Category Archives: Historics
Nelson Piquet’s childhood doesn’t reflect the cliched stories of any other champion before, or after him. He struggled to remain true to anything he was born into or achieved. Spening much of his teen years in Miami, Florida he flourished in tennis. With modest features, squiggly teeth and an acquired sense of humor, Nelson never epitomized athleticism. He eclipsed his own talents and lost interest in the sport before turning professional. Playing on a hard court, back and fourth clearly didn’t excite the individual, and he traded cement for tarmac and a linear sport for circles.
A lot of unseen effort goes into Formula One. Multi-million dollar deals, driver contracts and immense scrutinizing to keep the protagonists on the grid in check. F1 is a peculiar business. Drivers are employees and their sole objective is to win, whilst their employers are tasked with developing competitive cars and maintain solid sponsorships to fund their endeavours. All at the same time, hundreds of personnel are “back at the factory” working day and night through the year, be it in the sweltering heat of summer or the cold recesses of winter. Here are eight spectacles that run through the heart and veins of Formula One.
Formula One is a scene of an organised chaos. Filled with roughly 2000 people, during a season teams travel across the globe from corner to corner. Once only 8 races filled the F1 calendar, but now there are around twenty each year, beginning in March and ending in November, spanning a massive distance of 160 000km across the rondures of the Earth. But even after the rush of a year traveling around the world chasing a trophy, it is only the racing that stops. Then it is a battle against time for engineers, mechanics and aerodynamicists just to name a few, fill the factory to continue developing a car that has already been conceptualised around July/August of that same year.
The 50’s. The Wild West of Grand Prix racing and a time when it all seemed so primitive. Men raced rugged machines around undulating tracks, and danger vibrated through the minds of many. Juan Manuel Fangio’s tale is diverse and obscure. From his regular visits to the podium to a bizarre kidnapping. We take a quick look into the spellbinding life of the man who became The Maestro.
On the 17th of July 1911, one of the most compelling and accomplished Formula One drivers was born. The start to his life was not made easy and his journey into Formula One was a rigorous path to travel. Juan Manuel Fangio spent his adolescence in San José de Balcarce, a dusty rural city in the Buenos Aires Province. Like many children in Argentina, he went to school and played football with a keen passion. It was on the football pitch where Juan adopted his first nickname, El Chueco – “The bandy legged one”. This was thanks to his avid skill in bending his left leg completely around the ball to score.
Juan Manuel dropped out of school at the very early age of 13, and worked as an assistant mechanic as he had done so for the previous two years. He spent nearly 40 years working as a mechanic, often preparing his own very basic motorcars for events. He entered them into strenuous, long distance Argentine races, often spanning over an obscene length of 400 km. Years later, Fangio’s mechanical skillset in the European world of racing would prove to become invaluable.
Every once in a while, an F1 team produces something different. A car that is so great, it cannot even be termed competitive.They were simply to good. Some dominated for just a season, whilst others remained and were developed for years.
Formula One is sports automated gift to mankind. Heroes from all populated continents have competed in some spectacular machinery over the years. Remarkable designers and architects of cars have bred some creative and awe-inspiring initiatives. The challenge for engineers to work their way around the rules and regulations has been a constantly fascinating journey. Some innovations were so ingenious that scrutineers failed to nullify any unwanted loopholes found by teams. Some names that have emerged over the decades have helped create Formula One into the household name it is today. Here are the top twelve most dominant cars in Formula One.
Britain has had some fantastic drivers over the years. Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, Damon Hill, and in recent years, Lewis Hamilton. The introduction to Scotland’s unique love affair with motorsport began with a quiet, unassuming young man named Jim Clark. His “innocent talent” and gentlemanly stature was greatly respected and was luring to his fellow peers and fans.
James Clark junior was born into a farming family in Kilmany, Fife, Scotland. As a rural boy, he shared his childhood with four siblings, all sisters. Clark was educated privately in institutions on the peripheral regions of Edinburgh. As with any young man in his adolescence, partaking in sport was, and still is much the norm in school. But road racing never teased his thoughts. Clark excelled in field sports, where he enjoyed the modest pleasures of cricket – a likely reflection of his personality, being a gentlemen’s game. But at the age of 16 James was forced to return home after the sudden deaths of his uncle and grandfather.
Formula 1 is indeed entertainment. It comes with a balanced romance of thrills and speed, danger and talent. However there can be an entirely separate appreciation for the noise alone that a Formula 1 engine expels.
It is easy to be thankful of lateral and vertical G-forces, cornering speeds and breaking distances, but nothing can measure against the 147db of a Formula 1 car’s drive by. Any louder and the vibrations become nearly impossible for a person to close his/her throat. Over the years, we have seen regulations change, and with that there have been deviations in the pitch and loudness of engines – each with its very own unique traits. In the 50’s drivers, engineers and fans alike were treated to the rugged, coarse sounds of a v16 BRM. Its noise was so imperfect and unrefined it was simply beautiful. One can only imagine how it could have shattered the delicate silence of British countryside all those years ago. Then came more developments in regulations which brought the shrieking sound of the v12 Ligier Matra to Formula 1’s ears during the 70’s and was a difficult benchmark tone for any engine maker to equal. Not many have been lucky enough to be graced with the prompt blare of a Ligier Matra in the flesh. Hearing driver vs. machine shifting through gears and away into the distant regions of a track is a pleasure that only a lucky handful have had the privilege to listen to. Then, during the 1980’s, we witnessed Formula 1’s first era of turbo charged cars, and with it, came its own distinctively terrifying racket. Cars reached roughly 1400 bhp during qualifying days. Twin turbo engines would have a deafening roar with flames spitting and licking the air around the rear exhausts. It was so frightening it looked almost sinister. Come 1989, the world of F1 was set to return to the pleasures and sounds of naturally aspirated engines. Fans were treated to the high pitched revving screams of the cars that would make the 90’s and the first decade of the 2000’s an infamous chapter of Formula 1.