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#1 dmj

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 11:38

A nice Mick Walsh column in new Classic and Sportscar, about Nick Syrett, a man who black flagged Pedro in THAT race. Some excerpts:
About Barrie Smith's accident that started all: "It was a real dustpan and brush job, and when I saw a marshal limply waving the slow down flag, I leapt over the pit wall, grabbed the yellow and waved it vigorously."
Apparently, Pedro didn't see or didn't care for yellows: "Pedro came by me flat missing my leg by nine inches. I was furious, vaulted over the pit wall and ran over to John Wyer. I said 'I'm black flagging your driver' to which David Yorke (JWA team manager) went barmy. Out went the flag but Pedro went by twice as fast. Just as I was telling Wyer we were going to disqualify him, the 917 roared into the pits. Pedro listened meekly as I gave him a rollicking, repeatedly punching his shoulder to reinforce my view. Then with about 18.000 rpm he blasted out of the pit-lane nearly killing everyone in sight. Wyer whispered in my ear: 'You're right Nick. He's a complete idiot. "
Syrett and Pedro later met in winner's parade car: "All around the course I just bollocked him all over again."

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#2 cjpani

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Posted 18 May 2002 - 17:33

dmj, thanks a lot :clap: i have heard that story diferent times, but with variations, one of which includes Pedro not "missing the leg by nine inches" but actually hitting Mr. Syrett in the leg.

We don´t get that magazine here in Mexico, so i would appreciate it very much -and abusing the confidence- if you could transript more parts of the article.

Kind regards

Carlos

#3 dmj

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 15:31

Carlos,
it's not an article but short editor's column and what I posted is pretty much all of Syrett's words (except when he says that sometimes he can't remember what happened yesterday but memory of that day is fresh and living). If you want I can scan it and send it to you in a PM.

#4 cjpani

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 16:23

Originally posted by dmj
Carlos,
it's not an article but short editor's column and what I posted is pretty much all of Syrett's words (except when he says that sometimes he can't remember what happened yesterday but memory of that day is fresh and living). If you want I can scan it and send it to you in a PM.


dmj, I would appreciate it very much if you did :)

best regards,
Carlos

#5 dmj

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 16:32

ok

#6 oldtimer

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 18:28

A Porsche 917 engine at 18,000rpm? Now that's poetic licence. :)

#7 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 01:55

As usual, I will be charming self, and I have to say Nick sucks with his poor memory.
After the race, when he talked to the family here in México, Pedro had a much different view of the incident. He never saw the flag, actually didn't see a black flag either until it was shown for the second or third time, but the problem is that the conditions were pretty bad and he was minding his business, aka racing. Pedro could have cared less if Nick was 9 inches away or not, he was in the line he was taking and it was just another hazard.
When he went into the pits, he was really mad about the incident, and he was not "meekly" reprimanded by Nick, he merely ignored the jerk (his brother's words) and when the man finished talking (he couldn't hear much of what Nick was saying since he was bleeping the throttle all along) or gesticulating, he just took off (and certainly not at 18,000 rpm since the engine didn't give that much, not even half I think).
I mean, who the hell does Nick think he is? Bollocking Pedro for driving fast in the rain? He certainly didn't know how to judge that (not many could since they didn't have the guts and hability, and I'm talking pros not clerks/marhalls). Meekly. It just sounds (I read the column) as if this Nick character wants to aggrandize his figure but he is a mere footnote or a question for trivia i.e. who was the jerk who stopped Pedro for driving fast in the rain at Brands in 1970? Hey, maybe I'll write it down for the official Rodriguez trivia.
Poor guy, he is pitiful, trying to say he was such a big man ordering Pedro around, yes sure. Pedro didn't care, didn't mind, and just ignored the man. His story sucks (technical term of course) and he is just a nuisance who remembers what he wants to remember, he is a legend in his own mind, no more. As Pedro would say later, how can anyone know if I was driving too fast for the conditions, and he recounted how cars would move over as soon as they saw his lights in their mirrors. He didn't need to pass anyone under yellow flags, he won by 5 laps, on a day when a great world champ like Hulme refused to even sit in the car (so it was Elford driving mostly, and Vic was a mean rain driver but Pedro was just 5 laps better in 1000K). Really this kind of pathetic guys talking about something they did 30 years ago and trying to fit themselves as heroic figures makes me wanna puke.
And his thing about Wyer telling him Pedro was an idiot, just sounds as phoney as the rest. Yes, sure Pedro was an idiot, Nick, and you saved the day, ha, ha, ha, the Queen should make you and MBE or something for your glorious deeds. I really should wite to C&SC and tell them a few things about Nickie boy.
Now friends, chew me, but please use arguments not just recollections from something which didn't happen.

