News

Formula One - The best year ever?

Discussion in 'F1' started by spirot, Apr 6, 2021.

  1. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2005
    13,083
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Tom Spiro
    The Alonso / Vettle thread got me thinking, what is the best era, year (s) in F-1? for those of you who have been around a long time, interested in your opinion. For those who are newer to F-1 what do you think? are the older cars/racers interesting at all? or is it just history?

    My opinion... started actively watching / understanding racing in about 1972, Attended every US GP at Watkins Glen from my birth in 1967 to its last race in 1980. ( first race as an infant in 1968. ) having been hooked, I think I've been to around 125 GP's, all over the world. here is my opinion of the best year(s) in F-1 & why:

    1. 1976 - Niki Lauda & James Hunt. simply the most interesting, and first largely televised season. You had everything, Ferrari in the ascendant, McLaren really chomping at their heels, Hunt the playboy, Politics in F-1 , Enzo Ferrari active, large sponsors coming in, Lots of technical freedom ( 6 wheels, Ground effects, many differing engines, ) lots of great drivers - cross over era Fittipaldi, to Villeneuve - coming up. the huge accident at Nurburgring, & the greatest Comeback in history - and loss of the championship in the end.... you could make a movie from it - RUSH ....

    2. 1982: Gilles Villeneuve dies in an accident, 2 others are injured or killed in other accidents, huge coverage by TV, new teams and engines, Cars with over 1000 bhp, Ground effects, political strife with FIA and FOCA, Ecclestone just starting out to take control, Colin Chapman dies after some brilliant car design, ushering in Renault Turbo / Lotus success in the mid 80's , Rise of Post, battling with Piquet, and Rosberg, Watson - most unlucky driver ever, CarbonFiber starts to make its appearance, Ron Dennis starts in F-1 to run Mclaren... Niki Lauda returns to winning, and it was the start of the Sexy era in F-1 - big money, exotic places, super exclusive parties... F-1 was very dangerous, and the cars were truly the pinnacle of technology at the time.

    3. 1968 - Two thoughts - Accident & Death of Jim Clark - it can happen to anyone, showed the danger that was unnecessary and demand for change.... and the birth of the Ford DFV. Clark who was the Senna of the 60's was the change of a generation. Made Stewart a household name, and the start for safety in racing. Also the start of advertising and more money coming in. It was changing from a pure gentleman's sport to a business in a sport.

    4. 1990. Simply the most complex Year in F-1. Most teams, Loud normally aspirated engines, and amazing technology. Prost & Ferrari on the rise against Senna and Mclaren. Huge rivalry... set against huge glamor, money and technology that was quickly flowing into road cars. The cars were wide, huge and fast - sounded the best - V-12's V-10, V-8, W-12's Ferrari, Honda, Renault, Ford, Zackspeed, Yamaha, Motori Moderni, with others on the way in a.... race down to the end - with the largest hit to Senna's reputation at Suzuka.

    5. 1960. The move from engine in the front to the engine in the middle with Cooper and Jack Brabham. this was the biggest most technologically advancement in cars - and racing. Mid-engined tech for Racing.... its still being used to this day. gone were the huge roadsters with huge engines, to little light and maneuverable cars...
     
    paulchua, 05011994, ChipG and 3 others like this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. jpalmito

    jpalmito F1 Rookie

    Jun 5, 2009
    2,745
    Le caylar (France)
    Full Name:
    mathieu Jeantet
    1990 for me.
    Na engines all around.
    Prost close to win with the sublime 640.

    1981-1987 were very interesting years either.
    Huge feeling of freedom ( i remember keke Rosberg smoking at the paul Ricard track, Laffite joking with pretty girls and so on..)

    2000 will always been in my heart for obvious reasons.
     
    05011994, jjmalez, Bas and 4 others like this.
  4. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2005
    8,103
    Excellent choices Tom. My personal favorites:
    1976 for the reasons mentioned, also 1975 the rebirth of Ferrari with the 312T(my favorite F1 car)
    1968 the Lotus 49 and DFV lead the way, the death of Jimmy Clark and the coming of age of JYS.
    1970 debut of the Lotus 72 which revolutionized single seater design, emergence of the flat 12 312B, Jochen Rindt crowned as the only posthumous WDC(narrowly defeating Jackie Ickx).
    1982 the Gilles, Didier and Patrick Tambay arc. A tragic story.
    1978 Mario clinching the WDC at Monza while losing his great friend and teammate Ronnie Peterson.
    1990 my favorite era of F1, fantastic NA V8, V10 and V12 powerplants, minimal aero.

    My favorite F1 race? French GP 1979, nothing comes close.
     
  5. Natkingcolebasket69

    Natkingcolebasket69 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    1990 for sure. Rest In Peace Ayrton


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    05011994 likes this.
  6. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2007
    9,674
    On a Wave's Chicane
    Full Name:
    Is, Izzy for Australians
    Damn, this thread breaks out while I’m in the midst of doing my taxes and have to start work..how am I supposed to concentrate on the job now.....;).

