Clip The Apex
The year was 1986. I was still a young child and the world of motorsport had not yet captured my attention but a revolution in British motorsport got underway. Thanks to a new act of Parliament, Superprix was born.
It was a typical August bank holiday in Birmingham, torrential rain and a bumpy circuit around closed city centre roads meant F3000 racing was difficult and dangerous. Crashes on almost every corner and the tricky weather conditions meant the race was cut short and only half points awarded but even so the crowd enjoyed the experience and although the organisers made a loss the event would return again.
The following years brought the crowds to Birmingham seeking the thrill of close and personal street racing. Then the NIMBY's had their say. Led by MP Clare Short, the act of Parliament was opposed and 5 years after it's creation Superprix would just become a memory.
Fast-forward to 2014 and due to recent events such as London 2012 & the Tour De France Grand Depart public opinion has changed. In a bid to keep the mob happy David Cameron has announced a change in the law to be considered in the upcoming deregulation bill. This change in the law would allow such events like the Superprix to return to our roads. It would also allow events like the recent Jim Clark rally and other historic racing such as the London to Brighton Race to be competitive once more instead of being limited by current speed limits.
For the 28th time in a row we come to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix. That actually makes this the 3rd longest serving track on the calendar with Spa taking a break for 2003 and Silverstone not having the British Grand Prix in 1986. So rightfully should be given the ‘classic’ status as an event. It isn’t a phrase used very often for the track though as it greatly divides opinion amongst fans due to the difficult nature if passing on the track. Its often described as Monaco without the walls and whilst to some that is a negative tag for me, as I love Monaco, it’s a compliment. The twisty nature of the dust bowl that is Hungry is a great leveller for car performance or for at least mixing up the running order as due to the place barely having a straight the teams can’t just rely on horsepower to blast their way through. One of the reasons I personally love the track is because a driver who dials himself into the track can really make a difference. If a driver picks their lines spot on and finds the best spots on the tarmac for grip they can arguably get more of a gain at this track than on any other track all season.
Personally I fell in love with the Hungaroring after watching the tense battle of the Boutsen train in 1990. For me that was F1 at its finest as the best in the business at the time put each other under pressure and tried as hard as they can to find a way to the front. Boutsen held on with the defensive drive of his life but Senna came above the rest to take the 2nd spot although he and Berger both got away with basically punting Naninni and Mansell out of the race in moves now that would have the stewards jumping over themselves to slap on massive penalty’s. Speaking of penalty’s it would be amiss of me not to mention what, for me, was the overtake of the season by Grosjean last year that was ‘disallowed’ due to a dubious judgement of track limits.
Winning the World Title is a great achievement. Defending is a lot more difficult. With the talk of the decline of Sebastian Vettel, it is an apt time to look at how the World Champions have fared the year after their title victory.
1951 - Guiseppe Farina
Farina was 1950 champion off the back of Juan Manuel Fangio's greater record of unreliability, which was not carried forward into 1951. Farina's only victory came as Fangio hit problems, finishing 4 laps down in 9th place. Alfa Romeo were challenged in 1951 by Ferrari too, with Ascari and Gonzalez eclipsing Farina's total to leave the Italian fourth in the final standings.
1952 - Juan Manuel Fangio
Although Fangio's chances in 1952 would have been minimal in anything but a Ferrari, as it was he was injured and competed in no Championship events.
1953 - Alberto Ascari
Victorious in all of his races in 1952, Ferrari's dominance of the F2 formula used for the World Championship was maintained. Ascari won the first three races with the exception of Indianapolis, which this year he did not attempt. He would be beaten by team-mate Hawthorn and both Maseratis in the French Grand Prix, but wins in his two remaining finishes at Silverstone and Bremgarten were more than enough to yet again secure the title by a massive margin.