F1 and the Indy 500's separate worlds
by Paul Fearnley on 18th April 2019
The Chinese Grand Prix wasn't the 1000th ever for F1; there were Indianapolis 500s with which it rarely had much in common
Bill Vukovich's Formula 1 strike rate was striking: two wins – it would have been three but for broken steering in 1952 – one pole and three fastest laps from five starts.
He led 485 – some 72 per cent! – of the 676 laps he completed before becoming the World Championship's first racing fatality.
Yet he never drove an F1 car in his shortened life. (Though he passed his rookie test of 1950 in Wilbur Shaw's pre-war grand prix Maserati 8CTF.)
Last Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix was celebrated rightly as the World Championship's 1000th race since its launch at Silverstone on 13 May 1950.
It was not, however, the 1000th World Championship grand prix for F1.
The 15 World Championship GPs held during 1952-'53 were run to 2-litre Formula 2 regulations.
The racing continents would drift apart during the Roaring Twenties as Indy became easily big enough to stand on its own four turns
This switch was caused by Alfa Romeo's withdrawal from F1 after 1951 – its Alfettas suffering middle-aged spread – and BRM's dropping the baton. The latter's V16 was making all the right noises but not necessarily in the right order.
Facing the prospect of Ferrari domination from both directions race organisers chose the cheaper and more populous F2 route. In this way the fort was held as the sport regathered.
Alberto Ascari, whose front-running ease was rivalled only by Jim Clark's (and Vukovich's until that last fatal second), won 11 of those 15.
He did not, however, contest the first: the 1952 Swiss GP. He had absented himself to contest the world's richest race, as would Clark from Monaco in 1965.
Unlike Clark, however, Ascari was also chasing points – for the Indianapolis 500 counted towards the World Championship, as it had since 1950 and would continue to do so until 1960.
So nor was last Sunday's Chinese GP the 1000th World Championship GP.
America's great race had been conceived as the 500-mile International Sweepstakes in 1911 and but for a damaging puncture its inaugural running might have been won by the GP Fiat of David Bruce-Brown.
The next year Italian-American Ralph DePalma came within two laps and a broken piston of victory after a dominant performance in a GP Mercedes.
By 1913 representatives of the American Automobile Association had successfully wooed European participants and Peugeot's Jules Goux took the spoils.
Domination by European GP machinery continued: Delage's René Thomas (1914); the tweaked-by-Packard Mercedes of DePalma (1915); Italo-Brit Dario Resta's Peugeot (1916 – when the race was a 300-miler); and Howdy Wilcox (1919) in a Peugeot prepped in America.
By the time DePalma set pole for the 1920 race in a French Ballot – the car that set a global template for straight-eight racing engines – Indy was ahead of the curve by being the first race for a 3-litre 'International Formula'.
America was ahead of the curve, too: in 1921 San Francisco-born Jimmy Murphy won for Duesenberg the first GP held for these same regulations: the French GP at a rock-strewn Le Mans.
Although the racing continents would drift apart during the Roaring Twenties as Indy became increasingly specialised and easily big enough to stand on its own four turns, the 500 was included in European governing body AIACR's World Championship for Manufacturers from 1925-'27.
Indy also remained in step by adopting 2-litre and 1.5-litre maximum limits in 1923 (one year after Europe had) and 1926.
It also followed the European lead of supercharging after Mercedes introduced it to the Brickyard in 1923.
But there followed a backlash as new circuit boss Eddie Rickenbacker introduced in 1930 what would become known as the Junk Formula. Its ethos aped Europe's Formule Libre era of 1928-'33.
Junk failed in its aim of attracting mainstream manufacturers but helped steer the 500 through the Great Depression.
By 1938 the US economy had recovered sufficiently for Indy to align with the new 3-litre supercharged/4.5-litre normally aspirated GP formula. Shaw's Maserati won in 1939 and 1940, and would have made it a hat-trick but for a collapsed wire wheel.
