Influencers

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Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:55 am

To try and inject a bit of interest into the forum;

A staple part of any historic forum's output revolves around; "The Best Ever Drivers". No doubt in the fullness of time it will appear here, but in the meantime who do you think have had the greatest influence on motor sport since it's earliest days. It requires some thought especially in very early times, however, a few names seem obvious;

1) Bernie Ecclestone. Love him or hate him there is no denying that he has changed the face of Grands Prix turning it into F1 a global sport watched by millions and making a lot of people very wealthy, not least himself.

2) Enzo Ferrari. Founder of the most iconic marque that still epitomises the glamour of motor racing.

3) Jackie Stewart. Mainly because of his drive to improve safety standards, which changed the image of the driver from a daredevil to a professional sportsman.

4) Colin Chapman. Brought a new level of technology to construction of cars revolutionising the shape and style of cars forever.

I am sure that there are many other candidates waiting for someone to promote their cause. How about it? Care to have a crack?

Damned fine idea.
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Re: Influencers

Post by Greg Mackie on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:08 am

You probably won't be surprised that I should suggest this trio:-

Sir Jack Brabham, Ron Tauranac, and Phil Irving. They combined to produce some noteworthy results.
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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:15 pm

Greg Mackie wrote:You probably won't be surprised that I should suggest this trio:-

Sir Jack Brabham, Ron Tauranac, and Phil Irving. They combined to produce some noteworthy results.

Well surprise, surprise, three Australians! Shocked  What about Stan Jones, Alan Jones, Mark Webber, and that Rickety rackety bloke, and what about Slim Dusty? tongue 

OK1 I agree great achievers, but influencers? Sir Jack probably but Ron and Phil. Hmmm!

Brabham along with John Cooper probably did more that anyone to bring about the move to rear-engine Grand Prix cars (not the first, there was Auto Union for the pedants.) which trend continues to this day. Yeah! We can include him, but you still have some work to do on RALT.

PS; Are you feeling a bit like Norman No-Mates? We seem to have the place to ourselves.
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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:17 pm

Thinking about sea change, how about Adolf Hitler? His determination to make Germany a great Power again brought us Mercedes Benz, Auto Union and the Nurburgring, and there is no doubting the impact they had on motor racing. Now there's a thought!!!
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Re: Influencers

Post by Greg Mackie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:21 am

damned1 wrote:Thinking about sea change, how about Adolf Hitler? His determination to make Germany a great Power again brought us Mercedes Benz, Auto Union and the Nurburgring, and there is no doubting the impact they had on motor racing. Now there's a thought!!!
Not to mention synthetic oil - or did you tell me not to mention synthetic oil?
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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:54 pm

Greg Mackie wrote:
damned1 wrote:Thinking about sea change, how about Adolf Hitler? His determination to make Germany a great Power again brought us Mercedes Benz, Auto Union and the Nurburgring, and there is no doubting the impact they had on motor racing. Now there's a thought!!!
Not to mention synthetic oil - or did you tell me not to mention synthetic oil?

As long as you do not post pictures of synthetic oil you will be OK!
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Re: Influencers

Post by Greg Mackie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:57 pm

Not even a Mobil one ?
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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:39 pm

Greg Mackie wrote:Not even a Mobil one ?

Are you being silly or are you proposing Mobil oil as one of the great influencers of motor sport? We would need good reason for either of these scenarios.

Not to wander into the 'greatest driver thingy', but how much influence on the popularity of the sport do you think could be put down to individual drivers. Stirling Moss was a household name at least in the UK during the fifties, and Mike Hawthorn also captured the public's imagination, while Ayrton Senna was also pretty much an icon of the sport in his day. Nigel Mansell was another who had quite a high profile over here, and the crowds at the British Grand Prix always ensured a sell-out when he was racing. Probably Sir Jack had a similar effect in Oz?

I suppose the advent of TV must also be considered as an influence, considering how it brought a relatively low key sport into everyone's living room.

Anyone else have thoughts?
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Re: Influencers

Post by DavidHack on Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:44 am

damned1 wrote:Thinking about sea change, how about Adolf Hitler? His determination to make Germany a great Power again brought us Mercedes Benz, Auto Union and the Nurburgring, and there is no doubting the impact they had on motor racing. Now there's a thought!!!

Yes indeed, and without Adolf we wouldn't have needed all those airfields and army bases - so no Silverstone or Oulton Park.

While I'm here can I put in a word for Frank Costin, Keith Duckworth and Walter Hayes. Without the engineering skills of the first two and the Ford money of the latter, there would have been no DFV - arguably the most successful racing engine ever built.

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Re: Influencers

Post by Greg Mackie on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:14 am

Thanks for the reminder, Bob...it's time for me to pop down to see the Doctor. Every year, around about this time, I have my influencer needle - commonly known as a "Flu shot".
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Re: Influencers

Post by Regazzoni on Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:28 am

I have to reflect on this a bit more. Ecclestone, Ferrari and Chapman they obviously have been very influential for the sport in different ways. Less certain about Stewart, sure he did a lot, but attitudes were bound to change anyway and drivers kept on dying in barbaric ways well past his times. Look at what happened to Siffert ('71) or Revson ('74) and De Angelis dying in pretty much the same way as late as 1986.
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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:49 pm

Regazzoni wrote:I have to reflect on this a bit more. Ecclestone, Ferrari and Chapman they obviously have been very influential for the sport in different ways. Less certain about Stewart, sure he did a lot, but attitudes were bound to change anyway and drivers kept on dying in barbaric ways well past his times. Look at what happened to Siffert ('71) or Revson ('74) and De Angelis dying in pretty much the same way as late as 1986.

A lot of people have influenced motor sport, some in a major way and other in a smaller way. I put Stewart in the latter category, but I think he did influence attitudes to safety, and probably started the move towards a safer sport. Let's face it I am sure that a lot of today's drivers would not be in the sport if death rates were as high as the '50's & '60's, it's easy to fling a Formula 1 car about knowing you are in a virtually bomb proof capsule. Not one of those competing today would care to race an ERA, Alfa 158, Lotus 18 (?) on a circuit lined with trees, walls, kerbs, and spectators leaning in the road, and divest of asbestos underwear, and safety belts etc..

It would be hard to argue against your trio, certainly made a big impact on F1, and indeed other categories.

Even I don't go back far enough to name any of the very earliest influencers, although names like C S Rolls, Ettore Bugatti, Maserati must reckon to a degree.
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Re: Influencers

Post by Regazzoni on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:54 am

Stewart started it, but one factor that crucially influenced the safety movement of the ‘70s was the increased media coverage, particularly live tv reporting, that made the public at large aware of what went on in the sport. Peterson’ accident extensive coverage was a watershed, but probably Lauda was more influential, because he survived it, the way he did, his comeback from the dead at Monza and his strong personality, much less pc than the Scot.
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Re: Influencers

Post by DavidHack on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:17 am

Jackie Stewart was very influential in a different way too. He founded Stewart Grand Prix, using Ford money, then sold the team to Ford (a credit to the Scot's business acumen that - selling a multinational company something they had paid for in the first place). Ford renamed it Jaguar F1 and made a right pig's ear of running it before selling out to Dieter Mateschitz, who turned it into Red Bull Racing, which won four drivers and constructors titles in a row

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Re: Influencers

Post by Bob Bull on Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:31 pm

Do you remember Jean Balestre the President of the FIA for many years? He was a French and seemed to have a bias against 'Le Rosbifs', leading to Max Mosely standing for the job.

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