A Happy Easter to everyone. Strange, given the past wonders of Good Friday Oulton and Easter Monday Goodwood/Thruxton, that the motor racing world this Easter morn lies relatively quiet. Perhaps it’s a good thing: time to pause, time to reflect.
(My mate Alan Gow, who runs the ultra-successful British Touring Car Championship – but never over the Easter Holidays – has a different view: “Too much of everything these days. The punters don’t know where to look. Long weekends? Motor racing’s about number 125 on the shopping list….”)
Here, then, are some post-race musings from the opening round of the F1 World Championship. We filmed these in the showrooms of Dutton Garage (no relation to Richard Dutton of Fortec) in Richmond, Melbourne, on the Monday after the race. There are plenty of delicious Porsches in the showroom there – plus a very cute 1967 McLaren M4B F2 car (amongst some other very nice racers). A big thanks to Duttons, therefore – and to my friend, John Clark, who helped me enormously when I was Williams Team Manager in the early 1990s. John’s a top, Melbourne-based, musician but just “happened” to be in Europe when I moved from Ferrari back to Williams in a final attempt to win the Championship with Nigel Mansell. John smoothly adapted to everything I threw at him, as musicians do, and very quickly became one of the boys – which, given the closely-knit nature of F1 mechanics – was something to see.
A big thanks, too, to Peter Hill and the team at Globe – growing bigger by the minute, if their new store on Acland Street is anything to go by; to Alpinestars; and, as ever, to LAT Photographic. Sam Bloxham’s images of the Alonso accident are breathtaking.
Strolling through the support-race paddock on race morning I was surprised to hear a very mellow but upbeat version of Lionel Richie’s “Easy Like Sunday Morning”. I hadn’t heard the song for years…but suddenly it perfectly fitted the mood. Even more astonishing, the singer – complete with guitar and mouth-organ – was performing to an empty field of grass with the sort of vibe you’d normally save for a packed house. I listened some more, and then we got chatting. I can’t publish Hugo Bladel’s version of LR’s song for rights reasons but Hugo did very kindly perform one of his own compositions for this video. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Melbourne was a terrific GP to watch on the TV. OK so Q3 was a dud but they’ll fix that but requiring 8-10 cars to keep on trying until the CF. “Devil-take-the-hindmost” clearly didn’t work at Melbourne an thank heavens it didn’t rain else they’d have all stayed in. Aside from Fernando’s terrifying prang the race was full of intrigue and it was covered pretty well.
Always interesting posts from PW, thanks.
An aside, I am a trifle older than Peter and whilst the McLaren M4 F2 car may have been ‘cute’, it was never close to being a success in the day!
Probably my last season for F1, when Jenson stops, so shall I.
Neil Allen ran an M4a in Australia. The car Peter saw us probably his.