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  • #76
    After yesterday has anyone mentioned Carlos Sainz, Jr. to Ferrari? LeClerc's and his careers are going to die at the Scuderia.
    “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

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    • #77
      Something that makes you wonder why owner Ecclestone & designer Murray still retained the Alfa's. The only excuse I can think of is that Ecclestone at that time wasn't as filthy rich as he became later on but by then was already not known to be a big spender sve on hiring Lauda, and already greedy. And the Alfa's came for free.
      Alfa was a major auto manufacturer. Its resources were infinitely deeper than Brabham or Cosworth, if it ever got its thumb out.
      Racing ain't much, but workin's nothing. Richard Tharp

      Lying was a no-brainer for me. Robin Miller

      "I thought they booed [Danica] because she was being a complete jerk, but then they applauded for A.J. Foyt. Now I'm just confused."

      The real world sucks. Ed McCullough

      Comment


      • #78
        I should have known that DoctorIndy would cover my pick in the first response to this thread. Sullivan did nothing right after leaving Penske.

        "Ooh woo, I'm a Rebel just for kicks, now
        I been feeling it since 1966, now..."

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post
          After yesterday has anyone mentioned Carlos Sainz, Jr. to Ferrari? LeClerc's and his careers are going to die at the Scuderia.
          On the subject of Ferrari, what about Giancarlo Fisichella leaving Force India after finishing second at Spa to finish the 2009 season for Ferrari. He scored precisely zero points for the prancing horse and would never race in F1 again after that season

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Sweaty Teddy View Post
            After yesterday has anyone mentioned Carlos Sainz, Jr. to Ferrari? LeClerc's and his careers are going to die at the Scuderia.
            I like Sainz. Time will tell, but it feels like staying at an improving McLaren might have been a better career move at this point.
            Real drivers don't need fenders!

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Pelican Joe View Post

              I like Sainz. Time will tell, but it feels like staying at an improving McLaren might have been a better career move at this point.
              But all of that firing from Ferrari for Vettel and what followed thereafter all took place before the start of the season. And how many people would have predicted that Ferrari would suffer so much from the rule changes on engines for which they were personally responsible for?
              Had Sainz had che chance to see Ferrari perform some races this season he may well have decided to stay where he was (the more with Merc engines coming up next year) and then Ricciard had no chance to move up as well. Unless he would have been pushed out of Renault (= Alpine from next year on) because of Alonso that desperate to get in that team that Ricciardo was laid off..

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by senorsoupe View Post

                On the subject of Ferrari, what about Giancarlo Fisichella leaving Force India after finishing second at Spa to finish the 2009 season for Ferrari. He scored precisely zero points for the prancing horse and would never race in F1 again after that season
                To be fair he moved to the team that beat him at Spa - and he hadn't scored points before that GP for Force India for a season and a half, so his career was in the doldrums anyway.

                Plus his move means that he will forever be a Ferrari Grand Prix driver.
                "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Indyote View Post

                  But all of that firing from Ferrari for Vettel and what followed thereafter all took place before the start of the season. And how many people would have predicted that Ferrari would suffer so much from the rule changes on engines for which they were personally responsible for?
                  Had Sainz had che chance to see Ferrari perform some races this season he may well have decided to stay where he was (the more with Merc engines coming up next year) and then Ricciard had no chance to move up as well. Unless he would have been pushed out of Renault (= Alpine from next year on) because of Alonso that desperate to get in that team that Ricciardo was laid off..
                  Good points. They did finish 2nd in the constructor's championship last season.
                  Real drivers don't need fenders!

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Hitokiri View Post
                    - Emerson Fittapaldi leaving McLaren to basically start his own F1 team
                    Couldn't agree more, Emmo and his Coposcar F1 was a disaster despite a glimmer of hope in 1977. It took until '84 with WIT and H&R in CART to get to Patrick. From that point and winning in 1985 at the Michigan 500 is storied. A stumble for Emmo is what I consider it.....

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      I have read the whole thread and I found here some amazing data, namely those posts related with the IndyCar scenario
                      .

                      About F1, there are some drivers widely known by their missed chances, one of them being precisely Chris Amon. The Kiwi was one of the best F1 drivers ever and is known for the fact he never won a WC race. So famous was his bad luck that Mario Andretti said that is Chris was an undertaker, people would stop dying. Back then, there were only a few drivers arriving to F1 below their low-to-mid twenties, and Amon was one of the youngest drivers back then, as he arrived in Europe to drive an F1 for Team Parnell with 19, after some brilliant performances Down Under.

