Brands Hatch, and some Lotus 79s - is this F1 perfection?
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Yesterday's story about F1 Racing imagining an F1 car for 2020 with the help of Pat Symonds has had the PH office reminiscing about our favourite F1 cars and eras - and we reckon today's POTW might just about be F1's sweet spot.
It's the start of the 1978 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, with Mario Andretti leading Ronnie Peterson into Paddock Hill bend, followed closely by the rest of the pack.
1978 was also a season that had everything. There were great tracks (see exhibit 'A' of Brands Hatch), technological battles with Renault turbo engines beginning to take on the ageing Cosworth DFV, and clever aero tricks such as the Lotus 79's ground-effect or the innovative but controversial (and soon banned) Brabham fan car coming to the fore.
In the championship-winning Lotus 79 you also had (to these eyes at least) one of the most elegantly proportioned racing cars ever, and with a cracking colour scheme, to boot. If it wasn't for the lack of driver safety - Lotus driver Ronnie Peterson tragically lost his life in a first-lap accident at the Italian GP.
PS - as an extra POTW bonus feature (and due to popular demand), here's the BMW 3.0 CSL of Hans Joachim Stuck and Jacky Ickx at the 'Ring in 1974, demonstrating some serious commitment, and certainly getting rather more air than the 2010 M3 GT2 we featured last week...
Not so much for the F1 pic: that's OK, but I've been looking for a large version of the CSL for ages. In my opinion one of the greatest Motorsport pictures ever taken, and 1974 as well: imagine - no digital review so the photographer had to shoot a whole reel of film and not know if he got the shot until it had been deceloped...
I seem to vaguely remember Ronnie Peterson lost his life in that starting lap accident at Monza in an older Lotus (78?) as his car was crashed in practice/qualy and there was no Lotus 79 T-car left?
Ronnie Peterson was indeed killed at the wheel of a Lotus 78, which was his 'T' car. There was a 79 'T' car available that weekend but I can't remember if it was also damaged before the race or if it was reserved for Ronnie's team-mate.
Ronnie was one of the most naturally talented and spectacular drivers in the history of F1. He should have won a world championship, as should Gilles Villeneuve and Stirling Moss.
except for the tobacco sponsorship on many of the teams livery (Gitanes just visible at the back).
What a pathetic observation. Remember the picture of James Hunt having just won, fag in one hand, beer in the other, with gogeous bird sitting on the garland decked Marlboro sponsored car. Proper days.