys who wouldnt do that - or do it willingly got fired, FA, (Edit - and I suspect) Rosberg - or as they claimed, they quit... but whatever. LH kept going to 7 titles (...and counting) and folks keep taling about what could have been for them. 

 

Sorry for such a partisan response to a great thread idea ... but nobody responded for 30 mins after the OP .... at least Ive got this thing going for you.


Edited by jjcale, 08 June 2022 - 14:25.


#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 16:59

Sorry, Rosberg got fired by Mercedes?  :lol:



#4 Zoe

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 17:42

Nothing beats a good conspiracy  :p



#5 P123

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 17:46

I don't think there is any chance that drivers, or more accurately, one side of the garage, can hide data these days.  Drivers can play some games, but with limited testing they need all the data they can get.



#6 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 17:53

I just read an interesting article on Kevin Magnussen over at The Race
https://the-race.com...r-f1-team-mate/

 

It made me wonder exactly how many senior drivers reach that point of attempting to help the team as a whole, instead of just their narrow interest (i.e. them), and what persuades them to do it. I can think of many examples of teammates fighting over the focus of a team and hiding data but not many that followed the Jackie Stewart example.

https://www.formula1...AECo24KSmc.html

 

Magnussen's experience after his initial F1 career seems to have helped him see the benefits of such an approach. Is this more common away from the dog-eat-dog world of F1?

I think it's mostly a maturity thing.  If you're old enough to no longer be terrified that you're losing your only shot at the big time, you can start to look around at what you can do to really move things forward, and teammate collaboration is definitely a very good path to better performance.  It's not easy, as you need two guys on the same page, but when you can do it, those teams can be quite dominant.  I think it's most common in sports cars with co-drivers, since collaboration is implied in the concept, but I've seen it in some of the best single seater teams.  Penske and Ganassi have had periods where this was really leveraged, and arguably Prost and Lauda, and then 1988's Prost and Senna showed what you could gain if the drivers could keep it together long enough.  I think the paddock culture of F1 makes it harder than some other series might.



#7 Rumblestrip

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 18:07

SLH .... since 2009.... but esp 2022 .... which is a kind of 2009 all over again. 

 

Heiki looked very competitive with LH until they got the car fixed in 2009 .... not saying its going to be the same with GR but its clear that the focus so far this year is on getting the team forward rather than winning the team mate war ... a lesson learned in 2009 and implemented ever since. 

 

Even before 2009 Ron Dennis/Macca taught him well ...No hiding data ... no games - and its been the same ever since. The guys who wouldnt do that - or do it willingly got fired, FA, Rosberg - or as they claimed, they quit... but whatever. LH kept going to 7 titles (...and counting) and folks keep taling about what could have been for them. 

 

Sorry for such a partisan response to a great thread idea ... but nobody responded for 30 mins after the OP .... at least Ive got this thing going for you.

 

I'm trying not to have flashbacks to the Hamilton-Button teammate thread, but I would say Hamilton is maybe not a good example to bring up based on his previous comments.

 

I didn't say this in the OP but I do want to make it clear that I don't regard the reluctance to share data with a teammate as a bad thing. I realise that keeping your driving secrets to yourself is what has enabled many drivers to progress up the tree to F1, and that ultimately not sharing data is a selfish thing but then that also tends to go along with being a champion. What I wanted to understand in this thread is why drivers may change their minds as they get older and what effect it has on the team.



#8 Rumblestrip

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 18:10

Also, as a McLaren fan I'd have to say it seems pretty obvious that there's a load of data sharing going on currently to try to understand Dans issues, and for the team that's clearly a good thing.



#9 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 18:42

In my job I have always shared my best practices, gave tips and shared what works with me even in situations that were seen adversarial. 
I think everybody wins in such an environment. 
I understand why early 20 year old drivers might not and as they get wiser they start doing it. 

Most of the environment is still managed by the team. A strong team manager has the job to get those 2 people working together, to guide them to it. 



#10 pdac

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 18:52

In my job I have always shared my best practices, gave tips and shared what works with me even in situations that were seen adversarial. 
I think everybody wins in such an environment. 
I understand why early 20 year old drivers might not and as they get wiser they start doing it. 

Most of the environment is still managed by the team. A strong team manager has the job to get those 2 people working together, to guide them to it. 