                      However, his whole career and team choices and moments were marred by bad luck until he retired from the sport for good in 1976. After a surprising rookie season in 1963, he was promoted to nº1 driver for 1964. However, team boss Reg Parnell died in January 1964 with peritonitis and his son Tim inherited the team. He had been working with his father for some years, but hadn’t the same experience as Reg and certainly the team suffered a bit from that in 1964 when, despite great performances by Chris, they were often afflicted by mechanical woes. Then, in 1965, Tim had a deal with BRM to provide free and up-to-date engines, but the men from Bourne wanted the young promise Richard Attwood to take the drive. Even if he lost his seat, he was by no means unemployed, as his fellow countryman Bruce McLaren signed him immediately to be his teammate on his newly-created team, but the F1 debut was delayed for a season and Amon spent the season testing for Firestone and driving sportscars, apart some odd F1 race with Parnell. McLaren Grand Prix at last made its debut at the 1966 Monaco GP with Bruce, but it was a complicated season for the new kids on the block, as they were trying different engines unsuccessfully. Apart F1, McLaren built small sportscars and also had a strong Can-Am team, so the second F1 car never materialized and Amon was left again on the sidelines.

                      Yet it had a very positive side, when Chris Amon and Bruce McLaren won the 1966 24h of Le Mans, Ford finally defeating Ferrari on his terrain. And when Richie Ginther, who was driving for Cooper until the new Honda was ready, was recalled by the Japanese, Amon was hired by the Surbiton team to fill the vacancy, which was the…Bruce McLaren’s drive in 1965. After one race, Amon was replaced by the much-more experienced John Surtees, who had left Ferrari after another conflict with Eugenio Dragoni over Le Mans. Ferrari recurred to Parkes and Scarfiotti in 1966, but they wanted a strong pair for the following season and offered a contract to Amon for the following season, which didn’t properly pleased Bruce McLaren and their strong bond soured for some time.

                      As it was said before, Surtees was a very strong character, but I think it’s fair to say Dragoni was more quarrelsome and if he hadn’t spread his doubts over Surtees’ fitness condition after his horrific 1965 Can-Am crash, probably Surtees and Ferrari would have pocketed another title, as the Italian car was the sole real match for the simple but effective Brabham-Repco’s. With Amon and Bandini, Ferrari had legitimate chances to be in contention in 1967, but Bandini died after a gruesome crash at Monte Carlo. Soon Amon was the team leader, while his new teammate Parkes suffered a heavy crash that ended his single-seater career and Scarfiotti chose to retire – he’d return later, but with Porsche, dying in 1968. Even if the development of the new Ferrari suffered a lot with the loss of two experienced drivers (Parkes used to do a lot of testing), Amon scored regularly and, on the World Sportscar Championship, was decisive to win another title for the Scuderia, winning the 24h of Daytona and taking the revenge of Ford in America.
                      Everyone expected a confrontation between the Lotus-Cosworth’s dream team of Jim Clark and Graham Hill against the Ferrari’s of Chris Amon and the astounding rookie Jacky Ickx. An appetizer had already been served after a strong fight between Amon and Clark for the Tasman Series, won by the Englishman, but the grim reaper hit the 1968 motoring season particularly hard. Clark died in April, soon followed by Mike Spence, Scarfiotti and Jo Schlesser, among so many others. Amon was spared of any serious accident and was often one of the fastest men on every round of the championship, only for his car to let him down by a lot of mechanical woes. On an article about lost championships, Motor Sport mentions the 68 season as the best year Amon had, only to be let down by the car.

                      Amon remained at Ferrari for 1969 and, despite winning the Tasman Series at last, in Europe the scenario was increasingly worse, as Ferrari was under heavy financial pressure to maintain two winning programs in F1 and the World Championship. As it was described before, Amon got increasingly tired of the weakness of the Ferraris and chose to drive for a Cosworth-powered team. I think it was Enzo or Mauro Forghieri that told him Ferrari would win a race before Amon, and it duly happened in 1970. Max Mosley’s promises about March looked more like politic propaganda before an election than any serious effort to build a good F1 team. March was completely overstretched and, despite some great performances, the car wasn’t reliable and lacked development and soon Chris understood it was a “faux-pas”.

