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  For the record, as most of you will know, Pastor Maldonado won the Spanish Grand Prix for Williams Grand Prix Engineering, heading home King Fernando’s Ferrari and Raikkonen in the Lotus. Some will know that this was the first win for Williams since Juan Pablo Montoya won the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix. Some, possibly fewer, will know that the last time five different drivers from five different teams won the first five races of a season was some twenty nine years ago in 1983. Coincidentally enough, the fifth winner that year was also sitting in a Williams as Keke Rosberg won at Monaco.



  Two of the other winning teams back in ’83 were also Ferrari (Patrick Tambay – San Marino GP) and McLaren (John Watson – Long Beach GP) just as King Fernando and young Master Button have emulated this season. One of those five races was also won by a “factory” team (Alain Prost for Renault – French GP) – see Nico Rosberg – while the final one was won by a factory supported former world champion (Nelson Piquet for Brabham-BMW – Brazilian GP), Sebastian Vettel anyone?? Oh, and of course, one of those races was won by a Rosberg….




   What makes this current season even more mixed up is that the have also been five different drivers and teams taking second place in each of the five races so far and only now have we had someone leading the title chase that has already led it this year. Well actually, make that two drivers leading the title chase that have led it before as both Sebastian Vettel and King Fernando sit at the top of the table with 61 points. In 1983 at this point there were just four drivers within one wins worth of points from the championship lead, this year that number is seven.

   The sixth race of 1983 was the Belgian Grand Prix, returning for the first time in thirteen years to the beautiful Spa Francorchamps. It was won by Alain Prost in the Renault breaking the run of different winners but had it not been for the hideous reliability of the Alfa Romeos of the time, then Andrea de Cesaris may well have made it six from six. There were two starts that day, due to a first lap pile up and Andrea made stunning starts to lead both versions and looked imperious until his V8 turbo started loosing grunt on lap 18. By lap 25 the smoking Alfa sat by the side of the track and the seasons run was at an end.

   Had Andrea won however, the run of different winners would have extended to eight as Michele Alboreto (Tyrrell) won the next race at Detroit and Rene Arnoux won in Canada for Ferrari before Prost took his third win in Britain. This kicked off a tit-for-tat run of wins as Arnoux won in Germany, Prost In Austria and Arnoux again in Holland. So Prost had four wins and Arnoux three, anyone else had no more than one so one would have thought that the title was to be decided between these two Frenchmen. But both Renault and Ferrari had dropped off their development programme while one other team was just ramping theirs up – massively. And some would say dubiously.

    In those, more innocent days, teams used fuel supplied by fuel companies. There may have been some reasonably exotic blends but nothing too extraordinary. That was until one German engineer discovered the mixture that had been only previously used by Werner von Braun in powering the V2 rockets of World War Two. Raymond Roche used a version of this mix to give the four cylinder BMW turbo engine an advantage that was beyond the other manufacturers to combat. Wins followed for Brabham-BMW in the final three Grand Prix as Nelson Piquet won at both Monza and Brands Hatch and Riccardo Patrese took out the season finale at Kyalami. Piquet pipped Prost for the title by just two points after an exciting season. Eight drivers from six teams had won races in the fifteen race series.

   If that sounds good these days, it was nothing out of the ordinary in the early Eighties. In 1982, in sixteen races, eleven drivers from seven teams won races with the World Champion – Keke Rosberg – winning just one race, the Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois. No driver won more than twice. 1981 had seven different drivers from six different teams winning races.  

  So 2012 is just like those good old days where you had absolutely no idea, heading into a Grand Prix weekend who would come out on top. It is possibly more likely, than 1983, that we will get six different winners from the first six races of this year as the team that most expected to possibly win in Spain, finished only third. It appears only a matter of time before Lotus returns to the top of the podium with both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in superb form in a car that is as good as any in race trim.




    The outstanding job Pirelli are doing in making their tyres hard to fathom for the teams is making for great, unpredictable racing, despite the moaning of some “Nigels” in the paddock. Most notable is the continually underperforming Herr Schumacher who must have just won the “Hypocritical Fuckwit of the Year” award with his whining about Bruno Senna “swerving” in the braking zone in Spain. Even if Bruno did swerve, Schumacher has no right to whinge. Just ask Rubens, or Felipe, or Ralf, or Mika, or Jacques. or Damon, etc etc etc. Fortunately the stewards saw the accident for what it was, a German balls-up, and have smacked Schumacher with a five spot penalty at Monaco.

     About time too.

  For full results go to;


Sam Snape