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nigel roebuck ON Polanski’s Stewart film

robert kubica

exclusive “The biggest challenge of my life”

His recovery, rallying and not giving up on F1


James Bond • Tickford • Green Pea • Zagato• Victor Gauntlett • DBR1 • Goodwood • Uli Bez • DB4 GT • AM V8 • 63EMU • AM Ulster • AMR1 • Nimrod • One-77 • Coal Scuttle • DB7 • CC100 • Vantage • David Richards • Marsh Plant • V8 • Ted Cutting • AMOC • Robert Bamford • Sir Malcolm Campbell • DB5 • Prince Charles • Kensington Gardens • Corgi • Lagonda • DBR4 • AC Bertelli • John Wyer • 2VEV • DB3S • David Brown • DP214 • Arnolt Spider • Superleggera • Vanquish • V12 • Carroll Shelby • Dundrod • UMC66 • Frank Feeley • St John Horsfall • ’59 TT • LM20 • Count Louis Zborowski • Ian Callum • The Birds • Volante • Bill Towns • Darren Turner • Ogle Sotheby Special • Lionel Martin • DB5 c e n• t r Fairman y e d• VMF64 i t i o n • Marek V8 • Mort Morris-Goodall • Arnolt • Tickford DBSe V8n •aJack • Vanquish • DP214 • LM20 • Roy Salvadori • Razor Blade • The Persuaders • A3 • DB MkIII • Nürburgring • DB2/4 •

reasons why we love

Aston Martin

Lunch with Rubens Barrichello

“I learned so much from Schumacher – but I couldn’t change Ferrari”

New series Ferrari’s star of the future in the spotlight

Doug Nye’s tribute to Jaguar legend John Coombs

Scoop track test! In the big shoes of ‘Little Art’: Alfa Romeo’s world champion T33 AstonMartinCover.indd 1

october 2013


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the motor sport month

in pictures

august 18, 2013

NASCAR Sprint Cup michigan, USA


Joey Logano (Penske Ford, left) leads the 43-car field away from pole at the start of the recent NASCAR showpiece in Michigan. Logano went on to score his maiden Sprint Cup win when Mark Martin’s fuel gamble failed, the veteran’s Toyota running dry with only a few laps remaining. 15

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road tests

Mercedes-Benz s-class

Refreshed – and still the world’s best executive express | by andrew frankel


t is has been said sufficiently often for it to have become generally accepted: sharks stopped evolving many millions of years ago. It is suggested that they became such masters of their environment that no further changes were required. None of this is actually true, for while sharks might have developed some resistance to the inexorable forces of evolution, I believe total immunity has yet to be achieved. But the point is real enough: their design is now so perfectly adapted that Mother Nature is struggling to figure out substantial improvements. I think we’re getting there with some cars. You could look at a 10-year-old, fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf and a brand-new car and wonder where the last decade went. Likewise the Porsche


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911, which is radically different in engineering terms to a 15-year-old 996 model, but remains conceptually the same. The reason appears simple: these cars have not only risen to the top of their classes but have stayed there so long that to change the formula would seem an act of the purest folly. The latest example is Mercedes-Benz’s new S-class. It is rumoured that nowhere within the organisation are engineers more stressed than those charged with replacing the company flagship. As the Golf defines VW and the 911 is the heart and soul of Porsche, so too does the S-class represent the very essence of Mercedes-Benz. I’ve been writing about cars for a quarter of a century and if there has been a single test in a car magazine that rated the S-class as anything other than the best car in its category, I have long forgotten reading

factfile £62,650

engine 3.0-litres, six cylinders Power 254bhp @3600rpm Torque 457b ft @1600-2400rpm Transmission seven-speed auto, rear-wheel drive 0-62mph 6.8sec Top speed 155mph Economy 51.3mpg CO2 146g/km

about it. In every significant region of the world, it is the best-selling luxury car. So no surprise, then, that while the new car breaks much new ground in engineering and technological terms, its positioning remains unchanged, as if the brief handed down to its designers said simply: “The same, but more so.” The form remains very similar, but the function has been transformed. Space precludes me describing any more than a few of the more notable features now available in the S-class, but they provide at least a flavour of its engineering depth. It has cameras not just at the front and rear, but at the side too. So it will brake to stop you hitting the car in front, or to prevent a car at the side T-boning you. And if you’re about to get rammed from behind it’ll tighten your belt and jam on the brakes to stop you being shunted into the car october 2013