#8 cjpani

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 02:09

Ok, now i must read the whole article.
Thanks Carlos for your -raging, but excellent- opinion.
You might want to take a look here:
http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=42304

Saludos
Carlos

#9 fines

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 11:24

Carlos, have you ever questioned what you think of Pedro Rodríguez? It seems we are getting a pretty one-dimensional biog here... :

#10 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 16:04

Well, I think he was second best to Jim Clark, but probably better than Jim in the rain (but hey, don't tell anybody, I have to say that Pedro was best, of course :lol: )
As to the other theme, about which I am most passionate which doesn't equate itself with one sided in my opinion):
I just hate guys like Nick Syrett making himself so important and using terms like bollocking and saying Pedro recieved his admonition Meekly and then confiding on to us that Wyer agreed with him that pedro was an idiot. Hey, I guess the idiot was Nick, who probably can't even start the 917, much less know if it's driven at unsafe speed. The recollection on the family side and Pedro's side is of a guy who doesn't know his left hand from his right hand, stopping Pedro for some omission, Pedro ignoring him until the guy finishes talking anf then blasting out of the pits, to do what he was supposed to do, race. Pedro always had this thing about showing the lightss to those in front, to make them nervous sometimes, or to show them he was coming through., and they often moved. That was his explanation for that day. Yellow flags were for lesser mortals, he could cleraly know if there was danger or not, he could judge the conditions and his car, and Nick couldn´t, that's the basic argument. or what, did Nick know better than Pedro? In the rain?
And then Wyer saying Pedro was an idiot, yes, show me proof, oops, how convenietn, Wyer is dead and so is Pedro, oh boy who can then go against Nick's word?, Well I can, of course, again, Nick sucks because he has no proof, he's basically just self aggrandizing his part in this incident.
I will be more specific about the family comments on this incident.
Pedro told them by phone and in a letter a bit about victory and the race, and Alejandro (brother) would later tell me, more or less, Pedro was in the pits trying to find out why there was a black flag with his number. When he arrives, the jerk (his words) starts shouting something and Pedro is like looking around blipping the throttle and this guy is furious with a yellow flag and Pedro doen't care what the man is saying, he's looking at his team amanger to see if he can go now, and the moment the man stops talking, Pedro just leaves like a madman and almost collects the guy who was in his line. Pedro just wanted to race, he didn't see the flags, he couldn't care less about them, he had lots of people spinning in front, by his side and when he passed and they tried to follow, and he just took care of dealing with them flags or no flags, and you couldn't see much that day. So what's all this guy doing 32 years later, telling us how good he was and the arrogance and so on he had to stop the great rain master Pedro and dressing him down. He has absolutely no business saying stuff like that. I don't care how respected he is, he is a mere footnote and he wants to prove how good he was, that's all, and I feel he needs to be cut to size (and as you might have seen, i am never at a loss with (s)words -must be the fencing lessons).
I have very strong facts about each and every race they ran, I have interviewed thousands of people, seen documents, asked recollections from the family and this of course makes me very thin skinned about what I see as unfair, and Nick is very unfair in my point of view, he offers nothing but his own recollection, coming from a man who remebers not much about yesterday, hey, this is highly suspicious. And then he insults (idiot is insult in my language) Pedro, that just gets me ballistic. Can he do that with impunity? No if I read it. Does he have Wyer on tape saying Pedro is an idiot? Of course he doesn't, he just made it up to look important. Wyer was a great admirer of Pedro as far as I know, and they were close friends since Angelina (Pedro's wife) had been married previously to another friend of Wyer (did you know that?) and they were more than team owner-driver, they were friends. Now can we think Wyer would say to his old buddy Nick that Pedro was an idiot, the man who buttered his bread with his wins for the JWAE in 1970-71 and gave him the Le Mans 1968 and 3 World championships too? I doubt it , but then again, Nick might be right and Wyer was just a duplicitous bastard calling Pedro names in close British company and saying how good he was in public. Of course, my opinion -in short- is Nick sucks :lol:
and Pedro rules.
And what worries me is that Nick can say what he wants, call Pedro an idiot or say Wyer agreed Pedro was an idiot, and I can not defend Pedro questioning Nicks proof and role in this affair because I am writing a one dimensional biography? I don't see the logic connection, Pedro is dead and you don't insult dead people (that's what I was told and how I was raised, sorry) who can not defend themselves. I am the one who's coming to defend a great dead driver and I am the one dimensional? Well, I'll check my facts again, reinforce/rephrase my opinions with objective facts, interview more people and try to avoid this perception you have. Thanks for telling me, and it reminds me of the word hagiography, which I have always tried to avoid. Hope I can do it and thanks for the caveat. :up: :up: And yes, I am passionate, like life.

