Hamil­ton’s fear

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.

But left af­ter hard ’69 sea­son Amon should have won with Fer­rari, Le Mans win in 1966 was a defin­ing point of Amon’s ca­reer

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