SIMON HADFIELD HISTORIC ACE AND PREPARER
The big thing about them is you can’t surprise them. You plan ahead. If you know what the car is going to do and the car is performing to the concept you’ve laid out for it, they’re unbelievable.
They are as quick as a [period] Formula 1 car. What an F1 car will do is, if you miss the apex, you can hustle it like a big F2 car. You can’t do that in an F5000 car because the mass behind you will just carry on.
They are powerful and have quite a bit of grip. By modern standards they have very immature levels of downforce. It’s not like a ground effects car, but you can feel it. If you go back and look at your history books you very rarely see Brian Redman or Mario Andretti sideways.
The high days for me were 1974-75, Mario against Al Unser against Brian Redman in America with free tyres. Over here they weren’t allowed to give the F5000 guys the same tyres the F1 guys got. That’s how Mario did a time at Watkins Glen that was right there with the pole winner for the GP; they had the tyres to compete.
In F5000 I think there’s no question that Mario was the fastest, but Brian was the best. Brian had an ability to finish again, again and again. With Mario so much broke.