By Carlo Carluccio
Written in association with Missed Apex Podcast. Listen in the player below the article and please don't forget to comment.
F1 has been part of my life since the mid 70’s; I celebrated my 8th birthday on the day that Lauda survived his legendary crash at the Nurburgring. I have seen teams come and go, consumed by the falsehood of equal competition, watched tragedy unfold on my television screen and witnessed the crowning glory of both brilliant and the merely good drivers. My perception of the runners and riders has undoubtedly changed over the decades but one thing remains true – I am still passionate about my chosen sport.
I make no secret of my utter disdain that Ferrari are perceived to be a number 1 and 2 team set-up whilst every other team is offered as above this sort of behaviour. I doubt Mark Webber felt equal to Sebastian Vettel during his tenure. After all didn’t he declare ‘Not bad for a number two?’
Sadly, although I have chatted with David Coulthard it was not about his Mclaren years and I certainly don’t believe Juan Pablo Montoya would have particularly kind words to offer about equal treatment whilst driving for the Woking concern.
The challenge I offer to anybody is to provide a team name which has an unblemished history where team-orders have never been used. I consider Williams, alongside Ferrari, as the most challenging team to drive for - quite simply the car/ team means more than the drivers.
Yet even this paragon of virtue has a sullied history - Carlos Reutemann refused to move over for Alan Jones in 1981 at the second round in Brazil. Carlos led throughout the race and refused to give up his victory – Jones was furious because he had it written into his contract…
To my way of thinking if your contract states that you are number two, there will be certain parameters in place. It could imply any new parts go to the number one driver, when spare cars were allowed it would be designated but most often it means that the No.1 has to finish ahead of his team-mate… when ordered…
Surely if you have anything about you the decision is easy. You fight. You qualify in front and lead the designated number 1 and give up the position before the end. How soon would your reputation rise and the other be in tatters. Surely if Barrichello had driven for Ferrari like that, the team would have gravitated behind him?
I met Barrichello when he raced in the British F3 championship. Nice enough bloke, much as his nemesis David Coulthard was, but I didn’t feel either would be exceptional talents in F1. It seems barely creditable that it is now 13 years since the Brazilian won arguably his greatest ever race. As a Ferrari fan it is so hard to pass credit on to this whiner.
A man who cried like an infant every time he tried dancing like Norman Wisdom on the podium. A man who took pleasure for winning races which Schumacher had deigned he could have. What a joke. Yet in 2003 he wrong footed every opponent and performed in a manner that any driver would have been proud of.
For the second time in his career a track invader brought Rubens a victory. He started from pole position, took fastest lap and won the race. But to this day, other than the horrifying site of an Irish priest running along Hanger Straight towards the drivers, it was the number 2 Ferrari that showcased brilliant over-taking.
The over-rated Raikkonen was in his second year of his Mclaren tenure yet Rubens lined him up for a quite sensational pass that began on the exit of Stowe corner and culminated in a forced error half a lap later as they raced through Bridge corner.