#11 fines

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 17:00

Good thing being passionate :up:, but let's don't forget to keep perspective. To me it seems Mr. Syrett had quite a point: Here are the unpaid marshals, sheer enthusiasts risking their lifes to enable the lucky ones (drivers) to pursue their sport. There is the famous driver with a huge salary, totally disregarding their safety. Both have their adrenalin pumpin', so there are excuses for each one's behaviour, but the fact remains that Rodríguez was paying scant attention to those that were there to protect their (the drivers') lifes.

Rhetorical question, of course, since Pedro was beyond help, but what would you have thought of drivers speeding past the Ferrari at the Norisring, preventing marshals from tending the trapped driver?

#12 dmj

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 17:07

Originally posted by Carlos Jalife
Yellow flags were for lesser mortals, he could cleraly know if there was danger or not, he could judge the conditions and his car, and Nick couldn´t, that's the basic argument. or what, did Nick know better than Pedro? In the rain?

Carlos, I'm a great admirer of Pedro and I didn't know who Syrett is until I read that column but i simply can't believe that you can seriously tell something like this. :confused: :confused: :confused:
I don't care who was right or wrong there but Syrett had right to show Pedro a yellow or, later, black flag. More, he HAD to do it if he thought there was a reason to do it. Racing is sport and Syrett was a man commisioned to apply rules to every single driver there. And why would Pedro be different than other drivers, ones that accepted yellows and slowed down? He was better driver than others there, maybe, but had to play by same rules. And had to get punished if he disobeyed marshall's orders...
I don't want to say that Pedro was an idiot, of course. But I am sure he acted like an idiot if he just sat in his car, not listening to what Syrett had to tell him. Any normal human being would be at least curious why he is black flagged. If he didn't listen it seems obvious that he knew why he was called in - so theory about not-seeing flags doesn't hold water...

#13 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 18:57

When he saw the flag he knew and he didn't see any of the other flags before, except a black one about two laps after it was shown, the conditions weren't so good. And do we really think Pedro needed to pass anybody under yellow in the rain? Do you think it is appropiate to show the yellow flag and then the black to someone who might not have seen them at all. This happened in the first few laps and the yellow was shown once, the incident lap, and Pedro didn't see it and besides, people were always moving over when they saw the 917 coming. So he didn't see the yellow and next he gets shown the black, great officiating, great sure. He couldn't be shown the yellow again since the incident was cleared so the revenge form Nick is to show him the black.
Call that marshalling?
The implication here was that Pedro was either using the yellow to his advantage or being wild in the track. He was neither, he didn't need it, and he was driving his usual way, regardless of the rain, he knew what he was doing and if to Nick it seemed like he was being ignored, well tough luck so he takes his little revenge and orders him (what a man!) into the pits and Pedro didn't see it either, so the guy is all furious and threatens to disqualify him. Next time around Pedro sees it and comes in. By then Nick is all powerful, Yorke goes "barmy" (another idiot probably), Pedro comes in, realizes what the hell is going on, and just ignores the ass who can't drive and thinks this is dangerous, and then blasts away. That makes him an idiot? Not in my book.
This is the race where Amon said "someone tell Pedro it's raining".
The point is he makes the mistake of not seeing the first yellow in the rain and then Nick takes revenge showing what a big man he was that day. Who's the idiot? I'm sure it wasn't mexican, but hey, I might be prejudiced. :rotfl:
And yes, rules are rules, so Villeneuve and Arnoux should have been disqualified at Dijon, and so on, and for me races like Dijon, and Brands 1970 are great races. I still think Nick sucks but 100 years from now nobody will know who was Nick and Pedro will still be remembered for that drive. Incidentally I think he should be thanked, it just made Pedro more aggressive that day and by lap 20 (the incident was in lap 5) he was in the lead, which just shows the way he drove and the way the others drove and exactly how dangerous he was and what perception about the race Nick had. Maybe Nick was trying to slow him to get someone else a fair chance.
Still I was a marshall at GPs and we were told not to get in harm's way, show the flags vigorously and report anyone passing under yellow (except if the driver in front clearly let the man through) and also be aware that a man fighting with someone else for position might not be able to see the flags, or someone in th second or third places of a "train" since sometimes the first one is the who'll notice and the ones following might try to pass. Also we were told, if it rains, do your best , you might not be seen; but never, never get in the track, period. But it was also clear that we could never asume we were seen and probably drivers would realize the situation easily and return to the pre-yellow flag order by themselves. So super Nick is exempt from rules, leapt over the wall and waved the flag, but Pedro is not exempt from rules. Besides yellow doesn't mean slow down to what the clerk of the course thinks is safe, it means slow down and exercise your judgement and certainly Pedro knew what was dangerous and to Nick anything over 40KPH probably looked dangerous.
And also, about Pedro going twice as fast the next time around, that means he probably was exercising some caution the first time around because he saw the incident, and wasn't that the intended result, so why the black flag? Revenge. I still think Nick sucks and he was the idiot, with the very short fuse and certainly didn't know what the hell he was doing that day.
Next thing we know, he'll tell us that in the parade lap Pedro aked him for forgiveness, make the tall story taller. :rotfl:
So in the ende, who knew better the conditions of the track, Pedro or Nick?
I still think Pedro and he certainly didn't need the flags to navigate him as lesser mortals did. :)