 

I can't echo this enough. The best teams are the ones that share out everything they learn - these are the ones that are successful. The whole is always greater than the sum or the parts.



#11 jjcale

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 20:04

Sorry, Rosberg got fired by Mercedes?  :lol:

 

Got to read between the lines in in life, man .... nobody at Merc cried when he "suddenly quit" (in fact they started bad mouthing him almost immediately - and he's had a minimal role in the "Merc family" ever since) ... and Toto's protege who he gets a cut from (er ...management fee..) was ready and waiting to step into the seat. 

 

/OT

 

To get back on track ... isnt it funny that the guy everyone one says is the most open team mate and who is on record as being willing to do the donkey work with different set ups and turning his races into giant test sessions when the team makes a dud car .... is also the guy who is statistically the most successful ever .... being a team player is actually the best strategy in F1.

 

.... and not just for the top talents .... look at a guy like Ant Davidson ... a wonderful servant to the organisation at Brackley ... and he has had a job for life with them. 

 

The guys who are known to be a bit selfish, never live up to their full potential.... you need a lot of help in life - even if you are a super talent.... nobody ever made it all by himself. 


Edited by jjcale, 07 June 2022 - 20:06.


#12 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 20:58

Yeah I don't think Rosberg got fired and I don't remember any badmouthing. And yes Toto always puts 'his' guys in. He is a Teutonic Flavio and nothing else. 



#13 ARTGP

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:13

Yeah I don't think Rosberg got fired and I don't remember any badmouthing. And yes Toto always puts 'his' guys in. He is a Teutonic Flavio and nothing else. 

 

I recall badmouthing but mostly from his teammate. lol. Anyway, I can't tell if some post written here are satire....

 

 

I'd say Sergio Perez and Valterri Bottas have had moments in their careers where they donned the "driving for the team" hat. Most drivers have, eventually. But it's not a static thing. It depends on what suits the driver at the time. More recently, Bottas and Perez had largely been driving in order to secure a contract.


Edited by ARTGP, 07 June 2022 - 21:17.


#14 Afterburner

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:14

This is much more common in other series, and much more common with older drivers. Alex Palou hugely credits his leap to the top of the IndyCar tree to Scott Dixon, for example.

#15 jjcale

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:24

Yeah I don't think Rosberg got fired and I don't remember any badmouthing. And yes Toto always puts 'his' guys in. He is a Teutonic Flavio and nothing else. 

 

Edited 15:27 8/6/22

 

When a high profile firing is done - a story is made up and ducks are put in a row.... biggest firings that I had anything to do with more time was spent on getting the story right than on the actual firing! I remember one that was on the front page of the broadsheets at the time because of the organisation that the guy got fired from .... that story was made up out of whole cloth and everybody had to buy into it and repeat the same lines - including the guy who got fired.... and that one the guy didnt have to be fired. Basically he lost a power struggle and need to go for the good of the organisation. He did a naughty thing - but it wasnt anything that couldnt have been overlooked.... basically, he just needed to be out of that scene for everyone's benefit. That's how it goes sometimes.  

 

I am not 100% saying Rosberg was fired ... I wasnt there .... but I am saying based on my little experience of life and what little critical thinking skills/ability to think for myself that I have .... I would say there is a more than 50% chance that what happened was, at minimum, a mutual agreement for him to go, but which was not instigated by him.

 

I dont buy the story thats been put in the public about that incident at all ...

 

Edit - to be clear, I have no evidence that Rosberg was "fired, pushed aside or anything similar" .... it is just my own suspision based on what from the outside reminds me of similar events that I am well aware of ... but just because something looks similar to me doesnt mean that its the same thing - it could well be a different thing ... so what I have said is just my own opinion/suspicion. Nothing more, nothing less.


Edited by jjcale, 08 June 2022 - 14:30.


#16 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:41

What incident? Winning the world championship? I think Lewis lost because his engine blew up in Malaysia and that was Rosberg's only chance but I don't for a minute think he got sacked. 



#17 Nemo1965

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:43

Alain Prost had Rosberg in the bag… he had Johansson in the bag… Ron Dennis could have had the latter, or Piquet, or Alboreto, or any other driver in the McLaren in 1988, but there was only 1 driver capable in F1 being as good or better than Prost… and Prost vehemently urged Dennis to hire him. In hindsight, with all the sanctamonious hypocrisy and taunting of that said driver and his fans, this is still he best example of a F1 driver being a teamplayer in my recollection.

