The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes
Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…
Tyre technology has come on a bit since James Hunt used a sharp knife to cut grooves in his bald road tyres. I was reminded of this when reading George Russell’s thoughts on the latest Formula 1 rubber. Russell was talking about the detailed preparations necessary for Montreal, some 55 years on from Hunt’s desperate efforts to get his first car race-worthy for a club meeting at Snetterton.
The scrutineer refused Hunt an entry for a car built up from the stripped shell of a crashed Mini. Inadequate tyres were not the main problem. Neither was the front passenger seat being, would you believe, a deckchair held in place by bits of Meccano. The official took objection to the complete absence of windows in this so-called saloon car; a serious deficiency exacerbated by the driver saying – in all seriousness – that the regulations made no mention of the car needing windows in the first place.
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