And about the Norisring, well, he was dead already after the impact (yes, everybody dies in the hospital officially) and as far as I remember from pictures and a small video I've seen, the first two cars actually stopped right by the crash, the rest were very far behind an went in one line and all slowed since there wasn't much place to go through and they went in one line between the two parked cars one of them next to Pedro's. And the accident was much bigger than the spinning Lola at Brands. And in most cases -quick show me an example to prove me wrong- the cars passing by the accident scene don't impede rescue. In Pedro's case it was the fire and the lack of fire suits in the marshalls that made them take that long, the cars were not impeding anything. And again the thing is, to Nick's eyes it might have been dangerous, but in Pedro's eyes it was OK and he was driving at a speed which we can not judge for we can not have his skill, and neither could Nick. To him it looked as if Pedro was on the brink of losing it, for Pedro it was normal. He certainly wasn't going to run over the marshalls, and the accident he saw, what he didn't was the flag, and the one who had no business jumping into the track was Nick, that was an unjustifiable risk and that endangered lives, including his. Basically it comes down to who had better judgemente, the driver who sees and acts accordingly to a spinning Lola or the clerk who think that because it is raining all cars should be soing 40KPH and he gets out in the track and then gets his marshall gun and lasso, sorry black flag, to bring the mexican bandit in. Boy I'm having fun in this thread. :rotfl: I think ( :clap: ) Nick should have been sent to jail for endangering his own life, but he still thinks he knows better32 yearas later, and I am convinved he was the idiot one, abusing his powers. In any case it just made Pedro win by 5 not 6 laps......

#14 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 19:51

Am I alone in reading a large amount of irony into Nick Syrett's word's? I would say he was full of admiration for Rodriguez' driving that day.

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 21:22

Whenever I was on a circuit, in my own small way, I was always told to obey the marshals without question right or wrong. They're in a better position than any driver to assess a hazard. What magical quality did Pedro possess which enabled him to know why the flags were being waved? He could guess, sure, and would be probably right. But he couldn't know. I wasn't at Brands that day, so can't really comment. But his behaviour after the bollocking - as apparently undisputed by all parties - should have led to his disqualification - or at least a severe penalty. I suppose if he had killed a couple of mechanics as he screamed out of the pits Carlos would blame them for being in the way?
None of which detracts one iota from my admiration of the man's ability behind the wheel, especially in the wet.

#16 fines

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 22:15

Thanks Carlos, scratch me from the order list.

And yes, Roger, you're probably right. Also, I can't see why people have so much trouble accepting those two bits of "poetic licence", "twice as fast" and "18,000 rpm". Hey guys, how are you ever able to cope with "REAL LIFE"? :rolleyes:

#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 May 2002 - 22:47

Carlos - once in a while, just occasionally, even a Mexican may sometimes be in the wrong, and on some occasions even Pedro Rodriguez transgressed the unwritten rule and deserved to have his head stapled to the floorboards.

I saw that entire incident at close quarters and it seemed close to a miracle that mayhem did not ensue. Pedro was sufficiently well wired-up to have been confident he was in total control - and there was no harm about to come to anyone - but split-second perceptions are what motor sport is all about, and the split-second perception that day was that your hero - and mine - deserved a slap... And big Nick - who was and is a good egg - rightly gave him one.

DCN

#18 dmj

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Posted 22 May 2002 - 08:14

Carlos,
I believe we all here admire Pedro (well not exactly as much as you... :rolleyes: ) and I must admit that I always liked your writings about Ricardo and him. But beware: if your approach is to distinguish them from "lesser mortals" it won't do any good to your forthcoming book. In that case it will be another Senna or Schumacher bio disguised as one with more interesting subject.
I'm sorry if I understood you wrong and if your observations on lesser mortals are said in irony but i didn't get such an impression from your words. Sadly, events not so much later after that fascinating rain drive proved Pedro was a mortal, bigger or lesser... :cry: :cry: And approach to other drivers as lesser mortals is probably one of main reasons why a lot of people here dislike Senna, too...

