31 Mar 2011


Another superb shot courtesy of Roger Putnam .As Roger explains-" It was taken by David Phipps - a well known F1 photographer on the test track at Hethel  as the 49 with the Cosworth DFV engine was rolled out for the first time. Graham Hill is bending over the cockpit and Colin and Maurice Phillipe, the designer are on the left. Hazel, Clive and myself are on the right. Walter Hayes, Ford of Europe's Communications Director and great friend of Henry Ford II is just out of shot. Colin persuaded Walter (later Aston Martin Chairman) to get Ford to fund the engine. About 5 days later Jimmy won the Dutch GP in this very car, just out of the box."

Looking at this car the most striking feature is the clean lines due to the total absence of aerodynamic devices . The design of today's formula 1 cars is totally dictated by aerodynamic considerations and it is the aerodynamic devices which are making overtaking very difficult if not totally impossible .

Despite my best intentions I did see a fair bit of last weekend's Australian Grand Prix courtesy of Star TV out of the corner of one eye in a restaurant/bar in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam .And yes, it was another very boring high speed procession with the only significant overtaking confined to the pit lane .The so called rule changes introduced to "improve" overtaking seem to be totally ineffective.The only high spot for me was that Sebastian Vettel appeared to be smiling after the race but I am sure that it was just a severe case of stomach cramps .The crowds were thin and no wonder -Melburnians in particular and Australians generally have better things to spend their money on than going to another boring formula 1 race .
There are clear signs that the govt of the state of Victoria is jacking up paying the exorbitant eight figure annual fee to the F1 overlords for the "honour" of running the grand prix . Most Victorian taxpayers think that the money would be better spent on education or public transport or hospitals and they would be dead right .The emperor has no clothes.


  1. Another great shot John. See my comment on the Graham Hill Elan. Contact me ( and I'll give you some details. Best Rob

  2. Loving this photo. Hazel and Clive being there makes Lotus look a family concern back then. Wish I'd been born 20 years earlier.