Clip The Apex
In 1976 Montreal hosted the Summer Olympic games. This in itself is not that interesting a fact but what is interesting is that it is estimated that the Olympic stadium cost the city of Montreal somewhere in the region of 1.6 billion Canadian Dollars by the time the bill was fully paid in 2006. What does this have to do with F1? Well apart from the obvious, that the Circuit Ile Notre-Dame, as it was originally known, or the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve as it became known, is partly built around the 1976 Olympic Rowing lake, there is a wider reason to celebrate the GP. In the wake of the Olympics the city almost bankrupted itself. Such was the dodgy state of the finances after the Canadian government insisted that the full costs were met by the City, that anything that wasn't nailed down was auctioned off. What this highlights is that while on the surface, it would seem to be the greatest show on earth, under the surface the shear effort required to project that image can do lasting damage. Surely an analogy for F1 if ever there was one.
This is why we must celebrate Canada and the Canadian GP. From the moment that Gilles Villeneuve won the first race held in Montreal in 1978 the circuit has proven time and time again what an asset it is to the F1 calendar. There are any number of great moments that spring to mind from Button harrying Vettel into a last lap mistake to take an unlikely win, to the hilarity of Nelson Piquet winning for Benetton in 91 after Mansell had caused his own engine to cut out when he’d been leading by a mile and slowed down to wave to the crowd. There are even small events such as Takuma Sato in his Super Aguri chasing down and eventually passing Fernando Alonso to finish in 6th place. A move that gained him the award for ‘Overtake of the year’ showing that F1 fans have a sense of humour even in F1 doesn't.
Greeting Comrades, glorious Russian Empire is proud to host electric car racing on streets of Moscow. Enough of the clichés and stereotyping, it's round 9 and this race will be run around the Kremlin, just down the road from Red Square. Wow! Poor old Bernie must be spitting teeth as he has tried for years to get an F1 race around the streets of Moscow.
Formula E had it's first controversy in the last race with Lucas di Grassi being disqualified after the Audi Sport ABT team had made illegal changes to the front wing of his car. This has put Nelson Piquet jnr at the head of the Championship with a 2 point lead of Sebastian Buemi. This series, I suppose as all spec series do, shows the qualities of the drivers rather than the technical brilliance of the designers although I believe that will change next season with more freedom for the entrants on the chassis and motor front.
The Moscow circuit features not 1 but 2 hairpins and two long straights so fan boost could be more important at this race than perhaps at others. Expect the usual suspects to be at the front (no Mephistopheles that doesn't mean Kaiser Soze will be racing) so if you haven't voted for fave yet, get on line and push da button.
An homage to my favourite driver. Fast, honest and one of the unluckiest Grand Prix drivers ever.
Jarier was born in 1946 and after competing in Formula France moved on to F3, finishing 3rd in the French Championship in 1970. 1971 saw him in F2 and debut in F1 in a rented March at Monza.
For 1973 Jarier raced in F1 for March and also in the F2 Championship. His exploits in F1 were pretty unremarkable that season and he was replaced at various points by pay drivers as the March team were struggling for cash. However, he took the F2 title with seven wins beating the likes of Jochen Mass,John Watson and Patrick Depailler.
For 1974 Jumper, a name he acquired at March as Robin Herd's son pronounced Jean-Pierre as "jumper", moved on the the Shadow team. Following the death of Peter Revson in testing in South Africa Jarier became team leader and managed a 3rd place in Monaco, his first points in F1. He followed this up with 5th in Sweden.
1975 should have been his break through year. He put the Shadow DN5 on pole in Argentina, only to break down on the warm up lap. He did the same in Brazil but then retired, whilst leading, due to problems with the fuel system. The season then petered out as and Jarier's only points came from a 4th place in the Spanish GP, which ended before half distance due to a huge accident which killed 5 spectators. Shadow even tried a Matra V12 engine in their car during 1975 but this proved to be just as unreliable as the Cosworth engine.
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