#19 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 01:51

Well, yes the lesser mortals was a bit tongue in cheek (he died after all in a car race), but I wans't aware of the Senna connection (and I like Senna a lot too), so maybe I should read more threads about the 80s/90s (maybe if we had 36 hours in a day)...... And lesser mortals I meant also the other drivers who needed a flag to realize there had been an accident in a not-blind turn, a bit of a joke which I now know was not appreciated. It comes from personal experience marshalling and jokes with other drivers about some needing a blue flag to find out they are being followed, or a yellow one to know there is a car crashed in the track (mere or non lesser mortals usually have eyes and use the mirrors), maybe I should have explained it before. Aaah, and Gods are the F1 drivers, and there are also demi gods with money (Luiz Garcia) and some with ability and no money (Memo Gidley) and some other subcategories.


And no, I wouldn't have blamed a mechanic for being in the way, specially if Pedro slipped and fishtailed while applying full power but it seems he didn't so he must have known how to use the 600 horses in the wet slow/fast lane -but of course this is no Reutemann at Zolder. But as to Wyer saying Pedro was an idiot, I remain unconvinced. And about Nick jumping the wall, that was the first no-no we were told by the FIA people. And about big Nick, how tall is he? (just to make a mental picture of him shouting at Pedro and Pedro ignoring him).

And my final idea is that Pedro just wanted to go on racing, Nick was an obstacle in this goal, specially since he didn't think he committed any trasgression (again he knew he was in control and to most people looking he was about to lose it and actually had a spin or two during the race) , and he acted accordingly. But what I have never seen written is that Pedro's actions could have provoked a big accident, and in light of Doug's observation, that changes things. OK, so the general idea seems to be that Pedro misbehaved that day, I will reflect that in the book, specially since we have a 5 star witness (all the other guys I know who saw it were like in Clearways or someplace else). Fair enough?

And Doug, don't worry I know we all make mistakes, Mexican or not, different duck, still water.
Thanks and I appreciate your concern about me being one-sided, that's what friends are for. :kiss:

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#20 dmj

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 09:42

Carlos, I regained hope that your book will make an excellent read...;) I'm eagerly awaiting it.

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 May 2002 - 09:46

5-star witness eh? Coo...

I was in the press box in front of the main grandstand which was maybe 30 yards from the scene at most, dead opposite the pit exit and control tower where Nick - who is as broad as me and at least 6 foot 5 inches-6' 6"ish tall - was doing his crust! He was authoritarian, but he was normally under completely calm control. That day he was really alarmed and truly incensed. At an early Formula Ford Festival (I think) he had reason to give young Jody Scheckter a right rollicking. Scheckter - no shrinking violet - glared up at him and retorted "You are gettin' at me, men, because I am young, I am Seth Efrican, and I am Jewish..." - to which Nick replied "We can address the first two issues, given time, but there's absolutely nothing we can do about the third one...".

Ummm - I'm not really sure what he meant, but it was funny at the time.

DCN

#22 arttidesco

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 18:51

 "Pedro could have cared less if Nick was 9 inches away or not, he was in the line he was taking and it was just another hazard."

 

I understand passion and all that but if anyone displayed that kind of attitude at a meeting I was competing in I'd just hand in my licence and walkaway from the sport, or if wearing my marshalls hat i'd ask for that the persons licence be torn up and set on fire infront of such a person, really if life is so unimportant and cheap why bother with rules at all why not just call it Deathrace 2000 and be done with it ?  :o 



#23 john aston

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 07:05

I think we can all agree that Saint Pedro was a gifted driver but could also be a very naughty boy.  The two characteristics  aren't mutually exclusive -in fact they're often  complementary in this world . 



#24 opplock

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 08:49

I very much hope that Carlos Jalife's posts were the ravings of a fanboy rather than an indication of Rodriguez mindset. A very naughty boy and very lucky not to have been disqualified.



#25 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 11:40

An exaggeration I am sure - Pedro just hardly noticed, I am equally sure.  He always came across as a most un-excitable opposite of the popular idea of a fiery, excitable Hispanic, more Nordic it seemed...  Unlike his most rabid compatriot fans.   :rolleyes:

 

DCN



#26 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 11:52

Without Syrett and his black flag, Brands 1970 would have gone down in history as just a nice race by Pedro. . .