The continents drifted apart once again post-World War II as Europe halved its supercharged limit for GP cars.
Ascari's 4.5-litre Ferrari 375 was – at least when it was shipped to the States – compliant on both sides of the Atlantic. Its V12 suffered from a lack of torque, however, and the Italian star did well to qualify 19th but would be an early retirement because of a collapsed wire wheel.
That same year a turbocharged 6.6-litre diesel started Indy from pole position.
The continental drift continued when F1's revival in 1954 meant the introduction of a 2.5-litre limit for normally aspirated engines and 750cc for forced induction.
There was some movement on engine capacity at Indy in response to Vukovich's death and AAA's backing away from motor sport in 1955 when new governing body USAC trimmed limits to 4.2 litres and 2.8 litres supercharged in 1957.
World champions of the 1950s Giuseppe Farina and Juan Fangio – the latter scratching his itch for the wailing Novi V8 – failed to make the starting 33.
Stirling Moss, much to his subsequent regret, ignored Indy altogether. (His father Alfred had been classified 16th in 1924.)
And Monza's Race of Two Worlds from 1957-'58 served to emphasise the differences between these schools of thought rather than unify them.
Yet through tradition more than anything else the Indy 500 wasn't dropped from the World Championship until the latter went 1.5-litre atmo in 1961.
Perversely that was when GP technology in the shape of Jack Brabham's Cooper-Climax began the rear-engine revolution at the Brickyard.
It was also when an Intercontinental Formula – with American support – attempted to upstage an F1 considered too dainty. The series never left British shores and collapsed after a single season.
Fifty-eight years later F1 and the Indy 500 are still going strongly albeit separately.
In conclusion: the 1000th World Championship GP will be at Monza on September 8, and the 1000th World Championship GP for F1 will be Round 8 of 2020.
Still plenty to hype, er, celebrate then.
Posted 18 April 2019 - 15:29
Posted 19 April 2019 - 17:33
Ovo bi moglo da se dopadne Alpineru - ima dosta starih Renaulta, pa i nekoliko 4-ki...
Posted 23 April 2019 - 01:23
MILLER: Sorry Tiger, these are the real comeback stories
Zanardi celebrates a WTCC win at Oschersleben in 2005. Image by LAT
By: Robin Miller | 20 hours ago
The sporting world was agog last week, proclaiming Tiger Woods’ victory in The Master as the greatest comeback of all time. Now make no mistake, it was a remarkable recovery from all his surgeries and a story worthy of great praise, but let’s get serious. Greatest comeback of all time? It might not even be as dramatic as Ben Hogan’s triumphant return from his near-fatal car crash in 1949.
And speaking of cars, we in the motorsports community get a little testy whenever people start throwing around comeback plaudits and never mention a race driver. Maybe it’s because racing still isn’t accepted as a sport by the mainstream, but please don’t try to compare a gifted athlete with a golf club to this list of tough guys who played through the Grim Reaper.
NIKI LAUDA: From last rites, to back in his Formula 1 cockpit in six weeks: there’s never been anything to rival Lauda’s great escape in 1976. Pulled from his flaming Ferrari by fellow drivers at the Nurburgring, the Austrian suffered severe burns to his head and face while inhaling hot toxic gases. Listed as very critical when he got to the hospital, the priest was summoned for a religious farewell, but the little fighter known as The Rat didn’t die. He missed two races, but was back for the Italian Grand Prix where, amazingly, he finished fourth sans his left ear (which had been burned off) and soaked in blood from the raw skin on his head. The championship came down to the season finale in Japan, where Lauda qualified third but pulled out after two laps in a torrential rain because his eyes were watering excessively – his damaged tear ducts would not allow him to blink. James Hunt claimed the crown, but there was no denying who the real champion was.
