“At the 1984 Por­tuguese Grand Prix, the last of the sea­son, I con­ducted one of my most dra­matic post-race in­ter­views…”

F1 Racing - - CHEQUERED FLAG -

Crushed be­tween McLaren’s world cham­pion team-mates Niki Lauda and Alain Prost in a tiny room crammed with the world’s me­dia I chat­ted with a happy Lauda and a down­cast Prost, who had lost the cham­pi­onship by a mere half point. But was Alain throw­ing a wob­bly? No. In an at­mos­phere of mu­tual re­spect he thought­fully ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment and, with­out self­pity, grace­fully con­ceded the ti­tle to Lauda.

I’ve talked a lot about team-mates who be­came bit­ter en­e­mies – no­tably Senna and Prost, Jones and Reute­mann, Pi­quet and Mansell and Gilles Vil­leneuve and Pironi. But it isn’t al­ways like that. Over the years, many have got on well to­gether and pulled in the same di­rec­tion for the sake of their teams.

At Monza in 1956, when teams were al­lowed to sub­sti­tute driv­ers dur­ing a race, Bri­tain’s Peter Collins let Fan­gio take over his Fer­rari and, in do­ing so, per­mit­ted the great Ar­gen­tine to win his fourth of five cham­pi­onships. “I’m younger so I’ve got more time than he has,” said the self­less Collins, who was trag­i­cally killed two years later at the 1958 Ger­man GP.

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