#27 arttidesco

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 13:51

Without Syrett and his black flag, Brands 1970 would have gone down in history as just a nice race by Pedro. . .

 

If Pedro had not ignored a yellow flag it might have just gone down in history as just another nice race, you do not seem to consider it a very serious offence, I would not give up free time to marshall at an event where I knew drivers were going to ignore yellow flags, and I'd not want to compete in such an event either  :wave:



#28 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 18:35

If Pedro had not ignored a yellow flag it might have just gone down in history as just another nice race, you do not seem to consider it a very serious offence, I would not give up free time to marshall at an event where I knew drivers were going to ignore yellow flags, and I'd not want to compete in such an event either  :wave:

You miss my point.  My posting did not take any position on whether Pedro make the pass under yellow, or whether or not Syrett was wrong, or over-reacted.   The only race report I have is in Pritchard's The Motor Racing Year.  He has Pedro in 5th, dropping to 6th after the black flag pitstop.  Carlos Jalife's The Rodriquez Brothers says the stop made Pedro drop out of the top ten.  Neither Horman's Racing in the Rain  nor Cotton's Blue and Orange address race strategy; whether Pedro was hanging back to see what happened or just not running as fast as the leading cars.  What is relevant that the black flag pitstop lit a fire under Pedro and he got into some kind of zone of super skill; it made him angry, justifiably or not; it does not matter.  He was on fire from then on.  That's all I said.

 

In the end, Pedro was not hurt by the enforced pitstop.  On the contrary, it was the impetus to a memorable drive.  There is a saying in basketball:  "No harm, no foul",  Pedro was not harmed and the complaints about the unfairness of the black flag and the "bollocking" miss that point.


Edited by Tom Glowacki, 02 May 2020 - 18:52.


#29 d j fox

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 20:56

Really this comes down to how races were run in 1970 I was at Clearways with a mate. It was really heaving down with rain. The Lola lost it totally and crashed on the pit straight...allegedly it stated on slicks...and was all but destroyed de Adamich had a similar shunt in the Alfa later on In these “enlightened “ times the race probably would never have been started, certainly would be red flagged and/or “safety-car “ for a long time. The Rodriguez incident made the race imho and despite being soaked we loved it!

#30 Michael Ferner

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 09:33

Motor racing is not basketball - "no harm done" can never be an excuse for irresponsible behaviour in a sport that dangerous. I am always ready to tolerate a driver's failure to adhere to racing rules in the heat of a moment, but I find it very hard to stomach belittlement by fanboys more than thirty years after the fact. To be honest, I find Mr. Jalife's posts simply disgusting, even after re-reading them almost twenty years later.



#31 john winfield

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 11:15

I tend to agree Michael, even if it was a different era. Like the foxy d j, I was at Clearways for the opening laps and the Barrie Smith Lola made a huge mess - I think I read somewhere that he had bravely started with wet fronts and slick rears.

The footage on YouTube shows how brave the marshalls were in trying to help. They could all have been hit by other cars aquaplaning so, if Nick Syrett felt all drivers needed to take it steady for a while, I'm not surprised that Pedro received a rocket.

 

Edit.

Thanks to Luc for uploading this some years back:

 

from about 3.10

 

 https://www.youtube....h?v=K0YCGF3ncEY


Edited by john winfield, 03 May 2020 - 13:26.


#32 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 18:44

Motor racing is not basketball - "no harm done" can never be an excuse for irresponsible behaviour in a sport that dangerous. I am always ready to tolerate a driver's failure to adhere to racing rules in the heat of a moment, but I find it very hard to stomach belittlement by fanboys more than thirty years after the fact. To be honest, I find Mr. Jalife's posts simply disgusting, even after re-reading them almost twenty years later.

My "no harm done" comment applies to Syrett's blackflag and "bollocking", NOT to Pedro passing under the yellow.  Taking it one step at a time, that leads to the idea that I am saying Mr. Jaliffe had nothing to complain about; because "no  harm" was done by Syrett; quite the opposite.  He should have sent Syrett a thank you note.



#33 1969BOAC500

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 19:05

 The Rodriguez incident made the race imho and despite being soaked we loved it!

 

And I loved it too...although I was at Druids....

 

I really don'r wish to get embroiled in a moral argument here.....things which seemed OK to some of us 50 years ago seem incredible now. But 'Rodriguez in the rain' is a cherished memory - as was Ronnie taking Woodcote at 160+ three years later  in the Lotus 72. Even then I thought - supposing a tyre lets go and he's pitched into that grandstand ?  But it didn't.......

