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F1 champions at Bahrain – slideshow
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F1 champions at Bahrain – slideshow
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Mar 2010   |  6:58 pm GMT  |  59 comments

The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix brought out 17 of the 19 living F1 world champions to the season opener last weekend.

Some of them took part in a parade in their championship winning cars or in other cars which were laid on for them to drive.

On Sunday morning I went down to the tent behind the paddock to see the drivers getting into their cars before the parade. It was incredible.

Here were the cars and drivers I had grown up watching. I have worked with and got to know quite a few of them, like Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter and Jackie Stewart in particular, but had never had the chance to see them in their original cars and certainly not together.

Seeing Jackie’s car, lined up behind Emerson’s, both drivers sitting in the cockpit with umbrellas sheltering them from the sun, was like being back in the early 1970s.

An astonishing experience.

It was like being on a movie set. These photos don’t really do it justice, but I wanted to share them with you anyway.

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59 Comments
  1. Zobra Wambleska says:

    James, thank you for that. I’ve been following F1 since 1956 and getting to go back and visit some of the greats from the past is just such a treat.

  2. Dom says:

    Did you get a pic of Ron in a Ferrari?

  3. Steve Arnott says:

    Brilliant, James.

    I know you work very hard and deserve it, but you’re one lucky guy…

  4. Alex says:

    Thank you for the slide show.

    I bet it was amaizing to see allmost all the champions in one place in their original cars which took them to their victories.

    The only complaint that I can think of is the lack of coverage about this special event. Of course, it was mentioned on the bbc and there were even some photos (such as these), but is it possible that the coverage of this frankly astonishing event will be put into some sort aniversary movie/news report that could be brought to wider audience of f1 fans?

    Because it is a pitty that the only the lucky ones that could come to Bahrain shall have the best memories of it.

  5. Steve W says:

    Thanks James, great pictures. It really was amazing to see all those world champions together at one event, especially with some of the world championship winning cars as well. It must have been amazing experience being there amongst it.

  6. Betbotpro says:

    great pics james, i know what you mean about bringing back memories. Spooky!

  7. S.J.M says:

    Fantastic display of these past cars, some of them look so good that id use the word sexy to describe them. The JPS livery Lotus 72 is just incredibly good looking and always stand out in pictures. In a way its a shame that its on a track in the middle of a desert and not a historical track in Europe that has drawn them together, but all the same its top marks for pulling it off.

    Most of us will only see these cars in museums or on old footage on youtube, but its a nice to see them 20-50 years from their retirement & actually on a racetrack. Nice gesture in sharing this James, Thank you.

  8. Seymour Quilter says:

    Pictures look great James, that black and gold JPS livery is my favourite from when I was a kid in the 70′s. Pity TV coverage didn’t feature this more as this kind of thing has always made GPs special for me, for example the Historic GPs after the F1 race a few years back had more on track action than the current situation!

  9. f1mikey says:

    There has to be $$ in a DVD of the weekend with 5 – 10 minute conversations with each driver before the track, on the track and then when they got out.
    This is totally historical stuff, as others have said it is such a waste not to have this filmed for postarity. So few of us F! crazies with every get to see any of this other than a few fuzzy photos on Utube.

    Spend some time on getting the interviews and footage together. I will be happy to send you my $$. Your book was great, it sold out. You are the dude that keeps us in the loop. We just need more of it.
    James thank you very much for this.

  10. iceman says:

    Are there definitely only 19 living world champions? I have:
    1. Brabham
    2. Surtees
    3. Stewart
    4. Fittipaldi
    5. Lauda
    6. Andretti
    7. Scheckter
    8. Jones
    9. Piquet
    10. Rosberg
    11. Prost
    12. Mansell
    13. Schumacher
    14. Damon Hill
    15. Villeneuve
    16. Hakkinen
    17. Alonso
    18. Raikkonen
    19. Hamilton
    20. Button
    One of those must be dead or not a champion – someone help me out here!

    1. kowalski says:

      kimi and piquet didn’t show up.

    2. Robert Powers says:

      Should read 18 of 20.James was overtaken by the emotion of the moment,and we understand.And he works a lot.

    3. Cabby says:

      Your list is correct, I think.

      It is true that 2 drivers were not in Bahrain, Piquet and Raikkonen, but it should 18 from 20, not 17 from 19, because Niki Lauda was there too, maybe he arrivied late and was not on the pic taken by @fifthdriver – for proof take a look at the pic on Joe Saward’s blog.

    4. NikiTheRat says:

      I think the confusion was caused by the earlier picture James posted of the champions together.