                      Extremely disappointed and tired, Amon left March at the end of the season and signed for Matra. I don’t remember reading which offers he had for 1971 – after all, he was only 27 and was still regarded as one of the best drivers in the World – but he chose to sign for Matra. Even if the Matra V12 wasn’t yet fully developed and the Frenchmen had some setbacks in 1970, Amon surely had some great expectations that those issues were solved by 1971. Sadly, the Matras were extremely unreliable and not so powerful as their V12 chant was beautiful. The sole race he was in contention for the win was at Monza, but bad luck struck again when, tearing off a visor cover, it detached and he was blighted by the wind. Matra kept Amon in 1972 and decided to focus solely on him, but they were doing the same as Ferrari – the Frenchmen were deeply involved on the World Sportscar Championship since mid-60’s and their top priority was more winning the 24h of Le Mans and the WSC title than F1, so the single-seater effort never benefitted from the same investment. Thus, the Matra woes accumulated and Amon suffered for another season, even if he was so close to take his first win at the French Grand Prix until being delayed by a puncture. That year Matra won Le Mans and they had lobbied strongly to ban the over 3L Prototypes at the end of 1971, which excluded the dominant Porsche 917, so the men from Vélizy decided to end their expendable and unsuccessful F1 program to focus solely on Sportscars.

                      Amon confessed later that, when he lost the 1972 French GP, he felt he would never win a Grand Prix and his motivation was never the same again, but he carried on and even tried to establish an F2 team, but there wasn’t enough money for it to be successful. Unemployed again, Amon was dealing with Mosely to return to March but, after a disastrous 1972 season, the team needed money and hired their F2 driver Jarier. Well, in the hindsight, it would be another failed team move if Amon had returned to March, but his move to Tecno was even worse. The Italian team had been widely successful in F2 and F3, but they had a dismal year in F1 in 1972, as they were also rowing against the tide when they chose to build their own engine – only Ferrari and BRM were doing that in 1973 and the British squad almost always suffered with it and was definitively going downward. Tecno had far stronger backing from Martini Rossi in 1973 and hired TWO (!!!!!) designers to build the best car the fastest they could. It failed on all fronts, neither car was good and there were no time nor money to develop them. Ferrari wanted Amon back, but team manager David Yorke didn’t released him for one race – it would be an awful season to drive for Ferrari too, but 1974 finally bore some fruits – and Chris stood at Tecno among the conflict between the Pederzzani brotehrs, the sponsors, the designers and team managers, until he quit shortly before the end of the championship. Even if he wasn’t on his plans for 1974, Chris Amon was offered a Tyrrell drive for the North American rounds, but a bad day at Canada and Cevert’s death at Watkins Glen prevented him to show his immense talent on a very competitive car.

                      Amon’s career was on the doldrums and he made it worse when he decided again to start his own project, instead of joining Brabham which, by 1973, were already on the verge of becoming again a winning team after Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac chose to sell the structure to Bernie Ecclestone. Apart McLaren and Brabham, all the drivers/manufacturer’s teams failed sooner or later, and the Amon F1 effort lacked everything to be reasonably successful. The car was delayed and, when appeared, the design soon proved to be wrong and there wasn’t money to test and develop it. It was a failure in every sense and Amon only raced occasionally, even asking other drivers to take his place. Despite having offers from many teams, including Brabham, BRM and March, he chose not to abandon his own project as he was loyal to everyone that had been with him from the beginning. However, Amon F1 closed before the end of the season and Amon did the last two races with BRM which was now decaying extremely fast, despite a reasonable start of the season.

                      With just 31 y/o, Amon was a forgotten man after two awful F1 seasons. As usual, he drove on the Tasman Series, now with F5000 cars, on the winter and, after some great performances, he planned to compete both on the US and the European F5000 series. It has to be pointed Amon hadn’t great money after the investment on the failed F1 project nor personal sponsors, so unless he could perform well, he had no way of coming back to the top. F5000 was cheaper and there were a lot of F1 refugees and other great drivers with no money to establish themselves in F1 in Europe, while the US scenario was extremely healthy, attracting some European drivers and the best USAC ones. However, even F5000 needed money and a good car and Amon hadn’t it so, after some races driving for a tiny manufacturer, his career stalled again, until Mo Nunn decided to give him a drive on his small Ensign operation. Ensign was one of the many small British manufacturers that populated the F1 peloton until the Turbo Era and Mon Nunn was an extremely acknowledged engineer and team manager. The team entered F1 between 1973 and 1982 and there were many occasions when Nunn’s cars were quite good. The problem was the same with every small team – money. Without a strong sponsor, they couldn’t progress and, without results, they couldn’t find good sponsors and drivers, not test enough. Amidst this dilemma, Nunn hired Amon to replace the Le Mans and F5000 star Gijs Van Lennep, bought to Ensign by their Dutch sponsors. Even if he had just scored the sole point for the team, Nunn put Amon on the car and the Kiwi immediately gave some suggestions to improve the performance, which prompted Nunn to sign him as the sole Enisgn driver for 1976.

