1982 and all that
On pitpass today, the editor puts forward an interesting scenario, comparing the political struggles of today with those of 1982.
Not only are the differing musical abilities of the Villeneuve family apparent, but the quality of the racing has suffered immensely. When I write a forecast for the outcome of a GP now, it's very difficult not to put Alonso's name up there first. If I were writing in 1982 however, my forecasts would be considered perfectly plausible. Not mad enough even.
In 1982, no driver won more than two Grands Prix. There were eleven different winners. The championship was won by a driver that had scored zero points the year before. The reigning world champion leapt out of his car at Hockenheim to punch another driver. Nobody seemed able to win the Monaco GP, with five drivers sharing the lead over the last few laps. Switzerland held a Grand Prix, even if it was in France!
But we lost Riccardo Paletti and Gilles Villeneuve that year in fatal accidents. So while I'm glad that today's F1 cars allow the sort of crash that Ralf Schumacher seems to have annually at Indianapolis to be survivable, we have lost much of the entertainment. Safety must be the priority. But wouldn't it be great to see a repeat of the 1982 US GP (East) at Detroit? John Watson won from 17th on the grid with a series of fantastic passing moves.
I'll publish my forecast tomorrow, but I suspect that I will put my money on Alonso winning from pole. Not very racy is it?