#18 P123

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 21:45

Nah, Nico dropped the team in it, and any harsh words were for that reason, especially as the team had backed him all through the year to achieve his dream.  



#19 danmills

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 22:17

Lets be fair, Lewis vs Fernando and Lewis vs Nico were a whole different kettle of fish.

It's not often that two drivers from the same team are both fighting for P1 and P2 in the title and that's when the team thing dissolves and becomes a rivalry.

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#20 r4mses

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Posted 07 June 2022 - 22:52

ROS getting fired might be the most stupid thing I've ever read on this board. Impressive.



#21 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 00:21

ROS getting fired might be the most stupid thing I've ever read on this board. Impressive.

and it's a very tight competition there....



#22 Mishvili

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 06:31

In my job I have always shared my best practices, gave tips and shared what works with me even in situations that were seen adversarial. 
I think everybody wins in such an environment. 
I understand why early 20 year old drivers might not and as they get wiser they start doing it. 

Most of the environment is still managed by the team. A strong team manager has the job to get those 2 people working together, to guide them to it. 

 

Doesn't this often work both ways?  Often in life it is the older and more experienced who are more reluctant to share as they feel they have more to lose in a competitive environment where they are potentially competing with their fellow workers for future employment.  Without being able to draw on the advantage of being "the one who knows how things work", the older worker will always be vulnerable when an organisation is adopting a stance of planning for the future.



#23 Myrvold

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 06:41

Got to read between the lines in in life, man ....

 

Which is fine.

 

Problem is when there's 0.5cm between two lines and one try to fit in a mammoth book there.



#24 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 06:53

Doesn't this often work both ways? Often in life it is the older and more experienced who are more reluctant to share as they feel they have more to lose in a competitive environment where they are potentially competing with their fellow workers for future employment. Without being able to draw on the advantage of being "the one who knows how things work", the older worker will always be vulnerable when an organisation is adopting a stance of planning for the future.

I have not seen such competition between generations.
Maybe because in the field of work I am (tech) good employees have had strong careers and if they are still around after many years it’s because they enjoy their jobs. They all need to learn new skills and adapt, so not a lot of things to hold on to

#25 Claudius

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 06:55

In my job I have always shared my best practices, gave tips and shared what works with me even in situations that were seen adversarial. 
I think everybody wins in such an environment. 
I understand why early 20 year old drivers might not and as they get wiser they start doing it. 

Most of the environment is still managed by the team. A strong team manager has the job to get those 2 people working together, to guide them to it. 

 

Different jobs, different criteria. The drivers worst "enemy" is their teammate and it's normal if they don't want to share everything with the other side. 



#26 r4mses

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 08:29

Different jobs, different criteria. The drivers worst "enemy" is their teammate and it's normal if they don't want to share everything with the other side

 

I've always asked myself how much a driver can decide - if he has any say at all - and how much he can actually do. After all, i's not like the data is stored on his private USB stick or smth.



#27 garoidb

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 08:46

Alain Prost had Rosberg in the bag… he had Johansson in the bag… Ron Dennis could have had the latter, or Piquet, or Alboreto, or any other driver in the McLaren in 1988, but there was only 1 driver capable in F1 being as good or better than Prost… and Prost vehemently urged Dennis to hire him. In hindsight, with all the sanctamonious hypocrisy and taunting of that said driver and his fans, this is still he best example of a F1 driver being a teamplayer in my recollection.

 

Whenever I have seen this referred to, the options mentioned were Senna or Piquet with Prost recommending Senna. The restricted choice could have been due to Honda's requirements rather than Dennis. I don't think Prost could have successfully lobbied for Alboreto, for example. Nakajima, maybe. 



#28 Zoe

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 09:02

 Often in life it is the older and more experienced who are more reluctant to share as they feel they have more to lose in a competitive environment where they are potentially competing with their fellow workers for future employment.  

 

This is getting a bit OT, but in my case often it is the older and more experienced ones trying to show the new blood how things work (or had been working) before the youngsters came on board. Some of those are willing to listen and learn, some of those know everything better and want to change or ignore things just for the sake of changing.



#29 Collombin

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 09:14

Whenever I have seen this referred to, the options mentioned were Senna or Piquet with Prost recommending Senna. The restricted choice could have been due to Honda's requirements rather than Dennis. I don't think Prost could have successfully lobbied for Alboreto, for example. Nakajima, maybe.


