• Formula 1,  History,  Racing drivers,  Single seaters,  The Pantheon

    The Pantheon: Juan Manuel Fangio – the greatest

    There’ll never be another driver like Juan Manuel Fangio. In the year that the Formula 1 World Championship is marking its 70th anniversary, when the sport’s current master driver stands on the cusp of breaking all of its proudest records, Fangio’s position remains unassailable. It is possible that Fangio is the greatest racing driver who has ever lived; at the very least he was as great as any who have a realistic competing claim. San José de Balcarce is a small town 260 miles to the south of Buenos Aires. It’s the kind of place that nothing much ever happens, nor is it ever expected to. It was here that…

  • Formula 1,  History,  Single seaters,  The Pantheon

    Lotus 72 at 50: Formula 1’s greatest car

    Lotus 72 first turned a wheel in anger 50 years ago today, in the 1970 Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama. It was not the first time that Colin Chapman’s Lotus team had arrived with a new car that proved to be the class of the field, nor would it be the last. But Lotus 72, even by their own high standards, stands apart as the most extraordinary, revolutionary machine ever produced by the Norfolk stable. Simply put, Lotus 72 changed the way racing cars were designed forever after. Fifty years later, every car on the Formula 1 grid still embraces many of its fundamental design principles. Over five and a…

  • Racing drivers,  Formula 1,  Single seaters

    They comin’… 20 young drivers on the way to F1?

    Whither the babies of yesteryear? Well, they’re all racing drivers now, daddio and believe me, they comin’. Admittedly this is something of an exaggeration: not all young people are now racing drivers. I mean, someone has to pick up the slack and do the drug dealing and knife crime, but there is nevertheless some basis to my argument. A new generation of racing drivers, born in this century, are on the cusp of breaking through into Formula 1. It won’t be before time. Formula 1 motor racing has become beset with a certain stasis recently. For all the talk last season about the up-and-coming challenge from the newcomers Max Verstappen…