Grand Prix: Killer Years – Opinions?

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    Jonny, not an argument, merely an attempt to illuminate, 1962 was in the 60’s according to my calendar, wearing of seat belts became mandatory in N.S.W in 1970 despite considerable opposition from a large proportion of the driving public, many states in the USA have had “buckle-up campaigns in this century. More people died because of a lack of technology then and that is my point, in many areas of life more people died and therefore it was less horrifying than it is now, fortunately things have improved all round. I got the data, imprecise as it is, from my memory. My post was intended for LiteralF1 and others who find it incomprehensible that F1 was allowed to continue as it did in those years.Had motorsport been banned when the first participant died the word would no longer exist in our vocabulary.



    In a nutshell, a large portion of the danger in F1 at the time in the mid-60s to early 70s was that the progression of technology that enabled racing cars to go faster (Wings, spoilers, monocoques, stressed engines etc) was going so much faster that the track owners didnt & wouldnt keep up with and became antiquated. Circuits like Spa (of old) and Nordschleife were part of a bygone age and grand as they were/are, they had to move with the times or be left to history.

    The cars (or their designers) were just as much of the problem with safety towards the driver coming last in the list of priorities of the pursuit of speed. I cant remember who in the program said it, but once the technology that makes a car quicker is found, it cant be unlearnt.

    Regarding seatbelts, looking at it, I can fully understand the drivers not wanting to wear them, I wouldnt want to be strapped into a molotov cocktail on wheels either.



    I knew most of them and their stories before. It was interesting hearing the drivers speak first-hand rather than read their quotes as it gives a real sense of how they felt and what it was like.

    But for me it was as good to watch to see how things have changed, both safety wise but mainly in terms of the old tracks, particularly Spa.

    On a side note, did anyone see on the FOM feed yesterday pre-qualifying the helicopter went up Kemmel, and turned away at Les Combes to go along the old track (but they then cut from it)?


    sbl on tour

    Watched this on the beeb last night, thought jys came over well, but the jurys still out on chapman

    If you go to the Donnington Museum check out the Roger Williamson display




    I saw that- it was clearly beginning to follow the old track, and I was quite disappointed that the commentators failed to acknowledge it.


    watched it yesterday after having sky+’d it. real eye opener as to how things were. i wasn’t aware that 1976 was the first season where a driver hadn’t been killed on track.

    what looks scary today was the accepted norm for that era. straw bales, spectators standing wherever, fuel cans laying in the ‘pit’ area, the race continuing on around burning wreckage etc. not saying it’s right, far from it, but that’s how it was. thankfully the sport moved on, largely due to jackie stewart and the GPDA.

    despite the graphic footage, i think that every race fan should watch this just to see how things have massively moved on.


    Keith Collantine

    I was very unimpressed with it as I mentioned in this later review of a film with a similar subject:

    1: Life on the Limit – the F1 Fanatic review



    I remember watching this on a plane or something it and finding it boring. Why exactly I can’t remember, but I think it was basically because it was just overly graphic and not as informative as it should have been – basically it felt like a boring movie rather than an interesting documentary. If they want ‘graphic’ then why not just make a movie. In the same way that Rush was dramatised and had inaccuracies, but because it was a movie rather than a documentary even the most diehard F1 fans didn’t really care for the most part.

    The WRC version was disappointing in a similar way.

    EDIT: More thoughts – I (like most people it seems) felt like it really focused too much on the crashes and not enough on the off track protesting and changes that were made. If people really want to see motorsport crashes then they’re free and on demand on YouTube…


    Keith Collantine


    Lovely… wasn’t really thinking about buying it, but now I’m definitely not going to buy it.



    I didn’t see this documentary, so my comments might not apply – but I’m assuming this programme covered the ‘big’ names.

    What I find a problem with any analysis of deaths in F1 is how some deaths are regarded as more ‘important’ than others. 1982 saw Gilles Villeneuve killed, but how many others talk about Osella’s Riccardo Paletti the same year? 1994 saw Ayrton Senna killed, but what about Roland Ratzenberger one day earlier?

    I really hope Jules Bianchi’s name is talked about and celebrated in 20 years from now. I still remember the ‘what might have been’ man of the 80s (and very happy to see him on the cover of this month’s Motor Sport magazine) – Stefan Bellof.

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