Having Some Fun With Cars


When you see Sebastian Vettel and Jensen battling, you just see the car. You don’t see any emotion on the track. Sometimes an angry arm will come up, but for the most part it’s a car and a helmet. It could almost be remote controlled (some would say it is too remote controlled—zing!).

This image of José Froilán González ahead of Ascari in their Ferraris though, smacked me upside the head with what we’ve lost by hiding the drivers. José and Alberto here could be a couple of kids in their go karts or BMX bikes. They look determined; but they also look like they’re having a hell of a good time. Even though their faces are obscured by shadow and photographic noise, their body language: leaning, elbows out, face poking around the windscreen. They really look like their minds, their hearts, their souls are out there on the race track. They look like they’re having an absolute blast.

The fact that Silverstone of 1951, in this photo anyway, looks like you could have assembled this course in a parking lot with some cones. It just accentuates the fact that this marvelous sport was once just a bunch of guys wanting to find out how fast she’ll go and got together to put on a race.

Let’s not forget to have fun out there, people.

DISCUSS (4 Comments)

  1. Ktrum7

    By far the best race of this year’s F1 season was yesterday at Monza when Michael Schumacher held off Hamilton’s attack for a number of laps until told by Ross Brawn to “give way”. It proved to me that racing drivers still exist.

  2. Ted Sodergren

    I think it was Gonzalez that was quoted as saying some, years after retirement, that when he raced, drivers were fat and tires were skinny.

  3. Mike Jacobsen

    Gonzalez won, the first time the Alfa 159s were beaten by an unblown 4.5 litre car. Ascari I think retired. The oil drums were still there in ’54 when Fangio destroyed the bodywork of his Mercedes W196 in its closed wheel form by hitting them!

  4. Jeffrey

    Not to be a spoilsport, but what we gained from “hiding” the driver was not killing three or four of them every season. I’m more annoyed by the excessive aero protuberances of the modern F1 car than the higher cockpit sides.

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