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ahead. And should the worst happen and you’re lying motionless in the wreckage, it will ring the emergency services, tell them where you are, unlock the doors, illuminate the interior at night time, turn on the hazard lights, lower the front windows, raise the steering wheel and light up the rear seat buckles. It won’t yet perform CPR, but I’d not be surprised to learn Mercedes is working on it. All that attention lavished on what happens after you crash, and in a car Mercedes says won’t drive itself only because legislation doesn’t permit it. In more normal circumstances it’s no less impressive and you must first decide where to sit. Were this a Jaguar XJ, you’d definitely want to drive; were it an Audi A8 you’d be just as sure to sit in the back. The S-class strikes the balance between the two well enough for your mood to make the difference. Even with the retained 3-litre diesel engine and seven-speed auto gearbox that’ll power more than 90 per cent of S-classes sold in Europe, the car has enough spark and sufficient control on its air-sprung suspension to keep you at least mildly amused on a good road, if not thoroughly entertained. But so long as you have a driver of impeccable calibre, the rear compartment is hard to pass up. If you spend enough on options you can choose a back seat that marries up to a reclined front passenger seat to create the closest thing to a bed the law allows, while the electronic options placed at your disposal – even on the back seat – mean you have almost all the controls, save those that drive the car. Yet all this would be nothing if the car beneath all this gadgetry was no longer fit for purpose. Throughout its existence

Should you sit fore or aft? Customers could face a difficult choice, given the latest S-class’s ability to satisfy drivers and pamper passengers

and from generation to generation, the real reason the S-class has met with such success is that it has always – and I mean that without exception – been the quietest and most comfortable massproduced car in the world. And so it remains. If you want to drive a car with better refinement or superior ride quality, you really do need a RollsRoyce. I’d almost argue that, mechanically at least, it’s a little too refined. If you’re in heavy traffic you notice all the sounds being made by cars around you, noise that would normally be cloaked by your own car. It’s not much to complain about, really. Even so, I think Mercedes has missed an opportunity with this car. As

a working tool, a device for doing a specific job, now as ever the S-class has no equal. Indeed its predecessor still topped the class on its deathbed, and this one puts a river of clear water between itself and the chasing pack. Viewed more subjectively, however, its position is far less convincing. When Jaguar launched the XJ its cabin wasn’t merely comfortable, it was also beautiful. It had a sense of occasion missing from every other car in the segment, including the S-class then and this S-class now. Worse, the new Range Rover has an even more attractive cabin, offering not just a quiet and convenient working area, but a home from home. Instead of tuning out every last sound frequency and honing the ride to be even gentler to the plutocratic backsides that will occupy its sumptuous seats, I’d have preferred Mercedes to spend a little more time making its interior truly special rather than merely highly effective. None of this is going to affect the S-class’s position as the number one luxury car in the world – ultimately it is a four-door saloon that people buy to do a job. While it continues to do that job better than any other, its status is assured. And this is just a start. Now that Mercedes’s Maybach adventure has come to an unfortunate end, it is the S-class that must fill the breach. In the next couple of years, expect to see not just short- and long-wheelbase versions, but an ultra-long limousine, a six-door Pullman model, a coupé and, yes, even an S-class convertible. It won’t stop until domination has been achieved not just in the mainstream of the class but its every last nook and cranny. And, on the strength of what I’ve seen so far, you’d be brave to bet it won’t. 35