                      Amon knew the best he could do on such a small team was try to score some points and put some impressive performances, it was the sole way to bring him back to the highlights. And the 1976 Ensign was a very good car, quite fast but unreliable and, even worse, extremely fragile. It happened with many teams, there wasn’t money for spares nor time to perfect parts of the car, so they risked everything and Ensign was akin to it. Often Amon would do some stellar performances and, starting from the midfield, put the car on the scoring places until something broke. After two accidents that could have hurt a lot, Amon felt increasingly insecure with the Enisgn and, after passing by Lauda’s stricken car on the Nürburgring, he felt that he didn’t want to keep risking his life and told Nunn he wouldn’t race again that day. Probably seeing the Ferrari on fire remembered him of Bandini’s at Monaco and so many others. Furious, Nunn sacked him and Amon went back to his native New Zealand, until he was lured by Walter Wolf, who had bought Frank Williams team in 1976, to drive for him on the North American rounds at the end of the season. The Wolf-Williams was an awful car, but Amon was doing decent times until he had a heavy crash and decided not to race. As I wrote before, his motivation wasn’t the same since 1972 and he thought more and more about being a survivor of a dangerous era, racing didn’t thrill him anymore. Walter Wolf offered him a drive again for 1977, but Amon refused and, after one Can-Am race in 1977, he retired for good.

                      Amon’s bad choices, bad luck and some impatience cost him a great career. Waiting for Bruce in 1966 could be risky, but McLaren was winning races by 1968. Abandoning Ferrari was his strongest mistake, who knows what he could have done in 1970? Amon was a talent lost more due to bad choices than bad lucky only. But, as he said until the end, he was lucky indeed. He was alive.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Wow.... that’s quite a narrative providing interesting insight and context re: Amon’s career. Thanks for providing this.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Chris Amon survived the 1968 F1 season, but not without having an epic crash. He ended up in a tree at Monza hanging from his harness. No injuries.
                          Racing ain't much, but workin's nothing. Richard Tharp

                          Lying was a no-brainer for me. Robin Miller

                          "I thought they booed [Danica] because she was being a complete jerk, but then they applauded for A.J. Foyt. Now I'm just confused."

                          The real world sucks. Ed McCullough

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            I saw a great quote from Chris Amon about being regarded as the "unluckiest driver":
                            “I have a standard answer to that. People tell me I am the unluckiest F1 driver of my era, but actually I’m the lucky one. I’m luckier than Jimmy and Jochen, and Bruce, and Piers. Luckier than my team-mates Bandini, Scarfiotti, Siffert and Cevert. And there were others, guys who were my friends, people I raced with every weekend. I had several big accidents that could have killed me; I broke ribs, but I was never badly hurt. Clark never drew blood until Hockenheim. Rindt rarely hurt himself, either. But unfortunately you only need one accident.”

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              ... Tim had a deal with BRM to provide free and up-to-date engines...
                              Chris Amon said Bourne provided the team with a handful of used customer engines and that the Parnell team got the remainder of their BRMs second-hand from a team that went bust. Amon added that before his death Reg Parnell had a deal for works Coventry Climax engines. Tim Parnell said Climax promised special engines for Amon but pulled out of the deal after the senior Parnell's death.


                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              ... their strong bond soured for some time. ...
                              Amon said he and Bruce McLaren renewed their bonds by 1970. Not even the recalcitrant McLaren M15 could get between them.


                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              I think it was Enzo or Mauro Forghieri that told him Ferrari would win a race before Amon ...
                              That statement was made by Enzo Ferrari, according to Amon.


                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              Extremely disappointed and tired, Amon left March at the end of the season and signed for Matra. I don’t remember reading which offers he had for 1971 – after all, he was only 27 and was still regarded as one of the best drivers in the World – but he chose to sign for Matra. Even if the Matra V12 wasn’t yet fully developed and the Frenchmen had some setbacks in 1970, Amon surely had some great expectations that those issues were solved by 1971. Sadly, the Matras were extremely unreliable and not so powerful as their V12 chant was beautiful.
                              It is not strictly accurate to say that Amon left March to sign for Matra. March's F1 team was broke. Had been since early in the 1970 season. Amon received only one installment of his retainer and money for the car dried up. Max Mosley and Amon were at loggerheads. It would be more accurate to term the split between the two as a mutual parting of the ways. Robin Herd, with whom Amon had worked at McLaren, remained a friend.

                              Amon would go to his grave being owed money by March.

                              Goodyear facilitated Amon's move to Matra. Amon had a reputation as one of the best tire testers in the business. Goodyear was anxious to get him on the books. Matra earned high marks for sweet-handling F1 chassis. This intrigued Amon after wrestling with what he called March's bloody great dead thing. The Kiwi said he knew Matra's F1 V12 was down on power and said he went into the deal with no expectations that the power shortage was likely ever to be resolved. Rather, he said he tried to talk Matra out of F1 while driving for the team. He believed the French company should concentrate on endurance racing. Eventually, Matra execs bought Amon's argument. One enduring problem with the Matra F1 engine was that the rods stretched. This was discovered when the F1 team ran out of F1 spec engines and had to turn to endurance spec units to plug the gap.


