Scene: a NASCAR race in Virginia, in the mid-'50s. Two of the stars of the day, Curtis Turner and Lee Petty (father of Richard) have had a torrid battle, and afterwards both their cars are in a sad state of repair. Petty thinks Turner has been playing it unduly rough, and resolves to discuss the matter with him.
He finds his rival, and sets about informing him of his shortcomings, but Turner, noting that Petty has only a rolled up newspaper in his hand, laughs it off. Big mistake. Petty hits him on the side of the head with it, and Turner goes out like a light. Inside the newspaper is a tyre iron.
That story came back to me as I read the contents of Max Mosley's letter to the McLaren drivers, which was released to the press last Friday. Although strictly polite in tone - 'The FIA formally requests...' etc, it was not to be taken lightly.
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