After his accident, Hurtubise had his burned hands set as “claws” so that he could continue to grip a steering wheel. Image by John Mahoney
JIM HURTUBISE: Running nose-to-tail with Rodger Ward and A.J. Foyt at Milwaukee in June of 1964, Herk rode over Ward’s suddenly-slowed car, hit the wall, and his roadster burst into flames. He was knocked out and lying in a pool of gasoline. Burned over 42 percent of his body, Jim’s hands got the worst of it. They were basically charred stubs, and the surgeons told him they needed to place pins in each finger so he could try and function. He opted for both hands to be permanently fixed in a claw so he could grip a steering wheel. Nine months later, he finished fourth in his IndyCar return at Phoenix – wearing a smile and his gloves soaked in blood.
LEE KUNZMAN: The hottest thing in USAC midgets and sprints, the handsome native of Guttenberg, Ia. had his sprinter’s throttle stick in Odessa, Mo. in June of 1970. The car climbed the wall, wrapped itself up in the fencing and caught fire. His neck was broken and he was horribly burned about the face, neck and arms. Nine months later he asked USAC to reinstate his license for a midget race in Cincinnati, but was denied because they said he wasn’t physically ready. So he went to Tri-County Speedway, borrowed another driver’s helmet, kept it on all afternoon through his heat race, and won the 40-lap feature. Kunzman was so tired he couldn’t get the car out of gear when he pulled up to receive the checkered flag at the start/finish line. But when they took off his helmet, the USAC officials got quite a surprise.
MEL KENYON: His second IndyCar start in 1965 was nearly his last, as he was seriously burned at Langhorne, Pa. after spinning in oil and being knocked out on impact. Fellow driver Joe Leonard, helped by two fans, pulled him out of his burning roadster and saved his life, but there was no saving his left hand. He lost all five fingers, so brother Don designed a special glove with a rubber grommet sewn into the palm. The glove fit on Mel’s hand and hooked into a peg on the steering wheel. The next May he finished fifth at the Indianapolis 500, and racked up seven more starts at Indy plus four more USAC midget crowns.
Steve Stapp prolonged Pancho Carter’s career by several years after his crash at Phoenix in 1977 by designing a special plastic brace. Image by John Mahoney
PANCHO CARTER: The USAC champion was ascending up the open-wheel ladder when he suffered crippling injuries while testing Dan Gurney’s Eagle at Phoenix in December of 1977. His pelvis was shattered and internal injuries made it touch-and-go for a while. But four months later he limped into a sprint car at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Now the nerves in his back that made his foot go up and down were smashed, so owner/builder Steve Stapp made a plastic brace that allowed Carter to push the throttle down – not ideal conditions for a fast joint like IRP, but the second-generation star looked like his old self as he won the 40-lap main event and resumed at IndyCar career that lasted until 1991.
GARY BETTENHAUSEN: The dirt-car crash that cost him his ride with Roger Penske in 1974 at Syracuse, N.Y. also cost our stubborn hero the use of his left arm for the rest of his career. Unemployed, he took the family midget to Fort Wayne for the 1975 USAC season-opener. With his left arm taped to the steering wheel since it was just dead weight, Bettenhausen captured the 100-lap feature and a couple months later qualified at Indy (where he finished third in 1980 with one arm).
Merle Bettenhausen (pictured with brother Gary) rebounded from his accident to claim two USAC wins in 1974. Image by Gene Crucean
MERLE BETTENHAUSEN: The middle brother of Tony’s brood made his IndyCar debut at Michigan in 1972, but it was short-lived and painful. He crashed on lap three and his car caught fire. The shield on his helmet popped open, and as flames engulfed him, Merle tried to bail out with the car still moving. Unfortunately, the Armco guard rail chopped off his right arm. After spending the summer in the hospital, his arm was replaced with a hook. Brother Gary rigged up a steering wheel to accommodate him, and in the summer of ’73 he won a pair of USAC midget features in dramatic style, and was second in the point standings in 1974 when his brother got hurt and he quit on the spot.