                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              ... but he carried on and even tried to establish an F2 team...
                              The F2 team was an F2 engine building company begun in partnership with Aubrey Woods. It was Woods' idea, Amon said. Amon Engines proved to be a financial sinkhole and was sold to March at a loss.


                              Originally posted by GMiranda View Post
                              .... Unemployed again, Amon was dealing with Mosely to return to March but, after a disastrous 1972 season, the team needed money and hired their F2 driver Jarier. Well, in the hindsight, it would be another failed team move if Amon had returned to March, but his move to Tecno was even worse. The Italian team had been widely successful in F2 and F3, but they had a dismal year in F1 in 1972, as they were also rowing against the tide when they chose to build their own engine – only Ferrari and BRM were doing that in 1973 and the British squad almost always suffered with it and was definitively going downward. Tecno had far stronger backing from Martini Rossi in 1973 and hired TWO (!!!!!) designers to build the best car the fastest they could. It failed on all fronts, neither car was good and there were no time nor money to develop them. Ferrari wanted Amon back, but team manager David Yorke didn’t released him for one race – it would be an awful season to drive for Ferrari too, but 1974 finally bore some fruits – and Chris stood at Tecno among the conflict between the Pederzzani brotehrs, the sponsors, the designers and team managers, until he quit shortly before the end of the championship. Even if he wasn’t on his plans for 1974, Chris Amon was offered a Tyrrell drive for the North American rounds, but a bad day at Canada and Cevert’s death at Watkins Glen prevented him to show his immense talent on a very competitive car.

                              Amon’s career was on the doldrums and he made it worse when he decided again to start his own project, instead of joining Brabham which, by 1973, were already on the verge of becoming again a winning team after Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac chose to sell the structure to Bernie Ecclestone. Apart McLaren and Brabham, all the drivers/manufacturer’s teams failed sooner or later, and the Amon F1 effort lacked everything to be reasonably successful. The car was delayed and, when appeared, the design soon proved to be wrong and there wasn’t money to test and develop it. It was a failure in every sense and Amon only raced occasionally, even asking other drivers to take his place. Despite having offers from many teams, including Brabham, BRM and March, he chose not to abandon his own project as he was loyal to everyone that had been with him from the beginning. However, Amon F1 closed before the end of the season and Amon did the last two races with BRM which was now decaying extremely fast, despite a reasonable start of the season.

                              With just 31 y/o, Amon was a forgotten man after two awful F1 seasons. As usual, he drove on the Tasman Series, now with F5000 cars, on the winter and, after some great performances, he planned to compete both on the US and the European F5000 series. It has to be pointed Amon hadn’t great money after the investment on the failed F1 project nor personal sponsors, so unless he could perform well, he had no way of coming back to the top. F5000 was cheaper and there were a lot of F1 refugees and other great drivers with no money to establish themselves in F1 in Europe, while the US scenario was extremely healthy, attracting some European drivers and the best USAC ones. However, even F5000 needed money and a good car and Amon hadn’t it so, after some races driving for a tiny manufacturer, his career stalled again, until Mo Nunn decided to give him a drive on his small Ensign operation. Ensign was one of the many small British manufacturers that populated the F1 peloton until the Turbo Era and Mon Nunn was an extremely acknowledged engineer and team manager. The team entered F1 between 1973 and 1982 and there were many occasions when Nunn’s cars were quite good. The problem was the same with every small team – money. Without a strong sponsor, they couldn’t progress and, without results, they couldn’t find good sponsors and drivers, not test enough. Amidst this dilemma, Nunn hired Amon to replace the Le Mans and F5000 star Gijs Van Lennep, bought to Ensign by their Dutch sponsors. Even if he had just scored the sole point for the team, Nunn put Amon on the car and the Kiwi immediately gave some suggestions to improve the performance, which prompted Nunn to sign him as the sole Enisgn driver for 1976.[/FONT]