Roebuck stated that the only driver Prost would veto joining McLaren was Piquet. This only 4 years after officially joining the Piquet fan club.

#30 garoidb

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 09:37

Roebuck stated that the only driver Prost would veto joining McLaren was Piquet. This only 4 years after officially joining the Piquet fan club.

 

If Honda wanted to keep Senna, Piquet and Nakajima as they switched from Williams to McLaren, vetoing Piquet inevitably leads to choosing Senna. In other words, was it more a case of Prost not wanting Piquet than Prost wanting Senna. 



#31 Sterzo

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 09:37

It made me wonder exactly how many senior drivers reach that point of attempting to help the team as a whole, instead of just their narrow interest (i.e. them), and what persuades them to do it. I can think of many examples of teammates fighting over the focus of a team and hiding data

It would be interesting to see some of those examples here. I vaguely remember stories of the engineers and mechanics on one side of the garage colluding with the driver to hide info from a team-mate, and also of young drivers grateful to their senior team-mates for their help and support. What I can't remember is who helped who, and who hindered who!

 

There'll be all kinds of variables at work. It must be easier to assist someone who's not a threat, and harder to play the team game when it means you'll lose your chance of a first win. Personalities come into it. Jackie Ickx is a good bloke but famously wasn't interested in the team at all, and now regrets not having even thanked his mechanics. Whereas you can imagine Sainz and Norris sharing every detail because being open is their natural way.



#32 Collombin

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 09:39

In other words, was it more a case of Prost not wanting Piquet than Prost wanting Senna.


From my interpretation, very much the former.

#33 Nemo1965

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 13:09

If Honda wanted to keep Senna, Piquet and Nakajima as they switched from Williams to McLaren, vetoing Piquet inevitably leads to choosing Senna. In other words, was it more a case of Prost not wanting Piquet than Prost wanting Senna.


Which is contradicting what Prost and Dennis have said in several interviews and repeated in interviews in and since 1988. I prefer to believe them, but then again I am a sentimental sap.

#34 eibyyz

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 13:55

Lets be fair, Lewis vs Fernando and Lewis vs Nico were a whole different kettle of fish.

It's not often that two drivers from the same team are both fighting for P1 and P2 in the title and that's when the team thing dissolves and becomes a rivalry.

 

I harken back to Mario v. Ronnie.  A golden freaking age.  



#35 taran

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 14:05

I harken back to Mario v. Ronnie.  A golden freaking age.  

 

In the sense that Mario was the undisputed #1 and Ronnie was only signed with the stipulation that he would defer to Mario in all things. Ronnie signed the contract because he needed a competitive drive after several poor years. And to his credit, he indeed dutifully performed the #2 role.

 

It has little to do with either driver wanting to help the team succeed. Mario had been with Lotus through the wilderness years and wanted to profit now that the car was good. He wasn't going to allow Peterson to waltz in and take advantage of all his hard work. Peterson accepted that and used the Lotus drive to get a McLaren deal for the next year. Only to perish at Monza.



#36 garoidb

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 15:01

Which is contradicting what Prost and Dennis have said in several interviews and repeated in interviews in and since 1988. I prefer to believe them, but then again I am a sentimental sap.

 

I just asked a question. My interest in this has been more to do with why Honda left Williams and what their requirements were. I understood that they wanted Senna (who worked with them in 1987 at Lotus), Piquet (who was on course to take the first Honda powered WDC) and Nakajima, due to his being Japanese. Williams wouldn't accommodate Nakajima at the expense of Mansell but Lotus were prepared to keep Satoru. hence McLaren and Lotus got the engines. All this together is why I don't believe Alboreto or Johansson or anyone not already linked to Honda (bar Prost) were possible McLaren Honda drivers for 1988. It was either Piquet or Senna and there is no dispute that Prost supported the selection of Senna. Have Prost or Dennis contradicted this?