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE: Minding his own business going through Turn 3 a few days before the 2015 Indianapolis 500, Hinch pounded the wall when his suspension failed. He damn near bled to death in the minutes following, but great response from IMS, IndyCar and Methodist saved his life. He lost weight and strength but not his desire to go fast, so he came roaring back next May and captured the pole position.
Kunzman blazed the comeback trail twice, putting him somewhere near A.J. on the toughness scale. Image by John Mahoney
KUNZMAN II: After finally scoring his first good IndyCar ride, Zoom was testing at Ontario in October of 1973 when something broke and send him into the wall almost head-on. Listed in very critical condition and on a ventilator for a long time, his motor skills were destroyed and it took more than a year to learn how to walk, talk, read and write again. He was somehow back in an Indy car by May of 1975, but missed the show the next two years in inferior equipment before finishing seventh in 1977. In 1979, he was hired to drive a top-shelf Parnelli chassis and came within one car length of beating Johnny Rutherford on the wicked-fast high banks at Atlanta. He retired in 1980 but there’s never a tougher competitor, except maybe for his buddy A.J.
A.J. FOYT: Breaking his back and ankle and rupturing his aorta in a violent flip in a stock car race at Riverside in 1965 and being on the IndyCar starting grid at Phoenix three months later was mighty impressive. Ditto for getting burned in June of ’66 but only missing one race before he was back at Atlanta. But his last comeback topped them all. When his brake pedal failed at 180mph at Road America and sent him rocketing into an earth bank, A.J.’s feet, ankles and knees were pulverized. That was September of 1990, and at 55, we were all hoping he could walk again some day, but he vowed to walk to his car at Indy in eight months. He busted his butt for six months in rehab and qualified in the middle of the front row at IMS in ’91 to make good on his vow and complete another remarkable chapter in his story.
RICK MEARS: His ankles and feet were crushed under the Armco at Sanair Speedway in 1984 a few weeks after winning his second Indianapolis 500, and there was talk of amputation until doctors Terry Trammell and Steve Olvey took charge. The Rocket suffered mightily with the pain, but was back testing in the winter of ’85 at Phoenix and back in the starting lineup at Indy that May, albeit getting around on a scooter because walking was still much too painful. His comeback was complete in August when he pulled into victory lane at Pocono.
DOUG WOLFGANG: One of the Big 3 in the World of Outlaws heyday, Wolfie nearly died in April of 1992 when his sprinter caught fire. He suffered third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body, a broken neck and a brain bruise, and was told he likely wouldn’t walk again because his lower body had been ravaged by the fire. But in July of 1993 he won the Jackson Nationals for 360 sprinters to prove to himself he still had that desire to go fast.
ALEX ZANARDI: While he never made it back into IndyCar racing after his devastating accident at Germany in 2001 that cost him both legs, Alex’s comeback story is legendary – from winning touring car races to competing at the Rolex 24 to taking gold medals in the Paralympics. Probably the most inspirational sports story of all.
Posted 25 April 2019 - 21:31
Za sve one koji ne znaju, forum b92 prestaje sa radom.
To ne znaci i kraj naseg druzenja, posto se samo selimo na novu adresu.
Forum smo mi i forum ostajemo mi. Za slucaj da nas ugase pre recenog roka, ostavite svoj kontakt (mejl, FB ili telefon) na PM
da vam javimo novo mesto okupljanja, bez obzira na to da li ste u mogucnosti da pomognete novcano kreiranje novog foruma ili ne. Forum ostaje besplatan i ostaje nas.
Javite se svi.
Nadam se da ce svako bar jednom videti ovu poruku, a cilj je postignut ako se ona smuci svima posle 3 dana.
Posted 26 April 2019 - 00:53
Dok jos nismo nestali, da se prisetimo jednog od najuzbudljivijih F1 finisa svih vremena: