Here’s another excerpt, this time from Mattijs’ Villeneuve versus Prost chapter:
Pironi wasn’t really a threat to Villeneuve in the ‘shitbox’ they had been given last year. At times, Gilles found ways to drive around it while Didier was simply lost. But now, in the car that had been handed to them by Harvey Postlethwaite, Pironi was on top of things, performing like the World Champion elect he sometimes made himself appear to be in 1980, on every occasion the Ligier was handling at its best. This afternoon, at Zolder, he was simply majestic at a track on which he had shone before. The Belgians – especially the ones feeling half French – hadn’t forgotten Pironi’s dominating 1980 win and now, two years later, he’d done it again. A Ferrari driver was finally leading the World Championship again, and it wasn’t the man driving the No.27 car. Gilles Villeneuve, for once having left his family behind in Monaco where Melanie was preparing for her first communion, felt alone. At the end of a long day he walked back to the helicopter pad, head down. It would be a long flight home.
Tell us what you think!
Here’s a little excerpt from the Ascari versus Fangio chapter:
Fangio knew there would be a downside to Ferrari’s offer, as well. Because there had been a surprise participant at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari, by then almost fully healed from the injuries sustained in his Monza test crash, had been forced to look for new employment after Lancia’s demise, and had decided to re-join the Scuderia that he had so successfully raced for from 1949 through 1953. And although Ascari would finish the final world championship race in third position, behind Mercedes drivers Fangio and Piero Taruffi — a sound return after his forced summer break — he was as ready for the new season as he could be. Even though Fangio would, for the first time since 1951 have an other world champion as his team mate, he decided to take Ferrari’s offer.
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The last three weeks I’ve been working on the first chapter of the Ascari versus Fangio story.
It’s about the events of 1955 leading up to Ascari’s Monza crash, which, of course, he survives, and the Italian joining his former Lancia team mate Eugenio Castellotti, at Ferrari, only to find reigning world driver’s champion Juan Fangio in the third Ferrari (née Lancia) D50, as well as the first Grands Prix of the 1956 season, in South America.
By the way, I found that in our preferred summer vacation region for 2013, there is an old Grand Prix circuit: Sables l’Orlonne. Looks like I may have to pay homage.
Nigel Roebuck posted something interesting in his reply to an e-mail he got from a Motor Sport reader regarding Gilles Villeneuve’s future after 1983, and after Ferrari:
Although no contract had been signed, Gilles had agreed with Ron Dennis that he would drive for McLaren, returning to the team which had given him his first Grand Prix drive, at Silverstone in 1977. And when you think about it, had that come to be, the course of F1 history might have turned out very differently, for the McLaren team would have been Lauda and Villeneuve, and there would have been no place — in 1984 — for Prost.
In John Barnard´s MP4-2, Lauda and Prost dominated that year, Niki beating his team-mate to the championship by half a point, and in ´85 and ´86 Alain won the first two of his four titles. Gilles in an MP4-2… quite a thought, isn´t it?
That’s quite intriguing to Mattijs and myself. We might consider changing the story we have on Villeneuve versus Prost, either its setting, e.g. with Villeneuve at McLaren and Prost elsewhere, or its basics, creating a more prominent role for Lauda.
We’ll keep you posted.