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Nigel Roebuck Reflections

Nigel Roebuck


n August 11 1991 Ayrton Senna won at the Hungaroring, and two weeks later did so again at Spa. “It seems to me ridiculous,” he said, “that I get the same number of points for both…” It was typical of Senna that such a thought should have occurred. For most drivers 10 points were 10 points, wherever and however they were earned, but in Ayrton’s world it was somehow not right that victory at the best circuit on the World Championship schedule was worth no more than the one he considered the worst. “It’s very… technical,” he allowed, when speaking about the Hungaroring, “but not fun to drive, not satisfying…” As the years go by, circuits initially greeted with contempt have a habit of gaining acceptance, even praise. When first we went to the new Nürburgring in 1984, drivers disliked it heartily. Such as Keke Rosberg expressed outrage that this nothing track should inherit the generic name of the majestic Nordschleife, in whose shadow it sat. Now, though, with more than a quarter of a century of bottle age on it, the Nürburgring is seemingly regarded as a modern-day classic, and these days there are those who speak with enthusiasm of the Hungaroring, too. Because the circuit is ‘high downforce’, sinewy and slow, with overtaking nigh impossible, people say it’s like Monaco without the walls – but that surely misses the point: in large part Monaco is Monaco because of the walls, so it remains one of few tracks where mistakes don’t go unpunished. There is a line from Jackie Stewart in Weekend of a Champion (of which more later), in which he is comparing Monaco with more routine tracks: “On a normal circuit you go over the white line, and it means Sweet Fanny Adams…” One understands his point, of course – but in 2013 it can also mean a


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drive-through penalty. There may not be walls at the Hungaroring, but there are white lines – and you’re expected to look upon them in the same way, as Romain Grosjean discovered at the end of July. In one of the overtaking manoeuvres of the season, he went by Felipe Massa on the outside of a fast, blind, left-hander, in so doing putting all four wheels of his Lotus minutely over the white line at the exit. As fans across the world applauded a move sumptuously brave, exquisitely judged, the stewards of the meeting saw it in a different light: Romain, they concluded, had broken a rule, and must be scourged with a drive-through penalty. It reminded me of a movie – Support Your Local Sheriff – I once saw, starring James Garner as the lawman. All these years on, I remember nothing of it, save a scene in which Garner, his newly built jail still lacking cell doors, draws chalk lines on the floor, and requests that the inmates don’t cross them… Grosjean’s penalty in Hungary I thought not only unjust, but worrying. Are we really at a point now where everything in Formula 1 is so regimented – so subject to rules – that a moment wholly illustrative of the Grand Prix driver’s art and courage brings him not plaudits but punishment? Whatever, I wonder, would Gilles have made of this? Were there any white lines at Dijon in 1979? I suppose there might have been, but if I have no memory of any such debate, I do recall what an exultant Jenks said as the Ferrari, tyres in shreds, beat Arnoux’s Renault to the line: “We’ve got a little racer on our hands, haven’t we?” All these years on, folk – René included – still get misty-eyed about that battle; in today’s world it would probably have meant a lifetime ban. If I greatly admired Grosjean’s move, so I appreciated Massa’s part in it, too, for he could easily have ushered Romain off the road, as some of his fellows would have done: as it was, Felipe quite rightly didn’t make it easy – but he did leave just enough room for the Lotus to make it through, albeit momentarily the wrong side of the dreaded white line. It seemed to me a beautiful piece of driving by both men – the sort of moment that has always been the lifeblood of Grand Prix racing


Lewis Hamilton threatens to torpedo Red Bull’s title ambitions, Ferrari’s internal politics, the potential pitfalls of two-way radio and a Polanski documentary revisited

october 2013

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“this time hamilton has remained

on top of his game�

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reasons why we love

Aston Martin

There are certain companies that immedately conjure a British way of life. Aston Martin is one of those. Redolent of polished wood, the scent of leather, of pulling up at polo match or cricket pitch, it is a name recognised across the world. This year the company celebrates its centenary – something which few of its early figureheads would have predicted. It’s been a rocky 100 years, an anxious succession of crises and rescues, but through it all Aston Martin has maintained an image of racing success, hand-built quality and good looks. We didn’t want to repeat its history once again, so instead we present, in no particular order, 100 things we love about one of Britain’s great traditionalists. writers

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gordon cruickshank & simon arron

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reasons why we love

Aston Martin


aston martin badge


S p a 2 4 HOURS , 1 9 4 8 Not only a dramatic and unexpected victory, but the impulse that convinced new company owner David Brown he could go racing properly. Sparked by designer Claude Hill, in just a few weeks the team built one ‘parts bin’ racer using the Atom four-cylinder engine. Leslie Johnson and St John Horsfall used it to score a decisive win in the 1948 Spa 24 Hours, the first major post-war sports car race in Europe. By 1950 a team of DB2s was scoring class wins, and a pure racer, the DB3, was under construction in the hands of Auto Union import Eberan von Eberhorst.


aston martin D B M k i i i

The name isn’t quite a sequential fit, but then the MkIII was a halfway house – a last hurrah for the DB2 but a foretaste of things to come with the pouting grille that would define the DB4.