    .
     
    E60 M5 likes this.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2005
    8,103
    Get your priorities straight--file an extension;)
     
    furoni, jjmalez, Isobel and 2 others like this.
  9. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2005
    13,083
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Tom Spiro
    Jaques Laffite - one of the nicest guys ever in racing....
     
    Isobel and jpalmito like this.
  10. william

    william F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 3, 2006
    17,327
    England
    Full Name:
    William Denoyelles
    For me personally, the best seasons in F1 were 1963 or 1965. I keep cherished memories of that era.
    There was only 10 GPs held in those years, but the quality of the drivers, the atmosphere and sportmanship in those days make these years outstanding for me.

    Jim Clark was WDC in both years. He really dominated F1 for most of the 1500cc formula, thanks to Chapman's Lotus 25, the first single-seater monocoque.
    The cars were far less powerful (200/210hp), it is true, but they were fragile and required lots of precise driving to extract the best of them.
    Manual gearboxes, no drivers' aids of any sort; the threaded tyres were narrow, and there was no downforce.
    The aero hadn't shown its ugly face with wings and spoilers yet; there was no telemetry or data logging.
    Apart from the Ferraris, most cars came from UK: Lotus, BRM, Brabham, Cooper and some run by privaters. The universal engine was the V8 Coventry Climax.

    There was a large British and Commonwealth contingent among the drivers: apart from Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart (in 65), John Surtees, Jack Brabham (Australia), Bruce McLaren and Dennis Hulme (New Zealand). All became household names or even WDC in their own right.
    There were 3 American drivers on the grid! Dan Gurney, Phill Hill and Richie Ginther. Unheard of today !

    In those days, the Belgian GP was still held on the old Spa circuit, and the German GP on the Green Hell Nordshleiffe, both highly dangerous.
    Attending GPs was cheap, but there was hardy any facilities around circuits. People brought beer and sandwiches, then camped or slept in their car.
    Access to padock was easy (and free!), there was hardly any merchandising, no hospitality suites.
    That was before Bernie moved in; F1 was run like any club meeting and was better for it, IMO.
     
  11. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    7,572
    I am torn between the early part of the Cosworth era and the post-turbo 3.5 litre era.
     
    lorenzobandini likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2005
    13,083
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Tom Spiro
    I was not around in those days but my dad was, and he said the exact same things. Jim Clark was THE driver, astounding in the way he drove. He told me that he went to a movie theater to watch Jim Clark at Indy, in 65... as there was no TV. At Watkins Glen he had gone to all the F -Libre races in the 50's and then the USGP as well, got Clarks Autograph - I have it to this day, and back then you had access to all the cars, and drivers etc... everyone was polite and generous.

    as a child I remember every year in October we would go to Watkins Glenn stay at the same hotel, Mrs. Bischoff ran it.. we had the same room every time, we had a standing dinner reservation at the Glen Motorcourt restaurant - almost always the same table - far right side up against the window, and saw all the drivers back then. it was a who's who of F-1. one year we sat right next to Colin Chapman, and Peter Warr, - Emerson Fittipaldi was there for a couple of min, and then Ronnie Peterson, Ken Tyrrell, etc... those were truly the days.
     
  14. william

    william F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 3, 2006
    17,327
    England
    Full Name:
    William Denoyelles

    I said that Jim Clark was dominating his era, and that's no exageration.
    Cars were quite unreliable in those days, and out of 73 GPs he participated, Clark had 28 retirements, but took 25 wins.
    In most races, he qualified on pole and was leading the race; if his car didn't break, he won the race!
    His rate of succes was 34.47% which is better than any other driver since, including Senna, Schumacher, or Hamilton.
    Jim Clark was phenomenal, he had such natural talent. It was said that Clark didn't even know himself why he was so quick.
    I never seen any driver like him since, absolutely no BS, shy and modest, he was the typical anti-hero, but he fitted well in that time.
    His death at Hockenheim was a terrible blow to motorsport; he was the benchmark.
     
    Marty D, lorenzobandini, 375+ and 3 others like this.
  15. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 11, 2003
    12,921
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Anthony T
    Cannot agree more with everything you wrote.
     
    william and 375+ like this.
  16. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2005
    13,083
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Tom Spiro
    100% agree. Knowing that driving for Lotus was difficult at best, he was truly the class of the field. I had the chance to Talk to Jackie Stewart about Jim Clark at the US GP in 2011 for about 20 min, He was so nice and he talked about him as if it was yesterday. I asked about Clark being so scattered outside the car - and Stewart said yes, absolutely, in fact, one time we were at a train crossing in Scotland that had a blind corner with trees, and he stopped - and said "is it ok?" m Stewart said Ok what? - Clark - to cross?.... "Jimmy drive over the damn track & stop being daft"... I had heard that story before and never thought it was true. Stewart said that trying to follow Clark in a racing car was impossible, he was always slightly different every lap, but just faster and faster and everything he did look so smooth, you could not figure out what made him faster
     
  17. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2007
    9,674
    On a Wave's Chicane
    Full Name:
    Is, Izzy for Australians
    Undoubtedly 1981. Complete with a profound bias.