 

Sorry - please ignore the ramblings of an old motorsport bore...... :well:



#34 kyle936

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 21:32

In Pedro's defence - though not in Carlos Jalife's terms - if you watch the video posted by John above (it'll take several views) and focus on the leaders coming through at the end of the second lap, passing Smith's wreck for the first time, with Nick Syrett waving the yellow flag (I've re-set Luc's video to start at the crucial moment)...

 

https://www.youtube....=youtu.be&t=213

 

Elford goes by at what might be construed (though maybe not by Syrett) as a responsible speed, followed by Ickx, Siffert, Courage, all more or less line astern; however, Rodriguez, in fifth place, has apparently just completed a pass on Amon through, or out of, Clearways. As such, unlike the rest, he would have had no view of the wreck - Amon and his spray would have obscured that - until it was effectively too late to slow down, or at least for that to have made any difference. Of the six, Amon gets closest to the wreck (although Siffert was closer than he should have been) but he's been innocently compromised into doing so, circumstantially, by Rodriguez, and that might be what incensed Syrett the most, not just Pedro's speed. It could even be that Pedro got a run on Amon because Chris lifted when he saw the wreck ahead, whereas Pedro was flying blind and couldn't see it, or Syrett, until it was too late.

 

Presumably the yellow flag that was being held stationary, not waved, which caused Syrett to grab a yellow flag and march out into the track, would have been somewhere around Clearways. If it was on the outside, Pedro would not have seen it, either since he was on the inside of Amon or because of the spray if he was close up behind. If there was a yellow on the inside, he was at fault for not having seen it but that would have been understandable, if not excusable, again because of the spray and because he was so busy shaping up to pass Amon (remember, he couldn't see the wreck at that point so wouldn't have expected there to be a yellow flag). His first view of Smith's wreck would only have been after he cleared Amon (the track is going uphill there, of course, which would have caused Amon to further obscure his view until he was past), and it's even possible, although it's a stretch, that he never saw Syrett as his attention might immediately have been focussed on the wreck over to his left, and even then only as he was just about to pass it.

 

According to John Wyer in his autobiography 'The Certain Sound', Pedro told him after the race that he hadn't seen a yellow flag, and Wyer believed him. And if you find that far-fetched, elsewhere in 'The Certain Sound' Wyer relates that he never saw Pierre Levegh crash into the crowd at Le Mans in 1955, even though it happened right in front of him, as his attention was focussed on Macklin's spinning Healey.

 

It's also worth noticing that, as they passed Syrett, Ickx was a second or so behind Elford, but by the time they got into Paddock he was right on Vic's tail, enabling him to get a run out of Paddock and pass Vic up into Druids, which might suggest he took advantage of the crash / yellow flag incident somewhat unfairly.

 

Sorry if that's a bit long-winded. I know it might sound biased in favour of Pedro, but I'm just trying to put his point of view (literally) and balance things out - it's like the case for the defence. Doug Nye, who was there and witnessed the incident, might come along and tell me it's a lot of horsefeathers - I learned that word from Doug on here, the only time I've ever seen it, in relation to the story about Ed Hugus doing a clandestine early morning stint in the Rindt/Gregory Ferrari 250LM at Le Mans in 1965, but FWIW I tend to take Hugus's side in that story too. :|.



#35 kyle936

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 21:39

Further to the above, if Pedro was already ahead of Amon into Clearways and had simply been defending his line, he's guilty as charged for going past the scene - and Nick Syrett - far too fast!



#36 1969BOAC500

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 09:16

' Pedro ? Certainly not one of your more stable individuals. His thinking rarely goes to depth, and now I'm almost certain he's incapable of anything short of emotional response'.

 

A JYS view from 'Faster', 1972.(p.58).

 

'...the Porsche shot out of the pit in true Rodriguez fashion. The engine was cold, the brakes were cold, the tyres were cold, the oil was cold, but Pedro was hot...'

 

A Pete Lyons view from ' Fast Lines' 2011 ( p.147 ).

 

I can't argue with either : the professional's view or the fan's.

 

I'm just a fan who long ago ( sadly ) realised that none of my heroes are perfect - that's why I never want to meet any of them ! :blush:



#37 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 11:26

To someone who pretty much gave up on going to motor races in 1960 this all makes for fascinating reading. Such goings on!.



#38 MCS

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 11:47

Further to the above, if Pedro was already ahead of Amon into Clearways and had simply been defending his line, he's guilty as charged for going past the scene - and Nick Syrett - far too fast!

Amon retook Pedro at some point as well. 