The wings don’t go back to B&M days; they appeared with Bertelli and the move to Feltham around 1927. Initially more naturalistic, they got a makeover in the 1930s when racing journalist ‘Sammy’ Davis, a founder AMOC member, clipped them to resemble an Egyptian scarab beetle. David Brown inserted his name during his reign, but the crisp, clean stylised logo has remained broadly the same since.

A s t o n M a r t i n O n e - 7 7

There is exclusive… and then there’s the Aston Martin One-77. The name reflects the fact that only 77 were made, with full carbon chassis and 7.3-litre 750bhp V12. Other impressive numbers included 200mph-plus top speed and a CO2 rating of 572g/km. That means a Band M VED rating of £490 per annum, although such details are unlikely to deter anybody capable of meeting the £1,150,000 asking price.


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aston martin atom

An early Aston Martin concept car, designed by Claude Hill and introduced in 1939. ’Tis said that a run in this very advanced car persuaded businessman David Brown to purchase Aston Martin.


A slightly cheaper alternative to the One-77. The limited-edition One-77 bicycle retailed for just £25,000 (although we’d also counsel purchase of a stout padlock).


carroll shelby

J a c k F a i r m a n ’ s b i c e p s

Stirling Moss had to persuade John Wyer to let him take a DBR1 to the 1959 Nürburgring 1000Kms. As partner, ‘Jolly Jack’ Fairman (finally forgiven for blotting his Aston copybook in 1950) was a ‘safe pair of hands’ – except that he fell over a slower car while leading and ditched the Aston. In the pits a frustrated Moss began packing to go home, but hadn’t reckoned with Fairman’s physical strength: alone, he dug the big machine free, set his weight against it and heaved it back on track. With three cars now ahead Moss began one of the great comeback drives, snatching victory out of despair thanks to Aston’s pocket Atlas.


aston martin ‘ C o a l Sc u t t l e ’

The very first car to emerge from the Kensington premises of Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, in 1915. Nicknamed after a popular household accessory du jour, it ploughed a lonely furrow for several years because World War One interrupted the firm’s manufacturing plans.

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Tough Texan Shelby was a shock to sleepy Feltham when he arrived asking for a car, but John Wyer knew talent when he saw it. Initially foisted on Aston by Sebring’s organisers in 1954, the dungaree-clad chicken farmer quickly became a marque stalwart, campaigning his works-supported blue-striped white DB3S around Europe. Later he was a vital member of both sports car and F1 squads, and in ’59 partnered Roy Salvadori to Aston’s apotheosis – Le Mans victory at last.



aston martin db7

f r a n k f e e l e y Until the DB4 era, it was Frank Feeley’s instinctive eye that shaped Aston’s look, and he had a natural eye for a fine curve. Joined Lagonda in 1926 aged 14, shaping the LG cars, then in the Brown days clothed everything from the 2-litre, or DB1, to the memorably curvaceous DB3S and its coupé variants featuring those extraordinary cutaway arches. But as Brown shifted production to Newport Pagnell, Feeley declined to move too. Enter Touring and the DB4…

It took about 25 years, but the DB6’s spiritual successor eventually arrived. There were one or two setbacks during early road tests – cars catching fire, mainly – but it seemed quite popular between conflagrations. The public certainly liked it, for it sold in greater numbers than any previous Aston Martin.


aston martin db8

This should be part of the current range, but – the story goes – Aston felt uncomfortable launching a 12-cylinder car with an ‘8’ in its name, hence the DB9… 69

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reasons why we love

Aston Martin

62 a s t o n

martin DB4GT zagato ‘2 vev’

As if the Zagato body wasn’t distinctive enough, the memorable numberplate of this DB4GT features in some of the great photography from 1961. One of two Zagatos bought by the Ogier stable, 2 VEV won when the Ferraris weren’t playing, but the Italian-clothed machines ate up too many tyres to be contenders. Still, a shot of Jim Clark in the TT, lights on and tyres screaming for mercy as the pugnacious Aston comes to heel for the master, should make anyone’s blood turn to five-star.