                              Amon knew the best he could do on such a small team was try to score some points and put some impressive performances, it was the sole way to bring him back to the highlights. And the 1976 Ensign was a very good car, quite fast but unreliable and, even worse, extremely fragile. It happened with many teams, there wasn’t money for spares nor time to perfect parts of the car, so they risked everything and Ensign was akin to it. Often Amon would do some stellar performances and, starting from the midfield, put the car on the scoring places until something broke. After two accidents that could have hurt a lot, Amon felt increasingly insecure with the Enisgn and, after passing by Lauda’s stricken car on the Nürburgring, he felt that he didn’t want to keep risking his life and told Nunn he wouldn’t race again that day. Probably seeing the Ferrari on fire remembered him of Bandini’s at Monaco and so many others. Furious, Nunn sacked him and Amon went back to his native New Zealand, until he was lured by Walter Wolf, who had bought Frank Williams team in 1976, to drive for him on the North American rounds at the end of the season. The Wolf-Williams was an awful car, but Amon was doing decent times until he had a heavy crash and decided not to race. As I wrote before, his motivation wasn’t the same since 1972 and he thought more and more about being a survivor of a dangerous era, racing didn’t thrill him anymore. Walter Wolf offered him a drive again for 1977, but Amon refused and, after one Can-Am race in 1977, he retired for good. [sic]
                              Where to begin?

                              Amon had a deal with March to rejoin the team for 1973. He agreed to the contract after testing the 721G. Amon said he learned that March had fired him while enjoying a 1972 Christmas vacation at home in New Zealand. He said he heard the news on the radio. March had brokered Amon's deal to drive for BMW and Amon theorized that Max Mosley attempted to get the Germans to pay for his F1 ride, too. When BMW balked, Mosley put out a press statement blaming Amon for the split. Mosley said that Amon wanted more money. Amon, who thought that by rejoining March he might be made whole for the money Mosley still owed him for 1970, said he never brought up the subject of money once the deal was done. Amon ended up calling March the worst team he ever raced for, far more political than even Ferrari. The funded Jean-Pierre Jarier and his backer were dropped by March in 1972 because of financial troubles and replaced by a better funded driver. After overachieving in the U.S. Jarier and his backer were invited back to March in 1973 to do some donkey work. This led Jarier back to F2. He said he ended up getting a March F1 drive because he was a cheap alternative. The Frenchman said he had lots of problems with Mosley over money.

                              It is a stretch to say that Amon moved to Tecno. To be strictly accurate, his deal was with Martini & Rossi, not Tecno. Representing Martini in the negotiations was David Yorke, Martini's F1 program chief at the time. Amon ended up at Tecno the same way Derek Bell did, he was placed there by the sponsor when the Italians went against Yorke's advice and thought that Italian money should be spent on an Italian team that produced an Italian chassis and engine.

                              It's a stretch to say that Tecno hired two designers to build the best car the fastest they could. In fact, the original PA123 had a relatively long gestation. Conceived as a mule by Tecno, the original lumpish spaceframed, paneled car did not meet F1 regulations when it was unveiled and had to be revised. The Italians engaged Allan McCall to design a monocoque chassis that would be used as a teaching tool for Tecno — the team's chassis-building skills were primitive. McCall said his car was never intended to be raced and was designed accordingly. He said that when the Italians demanded his more state-of-the-art car should be used in competition the decision created a split between him and the Pederzanis. McCall would soon leave. There was also a third chassis being designed. Yorke, acting in his capacity as Martini's F1 boss, had engaged a British consultancy to produce a chassis for 1973.

                              It's a stretch to think think that concurrent F1 chassis projects by a team was unusual. Lotus, Ferrari, BRM and MRD (for BRO), for instance, all engaged in multiple concurrent F1 chassis projects prior to Tecno's arrival on the F1 scene.

                              Contrary to your claims, Amon's career was not in the doldrums nor he was a forgotten man needing funding as evidenced by the quality F1 offers he turned down. Amon turned down many top-rank offers because he was suffering from burnout. Figuring racing was all he knew, he elected to accept only those offers he felt were low stress. He originally viewed Tecno as low stress because it was a startup and because he said he loved life in Italy. While he said he believed Tecno's chassis would be nothing to crow about, he thought the Pederzani's flat 12 engine was more powerful than Matra's even if it wasn't on par with the DFV. That claim could not be proved reportedly because none of the Tecno flat 12 engines ever saw a dyno. Amon's decision to try F5000 also was a product of burnout. The decision was not due to the idea that he thought it would be a useful step in rehabilitating his reputation. He said he thought the friendly atmosphere of an F5000 paddock would would help to moderate his anxiety and help to temper the fiery wobblies that had frightened so many.

