Do you re­mem­ber the ’95 Bri­tish GP?

F1 Racing - - CONTENTS -

Since was launched back in March 1996, we’ve pub­lished more than 3,000 fea­tures. I’ve read most of these, though by no means all, and I’ve writ­ten a few as well.

Of that 3,000 or so – al­ways com­mis­sioned with the in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing our loyal read­er­ship with the best F1 read­ing ma­te­rial we can con­jure – some have been truly mem­o­rable. I’m think­ing, now, of for­mer editor Matt Bishop’s foray into zero-grav­ity flight with David Coulthard on a Rus­sian trans­port plane. Or the am­bi­tious, bril­liantly ex­e­cuted pair­ing of Con­corde (yes, that Con­corde) with a Re­nault R23 F1 car, pulled to­gether by for­mer as­so­ciate editor Stéphane Sam­son. Mean­while, Peter Wind­sor’s col­umn on the late François Cev­ert, pub­lished in Oc­to­ber 2013, may be the most per­fectly crafted piece of writ­ing ever to have graced these pages, and Mau­rice Hamil­ton’s ‘lunches’ are a monthly de­light – as I’m sure you will agree.

But for sheer, unadul­ter­ated read­ing plea­sure, a piece in this month’s F1R may just have raised the bar. When you turn to page 44, you’ll see the beam­ing, gre­yaround-the-tem­ples faces of five hugely pop­u­lar Bri­tish F1 vet­er­ans, namely: Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, David Coulthard, Mark Blun­dell and Martin Brun­dle.

Twenty years ago these likely lads lined up on the grid for the 1995 Bri­tish GP in (fol­low­ing the above-named or­der) first, fifth, third, tenth and 11th. One went on to

F1 win, another fin­ished on the podium, and another in fifth, so all in all it wasn’t a bad week­end for the Brit­pack.

Their can­did rec­ol­lec­tions of their time in the sun make for hugely en­ter­tain­ing read­ing, whether it’s Brun­dle de­scrib­ing his cars of that era as “old sheds” or Blun­dell re­call­ing the me­chan­i­cal fail­ures that would be­devil top-level race cars be­ing run on bud­gets and with man­power lev­els that seem al­most laugh­able by to­day’s stan­dards. “There were 12 peo­ple in the team for my first grand prix,” says Brun­dle, “in­clud­ing both driv­ers”.

But bet­ter than any of this is the sharp ban­ter be­tween five mid­dle-aged men who ob­vi­ously still very much en­joy other’s com­pany – and who, rac­ing driv­ers be­ing rac­ing driv­ers, re­main as com­pet­i­tive to­day, in con­ver­sa­tion, as they were two decades ago, on track.

“Last again,” quips a sheep­ish Johnny Herbert, ar­riv­ing late to the in­ter­view to a rip­ple of sar­cas­tic ap­plause. Hill then shows Johnny some pic­tures of the grand prix week­end “to help his mem­ory”.

The story’s a joy, which­ever way you slice it, and hats off to our own James Roberts and the es­teemed David Tre­mayne, to­gether with ace pho­tog­ra­pher Steven Tee, for car­ry­ing off a tricky multi-handed round-ta­ble chat with such élan. Now go feast on the real thing!

Go­ing back another 30 years, our Monaco pic­to­rial es­say on page 80 is fas­ci­nat­ing view­ing - for a track that’s hardly changed, well, ever, the Cir­cuit de Monaco of 1965 is a vastly dif­fer­ent look­ing place from the grand prix cir­cuit we know to­day.


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