10 Feb 2013

Australian F1 Grand Prix 1987

Between 1985 and 1995 the Australian F1 Grand Prix was held on the Adelaide street circuit in South Australia.It was the last event on the F1 calendar every year and it had the most wonderful "end of term" party atmosphere and the fans,drivers and the teams loved it .
Adelaide is a very pleasant city and the whole city got behind the race.The circuit was great and with a couple of exceptions the race was held in beautiful weather.Then in 1995 the little money grabbing gnome decided that he could make more money by giving the Grand Prix to Melbourne and the Adelaide Grand Prix was no more.Typical.
I have literally just found these atmospheric shots from the 1987 race taken by me on the saturday afternoon practice from the roof of the pits.I can't remember how I got up there but nowadays it would be impossible unless I was a FOB ( friend of Bernie).Which I never will be.
The first photo shows the Minardi of Alessandro Nannini outside his pit.Minardi was an Italian team which was always underfunded but always professionally presented and always pushing hard.Luck was not running Alessandro's way that race.He started in 13 position on the grid and had an accident at the first corner after the start.Adelaide is a long way to go to go off at the first corner.
The second picture shows the cars massed on the pit lane waiting for the practice session to start.In those days the cars circulated together in practice -- no single flying lap qualifying.No glass offices and banks of computer monitors on the pit wall.Just umbrellas and old style pit boards.Many on the pit lane look like they are actually enjoying themselves whereas nowadays it is almost compulsory to look as if you have just been told of the death of a dearly loved relative if you are on pit lane.Look at the cloudless sky -- and the size of the crowd on the practice day.
The photos were taken on Konica colour negative film on my Leica M4P.
All wonderful and great fun and sadly long gone .Now money rules and fans don't count.

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