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Interview Robert Kubica

All the wor A devastating accident in a minor rally derailed Robert Kubica’s promising Formula 1 career, but the Pole is fighting back to full fitness – and underlining his versatility in the process r i c h ar d r o d g e r s



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r ld’s a stage

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Track test Alfa Romeo T33 TT12

Seatless Frankel settles in. Left, Watkins Glen pit service for the Derek Bell/Henri Pescarolo T33 in 1975

Campari &tonic

After several fruitless attempts to conquer the World Sports Car Championship, Alfa Romeo prospered with a cocktail of Italian flair and German methodology writer

a n d r e w f ra n k e l

t arrives secreted within what can only be described as a presidential motorcade. Buried amid sundry new Fiats and Lancias, all with blue lights flashing importantly, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT12 makes its appearance. It is not obvious why 1975’s world championship-winning sports car needs to travel this way, nor does it ever become clear, but it seems entirely appropriate. This car does not come out often and has never, so far as anyone present can remember, been driven by a journalist. You don’t need my words to tell you how it looks, the adjacent images revealing more than I ever could, but I will say that in the flesh it appears less beautiful than the Ferrari 312PB it

was intended to beat, albeit far more menacing. It has the effect of appearing larger than it actually is, with acres of Campari-sponsored bodywork surrounding a tiny yet nevertheless regulation two-seat cockpit. It’s the proportions that keep me peering at the squat machine from different angles. It manages the neat trick of being a curvaceous wedge, fulfilling the apparently opposing imperatives of appearing Italian and satisfying the prevailing aerodynamic thinking of its era. When my time comes I’ll be sitting so far forward it’s almost a surprise not to see bubbles in the front bodywork to accommodate your toes. Being of spaceframe construction, it seems your phalanges make up the substantial part of the front impact structure. 89

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Interview Andrea de Adamich

A of the sport

‘Bookish’, bespectacled Andrea de Adamich was studying law when he took up motor racing. A budding career ended abruptly at Silverstone 40 years ago, but today the pupil has turned teacher writer

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rob widdows

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Racing Lives by Guy Allen

Mike Hailwood A legend on two wheels, accomplished on four and architect of one of the finest of all sporting comebacks...

Stanley Hailwood had made his fortune as the country’s leading motorcycle distributor. The ex-sidecar racer was able to provide his children with an expensive education, but his youngest son was less than enthusiastic about life at school.

Having left school early, Mike Hailwood started work for the family business. But he can’t expect an easy ride from the old man. He’s made to start at the bottom.

The lad’s much happier charging around on that bike of his.

The winning streak continued on his return to the UK.

However, Stan Hailwood was more than happy to indulge his son’s growing interest in racing.

Any early claims that Hailwood was merely benefiting from his privileged position had been well and truly dispelled. He possessed genuine talent as a rider.

With access to competitive machines, Mike quickly earned his international licence. Towards the end of 1957, father and son headed to South Africa to gain some race experience.

Remarkably, the 17-year-old would end the winter as South African national champion.

He completed an incredibly successful four-year stint riding for Count Agusta.

He’s the first man to win three races in a single week at the Isle of Man TT.

An incredible seasonal tally of 74 victories led the motorcycling press to laud the new star.

Back with Honda for ‘66, four more titles secured his legendary status.

With victory at Monza, the modest, unassuming Hailwood becomes the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championship crowns.

Hailwood ended 1961 as 250cc World Champion. He also finished as 500cc runner-up and was invited to ride for the Italian MV Agusta team.

The daunting challenge of the TT would prove a life-long draw. In 1967 Hailwood pitted his ill-handling, brutally fast four-cylinder Honda against the MV Agusta of arch-rival, Giacomo Agostini. During his pursuit of ‘Ago’ Hailwood set a blisteringly quick lap record that would remain unbroken for eight years. He had pushed his machine beyond its limit to earn a dramatic 12th victory on the Isle of Man.


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Honda withdrew from racing in 1968, but was keen to retain the services of its star rider should the firm return.

Hailwood accepted a colossal £50,000 retainer and agreed not to join any rival teams. Having dabbled unsuccessfully with F1 in the mid ‘60s, Mike decided to give car racing his full attention.

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A third place finish at Le Mans left no doubt Hailwood had the necessary speed to be competitive on four wheels.

