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Archive for the month “May, 2015”

The Month of May (1965): photo album/1

First things first: Andrew Ferguson, Team Manager, was corralled by Colin Chapman at the beginning of May to paint the number “82” on the nose of Lotus 38/1.  This was the result:Andrew's numberVery quickly, Colin employed the services of an Indy professional signwriter (George Gruber).  The result, complete with serifs, was artistic magic. Andrew (pictured below right in the background, in dark polo shirt) later recalled the incident in his excellent autobiography.Andrew Ferguson

In terms of performance, the month of May began well…and grew better by the day.  First time out on the famous Speedway, Jim loved the feel of the Lotus 38.  Very quickly, the month became a systematic box-ticking exercise punctuated by frequent breaks: fuel consumption runs, tyre choice, transmission tests…engine change. Here, Jim’s climbing into the 38 at the still-empty Speedway.  At this stage of the month he was wearing his Bell Magnum minus peak (as he had done since Easter Monday Goodwood) but was already using a new design of Firestone/Hinchman overalls. Later in the month he would add a Team Lotus badge to the top-right chest space. As Jim wore seat belts (shoulder and waist) as per the Indy regulations, he required the assistance of Chief Mechanic Dave Lazenby, Jim Smith (left) and Mike Underwood to climb into the cockpit. This was a far cry from F1, where, on the same weekend as Indy, Graham Hill would win a classic victory at Monaco after spinning his BRM in avoidance of a slower car, climbing out, pushing it back into position with the assistance of the marshals and then rejoining the race

Climbing in 1Climbing 1AAClimbing 1AClimbing 3Climbing 4

Jim walkingJim Smith, Mike Underwood and Colin Chapman wheel Jim’s Lotus 38-Ford out of Gasoline Alley on or about May 3:  the car has yet to be fitted with its cooling duct over the pedal area

Images: The Henry Ford, The Peter Windsor Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postcard from Monaco/2

This was the view as we walked from the GP2 garage (and media car park) to the F1 paddock each morning.  The Med really is this shade of blue…most days…azure sea

Believe it or not, there was a bulldog sitting with the couple on this scooter in front.  He – the bulldog, that is – was cool and calm, wedged in by the rider’s feet  dog on bike

If the F1 pit lane was tight at Monaco, take a look at how the GP2 teams were obliged to operate. Not only did they have to run the cars from equipment temporarily placed on the road but there were also 13 teams…Congested pit lane

 

Good to see Jean Ragnotti – that very fast French ex-F3 and rally driver – again in the pit lane.  We won’t mention his other claim to fame (shunting the Safety Car during the 1995 Monaco GP)…
Jean Ragnotti

 

You may wonder what this is all about but I was taken by the attention to detail in the Monaco paddock: I like the serious fire hose there and the “port-a-loo” toilets that fit perfectly within the arch.  Paddock detail

 

Olivier Panis and family looked a bit tense as they watched young Aurelien Panis qualify mid-field for the Renault 3.5 raceOlivier sad

 

The happy scene after Richie Stanaway’s victory for Status Grand Prix in the GP2 sprint race.  That’s Dave Stubbs – former Williams team manager – on the right

Status team shot

 

 

 

 

Casino Square, Saturday morning

Jo Siffert

There are few more exhilarating pieces of real estate than Monaco’s Casino Square on Grand Prix Saturday so this year I recorded my thoughts and impressions on this podcast:

I also took a few photos to illustrate some of the dynamics on view – specifically at the entry to the square, where the road is positively-cambered and then bumpy, and the guardrail is at its most forbidding.  It is here, as the cars burst into sight at a variety of different angles, that the spectrum of techniques can best be appreciated.  (The professional photographers, like those on the left, very rarely face this entry to the Square. IMG_0979 The more scenic – more dramatic – shot is of the backs of the cars as they accelerate downhill.  This is indeed a visual treat – but by then the job for the driver at Casino is three-quarters over: providing he has manipulated the entry well, the second phase of the right-hander is mainly about driving the car to a specific exit point between 6-12in from the Armco.  The problem arises when the driver asks too much of the car because of incorrect – or insufficient – early/mid-corner manipulation going into the left-hander.  This, then, is the key area.)

These are not great photographs; I concede that.  Hopefully, though, they give some idea of what I’m trying to describe in the video. I’ve also added a shot I took at the entry to the pit lane. As if he knew we were heading to Casino Square, there was Jo Siffert, as cool as ever.

Lewis Hamilton: perfectly poised thanks to his decreasing brake pedal pressure/steering load/throttle tease mid-corner manipulation (all of which has taken place just prior to this photo being taken).  By the time he came into view at Casino, Lewis’s car looked as if it was on rails, with a massive amount of road on which to dance  Lewis

Nico Rosberg: because in the milliseconds prior to this photo being taken he has been manipulating the rear less effectively than Lewis, Nico is now obliged to ask more of the car mid-corner – and then of the left-front as he immediately transfers the load and turns towards the right-hander (see Seb Vettel below).  Nico’ judgement is superb in terms of car placement but his relatively poor mid-corner manipulation leaves him with no room in which to play when he’s on a really quick lap…which is why he resorted later in qualifying to something as basic as late-braking into Ste Devote.  Therein lay the difference between Lewis and Nico at Monaco this year
 Nico 3

 

Daniel Ricciardo – despite the Red Bull RB11-Renault being a more “darty” car than the Mercedes, he still created a nice mid-Casino Square transition zone via spectacular manipulations of the rearRicciardo 

Daniil Kvyat – slightly sharper edges to his inputs but on the same path as DanielKvyat

Sebastian Vettel – always fearsome here, with understeer dictating his entry, particularly on the prime tyre.  He and Nico Rosberg were very similar in style through Casino but the Ferrari’s slightly inferior grip level made it all the more dramatic

Vettel

Felipe Nasr – impressively neat in the Sauber (but not as “flat” in the transition stage as Lewis or the RBR guys)Nasr

Max Verstappen: very like Lewis through Casino (with Carlos Sainz right there with him)Max

Postscript:  when horsepower was everything at Casino SquareHdP + hp

 

 

Postcard from Monaco

imageMonaco has a different feel to it on the earlier days of race week: fences imageare still being erected, truckloads of flowers arrive in abundance.  Here are a few of the sites from Monaco Wednesday and Thursday (from top to bottom): Jacky Ickx, Rainer Schlegelmilch and Michael Turner smile for the iPhone;image the View From The Top is as dramatic as ever; Max Verstappen looms large on Monaco harbour – just as he does on the circuit; Monaco is now the only F1 race not to be produced by FOM TV. Your world feed is in the hands of Euromedia France.  Good to see some young fans supporting genuine McLaren Orange and Genuine Bruce; imageNot all of the new architecture is tedious; McLaren’s new interior design business (ha ha) is conveniently opposite their merchandisimagee store; Thierry Boutsen’s doing well – his high-end aviation business has moved into smart new offices on the Rimageue Grimaldi; I liked this painting of Richie Ginther’s shark-nose in one of the gallery windows; no kerbs at the Tabac apex – just guardrail.  A nice test; by contrast, these are thimagee kerbs that bite you at the ultra-quick entry to the swimming pool section; it has to bimagee done – a sandwich jambon with Orangina under the grandstand on the outside of Tabac.  The water on the road is from one of the most intensive plastic-chair cleaning projects I’ve ever seen…very Monaco…; imagegood to see Giancarlo imageFisichella again (here with Pat Behar of the FIA); forget the Chelsea Flower Show – these are for one of the F1 paddock motorhomes; Louis Chiron in amongst the yachts. imageimageimage

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