                              That this ended up being unsuccessful was due to Amon being stuck with a white elephant of a car. Crude, overweight and poorly built, Amon's older Talon was far different than the newer Talons being raced. His F5000 adventures also were brought to a halt because the owner Amon drove for stiffed him for his salary. Not wanting to be forced to ship the car back to the U.S., the owner settled his debts with the driver by giving him the car. Otherwise useless, Amon elected to engage an engineer friend to transform the car into a single-seat Can-Am vehicle. He hoped it could make him a little money. The engineer said he talked Dallara into letting him use its premises for the conversion and Amon said he talked Walter Wolf into paying for it. Amon decided to retire after witnessing Brian Redman's Can-Am crash at St. Jovite. Redman and Amon were close friends. Redman's death, his heart stopped but he was revived, proved to be too much for Amon. He said he had seen too much death and too many injuries since he began racing at age 16. He was going home to New Zealand.

                              It's a stretch to say that Mo Nunn hired Amon to drive for Ensign. The truth is that the idea for the Amon-Ensign pairing came from a writer friend of Amon's. He planted the seed of Amon driving for Nunn in Nunn's head and then put the two of them together. Nunn thought the pairing would raise Ensign's profile, especially after battles with the Hogeboom brothers nearly brought the team to ruin. Amon thought it would be a low pressure way to make a few dollars. He changed his mind in thinking that driving for an underfunded, fun-loving team running hand-me-down engines would be balm for his burnout following troubles in Sweden and following Niki Lauda's accident at the Ring. Although Amon said he had decided to leave Ensign at the end of the season, he said he informed Nunn after Lauda's accident that he didn't trust the car and that he should no longer drive it. Nunn should get someone else, Amon said he told Nunn.

                              The Kiwi called the high-tech Amon F101 the worst car he ever drove, not because the car was irredeemable but because it kept falling apart. He said the car could have worked had more resources been available. The car was done on a shoestring budget. Nevertheless, he termed the project a disaster. Amon said he couldn't abandon the effort when he received another offer because that new offer came too late. He was committed to the AF101 by then. Amon called the March 701 the worst car, period.
                              Last edited by editor; 09-16-2020, 01:37 PM.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by editor View Post

                                Chris Amon said Bourne provided the team with a handful of used customer engines and that the Parnell team got the remainder of their BRMs second-hand from a team that went bust. Amon added that before his death Reg Parnell had a deal for works Coventry Climax engines. Tim Parnell said Climax promised special engines for Amon but pulled out of the deal after the senior Parnell's death.




                                Amon said he and Bruce McLaren renewed their bonds by 1970. Not even the recalcitrant McLaren M15 could get between them.




                                That statement was made by Enzo Ferrari, according to Amon.




                                It is not strictly accurate to say that Amon left March to sign for Matra. March's F1 team was broke. Had been since early in the 1970 season. Amon received only one installment of his retainer and money for the car dried up. Max Mosley and Amon were at loggerheads. It would be more accurate to term the split between the two as a mutual parting of the ways. Robin Herd, with whom Amon had worked at McLaren, remained a friend.

                                Amon would go to his grave being owed money by March.

                                Goodyear facilitated Amon's move to Matra. Amon had a reputation as one of the best tire testers in the business. Goodyear was anxious to get him on the books. Matra earned high marks for sweet-handling F1 chassis. This intrigued Amon after wrestling with what he called March's bloody great dead thing. The Kiwi said he knew Matra's F1 V12 was down on power and said he went into the deal with no expectations that the power shortage was likely ever to be resolved. Rather, he said he tried to talk Matra out of F1 while driving for the team. He believed the French company should concentrate on endurance racing. Eventually, Matra execs bought Amon's argument. One enduring problem with the Matra F1 engine was that the rods stretched. This was discovered when the F1 team ran out of F1 spec engines and had to turn to endurance spec units to plug the gap.




                                The F2 team was an F2 engine building company begun in partnership with Aubrey Woods. It was Woods' idea, Amon said. Amon Engines proved to be a financial sinkhole and was sold to March at a loss.




                                Where to begin?

                                Amon had a deal with March to rejoin the team for 1973. He agreed to the contract after testing the 721G. Amon said he learned that March had fired him while enjoying a 1972 Christmas vacation at home in New Zealand. He said he heard the news on the radio. March had brokered Amon's deal to drive for BMW and Amon theorized that Max Mosley attempted to get the Germans to pay for his F1 ride, too. When BMW balked, Mosley put out a press statement blaming Amon for the split. Mosley said that Amon wanted more money. Amon, who thought that by rejoining March he might be made whole for the money Mosley still owed him for 1970, said he never brought up the subject of money once the deal was done. Amon ended up calling March the worst team he ever raced for, far more political than even Ferrari. The funded Jean-Pierre Jarier and his backer were dropped by March in 1972 because of financial troubles and replaced by a better funded driver. After overachieving in the U.S. Jarier and his backer were invited back to March in 1973 to do some donkey work. This led Jarier back to F2. He said he ended up getting a March F1 drive because he was a cheap alternative. The Frenchman said he had lots of problems with Mosley over money.