      You can count seventeen in shot, knowing there were two absentees makes nineteen but one man, a triple champion, wasn’t in position.

    5. Francis says:

      You appear to be right!

  11. Bill Day says:

    Great men, beautiful machines. You wonder what their emotions must have been as they were strapped into those machines. The picture of John Surtees gave me chills.

    Two that I wish could have been there: Phil Hill (died just a couple of years ago) and Graham Hill.

    And oh how I wish this event had been in Europe, the spiritual home of F1.

  12. smellyden says:

    I guess with all the money Bahrain goverment pumped into this GP, are they a little miffed at how everyone is called it a naff race. Would the crown prince be re considering his position with F1?

    1. Gilles says:

      James,
      just a suggestion: can you do a piece on how the track layout change came about ? I’m a bit mystified as to why they would be lead to believe these extra turns would actually help overtaking …
      Could be valid for Korea later in the year as well: how did they go about designing their track ? Who did they consult with ?
      Surely, Tilke’s main aim can’t have been to serve up boring races …

      1. Stevie P says:

        My hunch is that the extension was done purely to trump Abu Dhabi’s length, making Bahrain the second longest GP after Spa, but the PR speak was to say “it’ll improve over-taking chances”. Pah!

        Watch out for a water-slide and\or a loop the loop feature at Abu Dhabi next ;-) as they try to out do each other.

        James – great shots of the older cars and drivers; lovely stuff!!

      2. Gilles says:

        If that is the case, then that really saddens me.
        Should HRH however seek some consultancy on this issue, he’ll know who to speak to now…

      3. Stevie P says:

        It’s only a hunch of mine; but why haven’t Bahrain used that loop before? It’s been there since the track was created.

        For me, I’ve always liked turn 4, then the left, right, left fast sweeper down to a hairpin (where Button in the Honda earth car clobbered Coulthard in a Red Bull a few years ago). Heavy braking into the hairpin may have provided us with the opportunity to see drivers flat-spot their tyres – which last Sunday may have added some variance. Instead that whole section was nullified, becoming “follow the leader” and apart from Rosberg getting past Hamilton (after Hamilton was off-line on lap 1 and not at full tilt) gave no over-taking opportunites.

  13. bones says:

    Thanks for the video James,I wish I could be there.
    Two questions:why Mansell did not drive his 92 Williams and who drove Fangio’s Mercedez?

    1. James Allen says:

      Mika drove the Merc, Williams brought Damon’s car instead

      1. Joe Tanto says:

        Make sure Williams bring Mansells’s 1992 car to Montreal.
        For me its right up there with the Batmobile, Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce, Green Hornet’s 1966 Chrysler Imperial and the Lamborghini Muira from the Italian Job, as the ultimate car of all time.
        Have a word with Frank and Patrick please:)

  14. Sebee says:

    Am I alone in thinking this should have gotten some TV time on Sunday?

    Not like it’s an easy thing to pull off to get all that hardware track ready and all the drivers there.

  15. David Jerromes says:

    Wow!!

    Thank you for the pictures, I’ll second any video available from anyone?? PLEASE!!

  16. kowalski says:

    james great staff.
    On a different matter. Is it possible that adrian newey made the fuel tank too small, and that is the reason why vettel had to slow down during the race. The exhaust wasn’t the case, the spark plug doesn’t seem right, and the car got dry at the end of the race. Remember that when he needed it, at the end of the race, he found some speed to keep rosberg at bay.

  17. jon says:

    I was looking forward to this as much as the race and all the BBC gave us was about 3 minutes coverage-scandleous!!

    Thanks for the slide show though James!

    1. Ambient Sheep says:

      Was it even as much as three minutes? I’m generally a huge fan of the BBC’s coverage (Legard aside), but to have virtually nothing about this event on either pre-show was very very poor.

      Hopefully they might show some of it in one of the Australia pre-shows if they need some filler, but I won’t be holding my breath.

      1. Martin P says:

        If Bahrain was anything to go by they’ll be showing it as filler during the race, not the pre-show.

  18. theothercoldone says:

    Fantastic fantastic! How hard were they allowed to cane them? And how hard did they – once a racer…

    As mentioned above, it must have been an emotional moment for some of the drivers too.

  19. Clackers says:

    So who were the 2 losers who didnt want to come to Bahrain for the exhibition? Why didnt you write who they were James? Pressure from Bernie?

    1. James Allen says:

      It was no secret: Raikkonen and Piquet. Don’t look for conspiracies where they don’t exist.