1971 - Hailwood competed for Surtees in F5000. Towards the end of the season the team gave him his chance with a couple of Grand Prix starts. In the first of these, at Monza, he was involved in Formula 1’s closest finish. At the end of an epic, slipstreaming battle, the first four cars are separated by a mere two tenths. Hailwood takes fourth.

His earlier efforts in single-seaters had yielded average results, but with a renewed focus his performances began to improve.

He would have a full Grand Prix season the following year, but the F 1 Surtees proved very unreliable. Performances were much better in Formula 2 and Hailwood was successful in clinching the European title.

Surtees secured a much-needed sponsor for 1974, but the team’s new German backers insisted on having a German driver. With his seat taken by Jochen Mass, Hailwood moved to McLaren to drive its third works car.

But his F1 career would come to an abrupt end at the German GP.

South African GP, Kyalami 1973. Involved in a pile-up on the third lap, Hailwood showed no regard for his own safety as he attempted to free an unconscious Clay Regazzoni from his burning car.

With his overalls in flames Hailwood had to withdraw, before returning to the cockpit and dragging the Swiss driver to safety. He would be awarded the George Medal for bravery.

He would not race a car again.

Mike’s not entirely comfortable at a bigger team, but he’s made a good start to the season and is standing second in the championship. The former biker had never felt entirely accepted within the circus of F 1. He missed the relaxed atmosphere and more open social scene he’d enjoyed so much as a rider. While running near the front, Hailwood lost control of his McLaren. When the car came to a rest he had sustained a broken knee and damage to both ankles.

Forward to 1978. Following years out of the saddle, and with only a handful of races in Australia under his belt, Hailwood decided to return to ‘The Island’ for another crack at the TT.

Few in the record crowd believed he would be competitive after such a long absence, and thought he could only tarnish his reputation. But back on his favourite hunting ground, the 38-year-old would prove the doubters wrong. Riding a Ducati 900 SS Mike Hailwood won the Formula 1 TT by a margin of nearly two minutes. He would return in 1979 to claim one final victory before hanging up his helmet for good.

Having survived his sport’s deadliest era, Mike Hailwood tragically lost his life in an avoidable road accident on March 21 1981.

Putting his wilder years behind him, Mike Hailwood retired from competition and settled in New Zealand with his wife and children.

The highest point on the Isle of Man TT course was renamed Hailwood Heights in his honour.

While on a trip to their local take-away, the Hailwoods’ car collided with a lorry executing an illegal U-turn. Mike’s daughter died at the scene and he succumbed to his injuries two days later. His son David survived the accident.

Next Month

Jean-Pierre Wimille october 2013

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{ dinner with }

rubens barrichello He’s started more World Championship F1 races than any other driver, but his passion for the sport remains engagingly intact...


simon taylor | photographer Charles best


hat the history books tell you first about Rubens Barrichello are the statistics: and they are indeed extraordinary. This man was 20 when he came into Formula 1, and 39 when he left it. In 19 seasons he raced in more Grands Prix than anyone, ever: 322 of them. He racked up 658 points, 14 poles, 17 fastest laps, 11 victories and 68 podiums. But I was covering F1 for most of those 19 seasons, and that’s not what first comes to mind when I think about Rubens. It’s his ever-present broad grin. Whatever might have been happening to him on the track, his approach to life was always unshakeably cheerful. It stood out at a time when, every weekend, the F1 paddock seemed to get more and more straight-faced, and smiles became ever rarer in that deadly serious, big-money world. “I always tried to take the negatives and turn them into positives,” Rubens says now. “Most people in F1 – not just the drivers, the team

people also – they don’t smile, because they forget how lucky they are to be there. They’re meant to be enjoying themselves. Plus, at the end of the day they are getting paid for it! When a racing driver is doing badly, he should remember that he does what he does because he enjoys it. If he wasn’t racing cars, maybe he’d be working in a bank, or in a supermarket. “Once when I was up on the podium, and I felt a bit pissed off about finishing second, my son Eduardo – he was about six years old then – was watching it on TV at home in Brazil. Later he said to me, ‘Why weren’t you smiling?’ I said, ‘Well, Daddy could have won that race.’ And he said, ‘You are on the podium, Daddy. Think how many people in the world want to be up there.’ Of course he was right. After that, you never saw me go to the podium without a smile.” He also developed his little trademark dance on the podium, which he called his samba. It surprised the VIPs in blazers who were handing out the trophies but, as he says, “It stopped the podiums being too boring.” Today, 35 years after he started in karts, this charming man is still racing, because he loves it. After a brief sojourn in IndyCar, he now 103