                                It is a stretch to say that Amon moved to Tecno. To be strictly accurate, his deal was with Martini & Rossi, not Tecno. Representing Martini in the negotiations was David Yorke, Martini's F1 program chief at the time. Amon ended up at Tecno the same way Derek Bell did, he was placed there by the sponsor when the Italians went against Yorke's advice and thought that Italian money should be spent on an Italian team that produced an Italian chassis and engine.

                                It's a stretch to say that Tecno hired two designers to build the best car the fastest they could. In fact, the original PA123 had a relatively long gestation. Conceived as a mule by Tecno, the original lumpish spaceframed, paneled car did not meet F1 regulations when it was unveiled and had to be revised. The Italians engaged Allan McCall to design a monocoque chassis that would be used as a teaching tool for Tecno — the team's chassis-building skills were primitive. McCall said his car was never intended to be raced and was designed accordingly. He said that when the Italians demanded his more state-of-the-art car should be used in competition the decision created a split between him and the Pederzanis. McCall would soon leave. There was also a third chassis being designed. Yorke, acting in his capacity as Martini's F1 boss, had engaged a British consultancy to produce a chassis for 1973.

                                It's a stretch to think think that concurrent F1 chassis projects by a team was unusual. Lotus, Ferrari, BRM and MRD (for BRO), for instance, all engaged in multiple concurrent F1 chassis projects prior to Tecno's arrival on the F1 scene.

                                Contrary to your claims, Amon's career was not in the doldrums nor he was a forgotten man needing funding as evidenced by the quality F1 offers he turned down. Amon turned down many top-rank offers because he was suffering from burnout. Figuring racing was all he knew, he elected to accept only those offers he felt were low stress. He originally viewed Tecno as low stress because it was a startup and because he said he loved life in Italy. While he said he believed Tecno's chassis would be nothing to crow about, he thought the Pederzani's flat 12 engine was more powerful than Matra's even if it wasn't on par with the DFV. That claim could not be proved reportedly because none of the Tecno flat 12 engines ever saw a dyno. Amon's decision to try F5000 also was a product of burnout. The decision was not due to the idea that he thought it would be a useful step in rehabilitating his reputation. He said he thought the friendly atmosphere of an F5000 paddock would would help to moderate his anxiety and help to temper the fiery wobblies that had frightened so many.

                                That this ended up being unsuccessful was due to Amon being stuck with a white elephant of a car. Crude, overweight and poorly built, Amon's older Talon was far different than the newer Talons being raced. His F5000 adventures also were brought to a halt because the owner Amon drove for stiffed him for his salary. Not wanting to be forced to ship the car back to the U.S., the owner settled his debts with the driver by giving him the car. Otherwise useless, Amon elected to engage an engineer friend to transform the car into a single-seat Can-Am vehicle. He hoped it could make him a little money. The engineer said he talked Dallara into letting him use its premises for the conversion and Amon said he talked Walter Wolf into paying for it. Amon decided to retire after witnessing Brian Redman's Can-Am crash at St. Jovite. Redman and Amon were close friends. Redman's death, his heart stopped but he was revived, proved to be too much for Amon. He said he had seen too much death and too many injuries since he began racing at age 16. He was going home to New Zealand.

                                It's a stretch to say that Mo Nunn hired Amon to drive for Ensign. The truth is that the idea for the Amon-Ensign pairing came from a writer friend of Amon's. He planted the seed of Amon driving for Nunn in Nunn's head and then put the two of them together. Nunn thought the pairing would raise Ensign's profile, especially after battles with the Hogeboom brothers nearly brought the team to ruin. Amon thought it would be a low pressure way to make a few dollars. He changed his mind in thinking that driving for an underfunded, fun-loving team running hand-me-down engines would be balm for his burnout following troubles in Sweden and following Niki Lauda's accident at the Ring. Although Amon said he had decided to leave Ensign at the end of the season, he said he informed Nunn after Lauda's accident that he didn't trust the car and that he should no longer drive it. Nunn should get someone else, Amon said he told Nunn.

                                The Kiwi called the high-tech Amon F101 the worst car he ever drove, not because the car was irredeemable but because it kept falling apart. He said the car could have worked had more resources been available. The car was done on a shoestring budget. Nevertheless, he termed the project a disaster. Amon said he couldn't abandon the effort when he received another offer because that new offer came too late. He was committed to the AF101 by then. Amon called the March 701 the worst car, period.
                                Wowww!!!!!!!! You have many years of working on the field or you're an experienced historian? It's absolutely fascinating!!!! I'm glad I learnt so much. I wrote from an article I did some research when I started working for Autosport Portugal, and it wasn't so deep.

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