 

See here: https://www.bing.com...ex=0&ajaxhist=0



#39 nexfast

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 11:59

I was curious to see how Carlos Jalife described the incident on "The Rodriguez Brothers" book he wrote a few years ago. It is basically in the same way as in this thread without all the anger and venom against Nick Syrett - he even quotes Doug Nye saying Pedro deserved the scolding.  The book is written from the Rodrigues point of view, clearly a hero to the author, and from that perspective slightly acritical though revealing a lot of details about Pedro, his brother and the whole family and I remember enjoying reading it quite a lot. I wonder if Carlos outbursts here were not the result of his percepetion - that flares here and then in the book - that British teams (and the Bristish "establishment" by consequence) never treated Pedro fairly.



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#40 Roger Clark

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:02

A couple of quotes from Tony Rudd in It Was Fun:

 

At Spa, '68: "We found his front roll-bar had broken.  When I asked him when it had failed, Pedro said: 'Roll Bar?  What is a roll bar?'"

 

At Monaco, same year: "His social secretary somehow got his affairs mixed up at Monte Carlo!  He spent much time keeping his wife and other guests apart, so I was not surprised when he hit the Armco at the Mirabeau."



#41 Doug Nye

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 13:34

Many team members involved with Pedro over time have assured me that he never exhibited much technical knowledge.  Once he reached maturity as a driver - and on his day -  that barely seemed a hindrance...  One who confided this to me was Raymond Mays of BRM.  Rather deliciously he was the man who - when told that the then-new BRM V8 engine could not be demonstrated to visitors running on the dyno because its camshafts had not yet been delivered - retorted "Oh damn the bloody camshafts - just run the engine anyway!".

 

DCN



#42 kyle936

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 10:03

Amon retook Pedro at some point as well. 

 

See here: https://www.bing.com...ex=0&ajaxhist=0

That photo is in John Wyer's autobiography, and above it there's another photo evidently taken a couple of seconds before (the fellow in white in the crowd is standing in the same attitude), of Vic Elford and Pedro exiting Druids nose to tail, both at 45 degrees, so Vic recovered the slide and Pedro didn't.

Ickx would likely still have been in the lead at that point, at least until his wiper motor failed, having passed Elford into Druids on Lap 2, so Pedro had worked his way up to third having dispatched Courage's Alfa and Seppi's 917. He probably didn't really get going, though, until after Nick Syrett's admonishment.

The No. 22 Chevron B8 in MCS's photo was on the last row of the grid and is the car you see in the video picking its way slowly through on the inside of Barrie Smith's wrecked Lola just as it's coming to rest, and appears to be the last on the road at that point so would be the first to be lapped.

Circumstantially that might put the photos somewhere around lap 5 or 6. Pedro came in for Nick Syrett's bollocking at the end of lap 6 according to Wyer, having 'missed' the black flag up until then.

I still think the most likely course of events concerning 'the incident' is that Chris Amon saw the wrecked Lola being manhandled by marshalls and correctly lifted off, but Pedro, completely unsighted close behind Chris in the spray, then passed him on the inside, thus giving Nick Syrett a proper soaking and a bad fright. Ironically, if you watch the video closely (like I said in the previous post, it takes several views), Amon probably couldn't have seen Syrett since Pedro obscured his view. What was most concerning, though, was that Pedro - perhaps innocently in the circumstances - caused Chris, who was entirely innocent, to pass the wreck and the marshalls far closer than he should or would have otherwise.

All that's probably just another way of saying I wish I was there but I wasn't. A year or so later, though, at the Jackie Stewart Speed Show at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, I bought a big print from the artist Dion Pears, who was there, of Pedro's 917 passing Chris Amon's 512S in the spray (I was actually more into the cars than the drivers, tbh). I was fourteen. I got it framed and put it up on my bedroom wall, so I was 'there', in my mind, for many years after.



#43 Sterzo

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 12:37

Many team members involved with Pedro over time have assured me that he never exhibited much technical knowledge.  Once he reached maturity as a driver - and on his day -  that barely seemed a hindrance...  One who confided this to me was Raymond Mays of BRM.  Rather deliciously he was the man who - when told that the then-new BRM V8 engine could not be demonstrated to visitors running on the dyno because its camshafts had not yet been delivered - retorted "Oh damn the bloody camshafts - just run the engine anyway!".

 

DCN

In 1970, I watched a sole BRM mechanic frantically spannering in the rather lumpy Clermont Ferrand "paddock". Raymond Mays arrived and stared silently for a while, before asking "Why do we have four wheel nuts when the others have five?" Frustrated mechanic replied: "We just do, that's all," and carried on regardless.



#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 23:56

He should have asked that in the Le Mans scrutineering bay in 1962...

 

In particular when the Lotus 23 was there.