#37 Nemo1965

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 16:49

I just asked a question. My interest in this has been more to do with why Honda left Williams and what their requirements were. I understood that they wanted Senna (who worked with them in 1987 at Lotus), Piquet (who was on course to take the first Honda powered WDC) and Nakajima, due to his being Japanese. Williams wouldn't accommodate Nakajima at the expense of Mansell but Lotus were prepared to keep Satoru. hence McLaren and Lotus got the engines. All this together is why I don't believe Alboreto or Johansson or anyone not already linked to Honda (bar Prost) were possible McLaren Honda drivers for 1988. It was either Piquet or Senna and there is no dispute that Prost supported the selection of Senna. Have Prost or Dennis contradicted this?


I was reacting to another post, that seemed to insinuate that Prost only chose Senna, because he didn’t like Piquet. Regarding the Honda-connection: that might very well be true. I’ve always remembered and or had the impression that Dennis listened to Prost rather closely back then.

#38 Nemo1965

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 16:53

In the sense that Mario was the undisputed #1 and Ronnie was only signed with the stipulation that he would defer to Mario in all things. Ronnie signed the contract because he needed a competitive drive after several poor years. And to his credit, he indeed dutifully performed the #2 role.

It has little to do with either driver wanting to help the team succeed. Mario had been with Lotus through the wilderness years and wanted to profit now that the car was good. He wasn't going to allow Peterson to waltz in and take advantage of all his hard work. Peterson accepted that and used the Lotus drive to get a McLaren deal for the next year. Only to perish at Monza.


Actually one for the impopular opinion thread – Peterson only had to defer to Mario in one race in 1978: Zandvoort. For the rest Mario either outqualified him or outraced him. The ‘poor old Ronnie was not allowed to beat Mario’-story is a myth, in my honest opinion

#39 Rumblestrip

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 18:18

It would be interesting to see some of those examples here. I vaguely remember stories of the engineers and mechanics on one side of the garage colluding with the driver to hide info from a team-mate, and also of young drivers grateful to their senior team-mates for their help and support. What I can't remember is who helped who, and who hindered who!

 

There'll be all kinds of variables at work. It must be easier to assist someone who's not a threat, and harder to play the team game when it means you'll lose your chance of a first win. Personalities come into it. Jackie Ickx is a good bloke but famously wasn't interested in the team at all, and now regrets not having even thanked his mechanics. Whereas you can imagine Sainz and Norris sharing every detail because being open is their natural way.

 

James Allen wrote an article on it a few years ago after a Hamilton interview where he seemed to indicate he wasn't a big fan of sharing data, contrary to what was previously suggested in this thread.
https://www.motorspo...mments/3221537/



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#40 absinthedude

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 21:03

I harken back to Mario v. Ronnie.  A golden freaking age.  

 

The first year I watched F1. Though I may have been aware of it before. Ronnie driving for the team, believing 1979 might be his big chance at McLaren. He recognised that Mario had put in the development work on the Lotus 78 and 79 and that 1978 was Mario's year. 

 

As for whether Ronnie was capable of keeping up with Mario....I have every single 1978 race on video of some sort as well as my memories. Sure, Mario sometimes had the better of him but sometimes Ronnie did seem to be deliberately holding back in Mario's wheeltracks.

 

As for Nico Rosberg being fired. The most preposterous tosh I've ever read on here. And that is *really* saying something. Nico had every right to retire, and it was in some ways a brave decision. But it also left the team in the lurch. While the relationship between him and Hamilton had become toxic and very difficult to manage, Toto didn't want to go to all the trouble to find a replacement. If there were any harsh words after, it would be because Nico left the team in the lurch. 


Edited by absinthedude, 08 June 2022 - 21:14.


#41 Nemo1965

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Posted 08 June 2022 - 21:40

The first year I watched F1. Though I may have been aware of it before. Ronnie driving for the team, believing 1979 might be his big chance at McLaren. He recognised that Mario had put in the development work on the Lotus 78 and 79 and that 1978 was Mario's year.

As for whether Ronnie was capable of keeping up with Mario....I have every single 1978 race on video of some sort as well as my memories. Sure, Mario sometimes had the better of him but sometimes Ronnie did seem to be deliberately holding back in Mario's wheeltracks.

As for Nico Rosberg being fired. The most preposterous tosh I've ever read on here. And that is *really* saying something. Nico had every right to retire, and it was in some ways a brave decision. But it also left the team in the lurch. While the relationship between him and Hamilton had become toxic and very difficult to manage, Toto didn't want to go to all the trouble to find a replacement. If there were any harsh words after, it would be because Nico left the team in the lurch.


