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Archive for the category “F1”

Mexican Memories (2)

And so we say goodbye to Mexico City – to one of the most enjoyable F1 races of recent times. Here are my post-race thoughts and (below) some close-ups of as many of  Cesar Galindo’s paintings as I could find in the various paddock offices. Cesar has recently published a magnificent art book, details of which I shall be giving to my wife to ensure an early Christmas arrival…


Mexican Memories

I can’t recall any other occasion in F1 history when the delineations have been so clear: the three lives of the Circuit Hermanos Rodriguez (1962-1970; 1986-1992; 2015-) encapsulate F1 eras so visually different, so technically diverse, that it’s as if…as if they each belong to their own lifetimes. So it was that I met my old friend, Rudy Alcocer, upon arrival in Mexico City. I first met him in 1986, when I was Sponsorship Manager for Williams, but he was truly “my man in Mexico” when I was managing the team in 1991 and 1992. We won both of those races, with our one-two in 1992 remaining one of the best days of my racing life. (Highlights of that race can be seen on

And so, a few days ago, it was time to meet Rudy again – and to re-live those times.

Tales from Texas Highway 71

From Austin to Mexico City via Houston: the trip began on the Monday after the USGP on Highway 71, heading east.  These were a few of my post-race thoughts…


Five Good Men and True

On the eve of this year’s US Grand Prix in Austin, I thought it might be nice to have a look at some video cameos of the five American drivers who have to date won World Championship Grand Prix races (or a race).  Thanks to Pathe and AP Movietone, I’ve put together a YouTube playlist of video content that to date has had very little airing; and, wherever possible, I’ve tried to steer clear of the obvious. Phil Hill, for example, is encapsulated by a charming (and I think very funny) video-documentary shot around his first GP win (at Monza, 1960).  It features such advanced techniques as “sound recordings”; Phil reading a script, post-race; and the transfer of images, from Monza to Fleet Street, via “photo-electric cell”.  Watch for the dispatch rider delivering said photos to the studios at Teddington – today’s home of F1 Racing, Autosport and Motor Sport News…  For Mario Andretti, I’ve chosen some nice colour footage of the Lotus Cavalcade staged in Norwich in late 1978.

Where possible, I’ve left the original audio. The silent videos have been re-voiced.

So here they are (in the order in which they won their first race): Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Richie Ginther, Peter Revson and Mario Andretti


The Sochi Saga

Not having visited Russia before, let alone Sochi, I recorded some video blogs each night there as the media, practice, qualifying and race days unfolded.  These were the results.



Fernando’s 250th GP appearance

IMG_2082It flashlit a dark, wet Friday evening in Sochi. The McLaren offices. F1 drivers and friends.

Fernando was touched; no doubt about that. “When I see the pictures,” he said quietly, “and I see the videos of all those years it is as if it is not myself. It is someone in helmet and overalls, racing for so many years with friends and team-mates.  And so I want to say thanks for the time I have had in this first 250. There will not be another 250, I can tell you, but it has been special. Sometimes we are up and down in the sport. Not always can we be in control but even in the difficult times I am still enjoying what I do because I share my life with you. We spend some weeks with family at home and some days with friends we meet after a long time but our normal life is here. It is between us and it is this normal life that we share. This is what makes it possible to do 250 races. You enjoy the environment and you enjoy the people you are working with. The best technical people in the world. The best engineers. The best cars – truly great people. That is the most important thing from this 250.

“So thanks everyone for coming here.  I am happy that we share this moment together and for the young people that are here I wish that you enjoy your 250 races because I reached this number with good success and in sport if you don’t win it’s not the same thing. In my case I try to enjoy this time with McLaren-Honda and I am sure we will enjoy it more in the future. Lots of thanks too to Ron Dennis, who is not here. Perhaps this allows us to relax a little more but we need him more than ever to take us through this situation quickly. Thank you.”

And when we – Darren Heath, Steven Tee and I – asked Fernando afterwards what celebration/moves he had in mind for when he does again win a race he replied, “I don’t know yet.  I know what I’m going to do when I retire, though – after my last race:  I’m going to strip down the overalls, sit on the car like in the old days and light up a cigarette!”

Thanks, Fernando.  You’ve ignited our sport for a decent time now.  Here’s to many races more.


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