Pic Of The Week: F1's Golden Years

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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.

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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...

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Comments (33) Join the discussion on the forum

  • DJC 02 Feb 2011

    Hunt never forgave Patrese. Simple as that.

    Like much with Hunt, right or wrong was irrelevent, once he had made up his mind he couldnt and didnt deviate from it.

  • Kaiser_Wull 02 Feb 2011

    freedman said:
    Technicality maybe, but he had his accident in the 78, but died as a result of complications from surgery on his legs the next day in hospital

    Had the accident been ion the UK or Germnay (for instance) I have no doubt he would have survived
    The operation on Ronnie's legs was initially thought to have been a complete success. However, bone marrow seeped into his bloodstream and formed embolisms, which resulted in his death. It's hard to say, not being a medic, whether that was wholly avoidable or not with the surgical tools and procedures in use in 1978.





  • Kaiser_Wull 02 Feb 2011

    fatboy69 said:
    JPS Lotus 79 - the most beautiful F1 ever built.

    The other 'tragedy' was th blame for the accident being placed, wrongly, on the shoulders of Riccardo Patrese. He didnt cause the accident event though he was involved to a degree. The accident was caused because the track got narrower towards the approach to the first corner, the field bunched up, Patrese & James Hunt touched & the rest, sadly, is history.

    It was just a racing accident for which Patrese was wrongly pilloried by many in the F1 fraternity.

    No matter what happened it was a tragic waste of great race driver.
    Hard to disagree re. the Lotus 79 - in JPS colours, that is. It didn't look quite so sharp in the green colour scheme adopted for 1979, though. The Lotus 97T was also a pretty car IMO.

    Can't argue re. Patrese, either. It must have been hard for the bloke at the time. Fortunately, people's views of that accident and Patrese changed over time - though James Hunt always seemed to give him a hard time when he was commentating on F1.







  • urquattro 01 Feb 2011


    F1 at Brands Hatch was superb, also the big V8 in Formula Atlantic, Form 5000 etc, that was a time never to return for cars and drivers. Got blown of the hill by incoming helicopter there and lost pocket money grovelling in the grass, !

  • simonpeter 31 Jan 2011

    Are there any other geeks that can recognise all 14 cars and drivers in the picture? Was a great time for F1

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