Don’t want to be pedantic… but Andretti outqualified Peterson on most occasions. And there were four races where they finished close to each other: Belgium, Spain, France and the Netherlands. In the first of those two Andretti finished about 19 to 20 seconds ahead of Peterson. In France it was 3 seconds. Perhaps there… In Holland, yes, there was the famous non-battle with Peterson only 0.32 behind Andretti. He could have won that race, but that was the only one in which Ronnie had to hold himself back. In the rest of the season Andretti was ahead in races and on merit.

#42 taran

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 10:07

Don’t want to be pedantic… but Andretti outqualified Peterson on most occasions. And there were four races where they finished close to each other: Belgium, Spain, France and the Netherlands. In the first of those two Andretti finished about 19 to 20 seconds ahead of Peterson. In France it was 3 seconds. Perhaps there… In Holland, yes, there was the famous non-battle with Peterson only 0.32 behind Andretti. He could have won that race, but that was the only one in which Ronnie had to hold himself back. In the rest of the season Andretti was ahead in races and on merit.

I see where you're coming from but IMO, it is very difficult to say which driver would have prevailed if both had been fighting for wins.

Both Andretti and Peterson were top notch drivers albeit with different skill sets.

 

I do believe that with a clear #1 and #2 situation in place, neither driver went all out against each other. Andretti didn't have to pull out a gap and Peterson wouldn't have gone full bore either since he wasn't allowed to fight. So their actual performance was tempered by each race unfolding. If challenged by another team, they'd go faster. If out on their own, both would basically maintain position with as less stress on the fragile Lotuses as possible.



#43 Nemo1965

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 10:20

I see where you're coming from but IMO, it is very difficult to say which driver would have prevailed if both had been fighting for wins.
Both Andretti and Peterson were top notch drivers albeit with different skill sets.

I do believe that with a clear #1 and #2 situation in place, neither driver went all out against each other. Andretti didn't have to pull out a gap and Peterson wouldn't have gone full bore either since he wasn't allowed to fight. So their actual performance was tempered by each race unfolding. If challenged by another team, they'd go faster. If out on their own, both would basically maintain position with as less stress on the fragile Lotuses as possible.

Absolutely. And to end this side-quest, here a wonderful anecdote that shows how well Andretti and Peterson got along:

Andretti: “Last week after some testing at Monza, a friend asks me to drive this little Fiat 127 back to the Villa D'Este on Lake Como. Ronnie Peterson's following in a 280 Mercedes and I ask him to push me when we hit the steep grade that takes you up into Como. The Swede gets in tight behind me all right and we're bumper to bumper and going like a bat up that hill. Then when we hit the top, I look in the mirror and Ronnie's all scrunched over the wheel—like Jimmy Cagney at Indy in The Crowd Roars—and he's laughing! The guy's gonna keep pushing—downhill!

"So we come pouring off that ridge flat-out, at about 120 miles an hour, and the car ain't built for more than 90, and the motor's going phut-phut-phut and I'm like this"—Andretti saws away at an imaginary wheel—"and then we're coming into this red intersection. I kind of squinch my eyes and pray. Zip-zip! We're through.

"There's a car coming in from the right—a Lancia I think—and the driver's all buggy-eyed, cranking the wheel. He probably figured he was hallucinating. Anyway, when we get to the hotel and shut off the motor, we can't get it started again. Every valve in that Fiat must of been bent sideways." Andretti shakes his head and laughs. "Heck, we took more chances on that ride than we would in 50 GPs."

Peterson had come into the trailer toward the end of the yarn, and he nodded his head, smiling. It is good to remember him that way.

PS: source: https://vault.si.com...ng-championship

Edited by Nemo1965, 09 June 2022 - 10:41.


#44 absinthedude

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 12:01

Don’t want to be pedantic… but Andretti outqualified Peterson on most occasions. And there were four races where they finished close to each other: Belgium, Spain, France and the Netherlands. In the first of those two Andretti finished about 19 to 20 seconds ahead of Peterson. In France it was 3 seconds. Perhaps there… In Holland, yes, there was the famous non-battle with Peterson only 0.32 behind Andretti. He could have won that race, but that was the only one in which Ronnie had to hold himself back. In the rest of the season Andretti was ahead in races and on merit.

 

It's not just the results though. Have you actually *watched* those races? 



#45 Nemo1965

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 12:32

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.

 

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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.