Long-time F1 Fanatic readers will have noticed something missing from the build-up articles for the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix. I’m sad to say that Journeyer, who has written a series of excellent historical features on different drivers and races, will not be contributing to the site for the foreseeable future as he has a lot of other work on at the moment.
However you can still read all of Journeyer’s articles for F1 Fanatic here. Thanks to Journeyer for all his contributions over the past few years.
Remember you have until the start of final practice today (10am British time) to submit your predictions for the Monaco Grand Prix: Enter your Monaco predictions here.
Here’s today’s round-up:
Nicolas Todt: “Many people will say that we are favoured. But in fact it’s an added handicap. It’s up to us to come up with such a strong bid that the choice of the FIA cannot be in doubt.”
“Due to the low average speed, Monaco is much more about mechanical grip than aero; this is an area where misconceptions exist. Wheelbase, although its a fundamental fact that shorter vehicles have tighter turning circles, in F1 terms wheelbase account for very little at Monaco. With wheelbases over three metres, the difference in team’s wheelbases is just a few percent and not enough to have a primary advantage over the other factors differentiating the cars. Long wheelbase cars have won at Monaco and in testing teams and drivers have never found wheelbase a key factor through tight turns.”
“Team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that Fry, who originally joined McLaren in 1993, was leaving the Woking-based operation but said he reckons there was enough strength in depth at the outfit to overcome his loss.”
Comment of the day
This isn’t the first time F1 cars have been slower than other racing series on the same circuit – back in the glory days of Japanese F3000 in the early 1990s Ross Cheever managed a time at Suzuka that would have put him fourth on the grid for that year’s Japanese GP in a standard Reynard F3000 chassis (albeit with super sticky Bridgestone tyres). The Peugeot 905 Group C car was not far off F1 pace at Magny Cours, I also seem to recall.
Happy birthday to Jonny!
On this day in F1
Elio de Angelis lost his life in a testing accident in France on this day in 1986. De Angelis spent most of his career driving for Lotus but had joined Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham team at the end of 1985.
Going through the flat-out Verriere S-bend at the start of the lap de Angelis lost control of his car – most likely due to a rear wing failure – and went off at such speed that he went over the crash barrier.
The first man on the scene was Alan Jones, who found de Angelis trapped in his smouldering car. Jones saw the marshals were ill-equipped either to right the car or to put out the growing flames. It took ten minutes to extract de Angelis from his cockpit.
By the time of the Grand Prix later that year the circuit had been shortened to cut out Verriere. After much lobbying, test days were granted the same standards of marshalling and medical cover found at race weekends. But it was too late for de Angelis.