Lewis Hamilton believes that his looming engine penalty later this year will hand Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg a “free race.” Hamilton has used his maximum number of spare turbochargers and MGU-H systems, with Austria last month marking his last ‘free’ change. Any further spares will incur a 10-place grid penalty. “If Nico continues to qualify well and at least one race I’m going to start from the pitlane or at the back, he has a free race ahead,” said Hamilton. “I definitely don’t feel it’s all even. If we had the same amount of engines then right now I could be like that but that’s not the case.”
Chris Amon, who died last week aged 73, was one of the greatest drivers never to win a world championship Formula 1 grand prix.
The New Zealander scored 11 podiums from his 96 starts and won the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a Ford GT40 Mk2 with Bruce Mclaren.
Having impressed during the 1962-63 Tasman Series (essentially a winter world championship), Amon attracted the attention of F1 team boss Reg Parnell. He subsequently made his F1 debut with a Parnell Lola during 1963 at the age of 19.
Amon’s biggest success came in 1966 at Le Mans, after the controversial finish in which Mclaren took victory in a formation finish with the sister machine of Ken Miles/ Denny Hulme. Amon then signed for Ferrari.
Amon helped the Italian team to the world sportscar championship with wins in the Daytona 24 Hours and Monza 1000km, and became F1 team leader after the death of Lorenzo Bandini.
Over the next three years he scored six podiums and three poles, but that sells his efforts short. He should have won several races, including the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix. Having qualified his 312 on pole, Amon was leading when a fuel pump failure put him out.
That was typical of his frustrations at Ferrari, despite winning the 1969 Tasman series, and he decided to leave, joining the new March team for 1970. He won a non-championship F1 race, defeating Jackie Stewart’s similar car in the International Trophy at Silverstone, but two second places were as close as he got to a world championship victory.
Amon joined Matra for 1971 and was again a contender, particularly when the MS120D arrived. He was dominating the 1972 French GP when he suffered a puncture. He considered his recovery to third, with fastest lap, as his finest drive.
Thereafter, outings for Tecno, Tyrrell, BRM and his own disastrous Amon operation yielded little. He showed flashes of form for the underfunded Ensign squad in 1976 before finally retiring.
Amon returned to his family farm in New Zealand, though he retained connections to the sport. He helped redesign the Taupo circuit, supported Toyota’s TRS single-seater championship, and was an occasional star at historic events.