    1) No deaths
    2) 7 winning drivers
    3) 7 pole sitters
    4) 6 marques qualified on pole, 8 marques qualified top 6
    5) 9 marques podium/11 drivers podium
    6) Best race ever (Spain)
    7) Woman competitor (well almost - South African GP). She very nearly out-qualified championship race winner John Watson!
    8) A Ferrari win in Monaco
    9) You want engines ? Matra and Alfa 12s, Renault, Fezza and Hart turbos, plus the soon to be overwhelmed but always reliable DFVs

    10) Dad got a job at an aircraft engine plant for a few years in Montreal and treated the tribe to General Admission while we lived in a suburb across from the track. Could hear the practice sessions from our backyard.

    Saw Gilles’ first win in 1978 and then his spectacular third place in this year while his car darted all over the place, wing blocking his view one lap then ripped off the next.

    Yup, 1981 ;).
     
    Marty D, stavura, 05011994 and 6 others like this.
  18. Remy Zero

    Remy Zero Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 26, 2005
    21,745
    KL, Malaysia
    Full Name:
    MC Cool Breeze
    2000. I'll never forget that year. Hard to imagine 21 years has passed..
     
    Isobel, ingegnere and jpalmito like this.
  19. jpalmito

    jpalmito F1 Rookie

    Jun 5, 2009
    2,745
    Le caylar (France)
    Full Name:
    mathieu Jeantet
    And first Prost victory ( France GP).
     
  20. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 12, 2004
    3,042
    Montreal
    Senna ruined 1990 - disgraceful.
     
  21. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
    Sponsor Owner

    Sep 3, 2002
    5,659
    Toronto / SoCal
    Full Name:
    Rob C.
    Senna's actions at Suzuka were disgraceful but it was far from a ruin to the season. In fact that action is a significant piece of F1 history that highlights the incredibly complex nature of Senna's intellect. If ever the term 'flawed genius' had action then this was it and it adding more colour to the rich tapestry that was 1990 F1.

    On the subject of 1990, it was during that season that Senna had his famous interview with Jackie Stewart in Australia where the now infamous 'If you don't go for a gap you are not a racing driver' quote was used. I thoroughly detest hearing every half-baked club racer / HPDE guy spew this quote or hear it endlessly be printed well out of context. The fact is that when Senna said this he was under threat of losing his Super License and was saying anything he could to justify his actions at Suzuka as just. At that time he knew full well that his actions were intentional and it was not until a year later (when Balestre was gone) that he owned up to his actions. The now famous 'go for a gap quote' was not of a man expressing his values (as it is now portrayed) but of a 'politician' playing with the media to keep from being punished. Another example of Senna's convenient morality and devotion to God.

    Regardless 1990 was an epic season capped off with the 500th F1 race at Adelaide.
     
  22. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2005
    8,103
    Sorry Izzy but no Matra V12s in 1981. Can I pitch a tent in your old backyard?
     
    Isobel likes this.
  23. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 12, 2004
    3,042
    Montreal
    Race winner, Canadian GP, 1981: Jacques Laffite, Ligier JS17/Matra V-12.
     
    Isobel likes this.
  24. DeSoto

    DeSoto F1 Veteran

    Nov 26, 2003
    6,503
    I have fond memories of 2007: in a single season we witnessed the good and the absolutely worst of modern F1. If I had to explain someone who doesn't know how motorsport is today, I'd tell him to watch that season: grown men behaving like teenagers, cheats, politics, BS, and some racing from time to time. But, oh, well, for once the good guys won.
     
    Isobel, Bas and jpalmito like this.
  25. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2005
    8,103
    I stand corrected. Frankly I don't remember the Matra post 1978, did Ligier run it in 1981 only?
     
    Isobel likes this.
  26. ingegnere

    ingegnere F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 12, 2004
    3,042
    Montreal
    Also ‘82. Really cool looking car but not very successful.
     
    Marty D, 375+ and Isobel like this.
  27. Natkingcolebasket69

    Natkingcolebasket69 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    I guess that’s your point of view. Schumacher ruined 94 and 97 then I would assume too?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  28. Isobel

    Isobel F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 30, 2007
    9,674
    On a Wave's Chicane
    Full Name:
    Is, Izzy for Australians
    Haha. Our rental was sort of near the metro station on the south shore but closer to the Victoria bridge you see behind what became ‘Senna’ . The residents on our side of town weren’t exactly in love with the circus, especially when they heard free practice ;). Our poor mayor.
     
    375+ likes this.

Share This Page