January 17, 2010

Car Wars 1979

The 1979 formula 1 season, it was a time when there was much freedom for designers to come up with radically different solutions but it was also deemed the year when any driver in the right car could win the championship and Formula 1 had become "boring". The "machine over man" era was said to have begun. In reality, that was always the case, unless you are Nuvolari defeating Silver Arrows in an ancient Alfa, you can't win with inferior equipment.

Interesting tidbits in this old film, Hunt strikes a familiar note arguing Formula 1 had gotten boring and how people tune in with the hope of witnessing an exciting race, more then the expectation to. Yet when people quote the "good old days of F1 they invariably point to the 1979 duel between Villeneuve and Arnoux at the French GP. Today many claim F1 is boring, yet we had three incredibly close seasons in a row.

Did you notice just how shabby F1 was back then? I mean a Mclaren with chipped mirror housings? Drivers with stone pitted helmets? Even the GoodYear stencil on the tires looks sloppy and forget about safety in the pits, the cars or along the track. Ecclestone, Dennis and Mosley changed all that in the 80's.

Part 2 and 3 are after the jump.


  1. The past three F1 seasons have been incredibly close, but have been largely overshadowed by the off-track controversies and politics.

    The track selections aren't helping either. Valencia and Abu Dhabi are filled with festivities and glamour because of how much money Ecclestone dumps into them, but when it gets into the real racing it just isn't exciting anymore.

  2. The point you miss is that it wasn't that *exiting* in the 70's. That's misplaced nostalgia by people who never saw most races live (condenced replays always look 'exciting'), and vaguly remember some excitment while at the track.

    Then you have younger guys who see youtube clips of - for example - the Gilles vs Rene battle and assumed that happened all race, every race. No way.

  3. Great bit of vid thanks for getting us ready for the coming season

  4. I've only been watching F1 for the past two seasons, but I felt that Abu Dhabi was actually pretty exciting. Nakajima challenging Button, and Button trying to pass Webber at the end??? That was all good stuff IMO.

  5. I was not alive in the 70's but try to watch as many full races of that era as I can. The old races are more exciting. The old tracks are better, and the old cars are cooler.

  6. Great find - hopefully we have a good year in store for F1...or at a minimum better than last year.


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