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Special effects


helmet, goggles & helmet box The first item to be unearthed is his helmet, resplendent in Musso’s familiar yellow colour scheme. Closer inspection reveals this to be his early ’50s lid, which was originally painted white. This is the helmet he wore during his conquest of the 1953 Italian 2-litre Sports Car Championship – an achievement that caught the eyes of the Maserati factory team and earned him a shared drive in that year’s Italian Grand Prix. The following season, equipped once more with works machinery but by now sometimes using a new, yellow Herbert Johnson helmet, he went on to win the Italian Sports Car Championship for the second time and finish second in the Spanish Grand Prix at Pedralbes. Curiously, the helmet box – which also contains a pair of Musso’s goggles and gloves – bears Peter Collins’s name and address; interesting, given the Italian’s far from perfect relationship with Collins and his fellow Ferrari team-mate Mike Hawthorn. According to Musso’s girlfriend Fiamma Breschi, for whom the Italian had left his wife and two children, Hawthorn and Collins shared each other’s winnings – a privilege that they didn’t extend to Musso. It’s within the realms of possibility that Musso borrowed Collins’s helmet box, but the items might have been united much later. It’s also feasible that Musso had his Herbert Johnson delivered to Collins, rather than risking Italy’s postal service. Such things can be more interesting when there is no definitive answer.

We reveal personal relics from the racing life of Luigi Musso, one of the ‘lost generation’ of ’50s Italian racers

M all images stuart collins


ed foster

any of you might remember the photographic feature we published on Alberto Ascari in the July 2012 issue. The incredible selection of memorabilia was the property of a private collector who was only too happy to let us take a camera into his home. Fast-forward nine months and the office phone rings – it’s the same collector offering us the use of selected personal effects that once belonged to Luigi Musso. We didn’t need asking twice and were soon sifting through items such as the Italian F1 and sports car driver’s famous yellow helmet, his medals from Enzo Ferrari and assorted personal receipts and plane tickets. The biggest challenge, once again, was choosing what to include, but it was also tricky to focus on the task at hand. To one side nestled Tazio Nuvolari’s leather cap (his head really was very small), to the other a small selection of the collector’s Ferrari memorabilia, which is regarded by some as the most extensive in the world. Many hours later we emerged with the images you see here, a fascinating snapshot of a bygone era.


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Collectibles Luigi Musso

medals Musso enjoyed his most successful F1 campaign in 1957, with two second places, a fourth and a fifth, plus victory in the non-championship race at Reims and more second places in the Syracuse and Modena GPs. Luigi couldn’t match Fangio or Moss, but he did finish third in the championship. The medals here were awarded for being the highest-placed Italian driver in the F1 World Championship or, as the Commissione Sportiva Automobilistica Italiana put it, the ‘Absolute Italian Champion’ (bottom). The others (top) were presented by Enzo Ferrari, in recognition of Musso’s role as a Ferrari driver during the 1956 and ’57 seasons.

telephone book It’s not the calibre of the names in Musso’s telephone book that first strikes you, but its size. Calling it a ‘book’ is perhaps a little misleading, for it is no more than two inches by three. Hidden among the pages are names such as Piero Taruffi, Enzo Ferrari – for whom there are two Modena numbers, plus one for Maranello – Alejandro de Tomaso and Maurice Trintignant. Hawthorn and Collins are conspicuous by their absence.

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pa r t i n g


august 16

1 9 81 Österreichring, Austria

Last held in 2003, the Austrian Grand Prix is due to return to the F1 calendar next year at the Red Bull Ring – a sawn-off version of the magnificent original circuit, pictured 32 years ago with Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari 126CK) leading Alan Jones (Williams FW07C). Jacques Laffite (Ligier JS17) won the ’81 race, while Villeneuve crashed and Jones took fourth.

To buy this photo or other classic motor racing shots, visit

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October 2013 issue of Motor Sport magazine  

100 reasons why we love Aston Martin, Lunch with Rubens Barrichello, Alfa Romeo T33 track test, exclusive interview with Robert Kubica

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