      1. smellyden says:

        sometimes thats difficult in the world of F1

  20. Robert Powers says:

    Surely there is a missing Finn.He was missing from the main event as well.But I’m sorry for the fact that there are two Brazilians who were not able to attend.

  21. jocker12 says:

    No Piquet, no Raikonnen…. Bernie is “The Man”…

    1. Left Eye Lopez says:

      What on earth was Kimi’s excuse? Too miserable…?

      1. Maybe he just didn’t want to…

  22. Stu says:

    Thanks for sharing this James, I’d love to have seen it. I did catch a quick clip of the 1955 or 56 Silver Arrows on the TV which looked and sounded amazing.

  23. Tim Lamkin says:

    That is very cool…we so often forget much of history….thanks JA.

  24. HowardHughes says:

    I was born in 1972, and I remember one night in the late 70s my dad waking me up around 10 or 11pm on a Sunday night, and assuring my mum that it would be fine for me to stay up late… He’d woken me up to watch the F1 highlights, and though I can’t recall at all what race, or who, or what happened etc, I still have the…aura of that memory I suppose. I have a snapshot of it, and it’s a very special one. It’s nice to ‘hang out’ here and feel like I’m not the only one.

  25. CMR says:

    Thank You very much – seeing the race cars, especially the cars from the 1970′s again is fantastic.

  26. Tangui vd Elst says:

    We have to be thankful to the Barheinis for putting this gathering together. They might be relatively new to F1 but get the importance of heritage more than others. Looking at the pics you get the impression that MrE. is enjoying himself btw. Thanks to James for these pics and I’m with the others in hoping more coverage of this wonderful initiative.

  27. James W says:

    I wish more of this could have been shown on TV. The images really dont do the cars justice.

  28. Ben G says:

    anyone know if this was filmed?

    Iceman, you must be right.

  29. Trent says:

    Nice to see John Surtees there – he must be still going through a difficult time so it was a big deal that he attended.

  30. Red5 says:

    From a fans perspective I see potential here for F1 in general to organize more publicity and more media events to promote the sport.
    It’s a shame the grand Prix Masters event could not be extended to follow the F1 season. That would be one hell of a good show for fans of all ages.
    It’s not clear from the outside just how much current drivers know, or care, about he sports rich history. Does the FIA Super Licence include a written test?

  31. David Hodge says:

    It’s a shame we didn’t see more of this on the telly rather than the stupid “Lewis & Jenson Show” piece of fluff which the BBC chose to screen and waste 10 minutes of my life. Mind you, it probably would have had Legard commentating on it so perhaps not…

    No conspiracies – Raikkonen was off rallying I guess and Piquet Snr not there for what I would imagine are fairly obvious reasons.

  32. Pierre says:

    Great and thanks James.
    My youth best friend, the one who a grew up with from 3 to 16, is a Bugatti (mainly but some other brands too) repairer. Next time you come to Paris, send an email, and maybe I can arrange a visit to the garage and a short run in a Bugatti T35 if one is available… what an experience and an amazing feeling it is!

  33. CD says:

    Nice one James.

    Also, it’s great to see you on oneHD as our go to guy. I hope it’s for the whole season.

    cheers.

  34. Jenny says:

    Looks like a very special event. The BBC coverage mentioned how Bahrain had put on a fantastic spectacle. Shame it was only for those actually at the track, not us poor people at home with just the race to look at!

  35. smellyden says:

    See Schumei is not willing to join the Grand Prix Drives Association, anyone has any ideas for the reason for this?

  36. The Kitchen Cynic says:

    This actually made me quite angry. What a waste. Barely any spectators, barely any coverage. Just a few hyper-rich gladhanding their way around the tent. The Goodwood Revival gets more coverage, and frankly it deserves it.

  37. Jodum5 says:

    I’m sure FOM didn’t bother to film this to put together a 3 minute montage on their website.

  38. Mat Francis says:

    Here’s a crazy idea for a repeat at Silverstone (after all, it hosted the first ever Championship race, right?)…

    See how many of these drivers can be married up with the cars in which they won their title (well one of their titles in some cases) and stage a handicap race. So surtees in his Ferrari would need to start first, with Stewart heading off next then Emmo etc. etc. Balls to the wall (ish) to the flag!? Or rather than timed release they could be handicapped with where they started on the track (Surtees on the start line, Stewart however many hundreds of yards back and so on).

    Yeah, I know it won’t happen, but I have this great image of them all wanging it round Luffield in a dash for the line…

  39. RobbM says:

    Hi James

    Sometimes it would be nice to be standing in your shoes, or besides them, even.

    r

  40. jocker12 says:

    FOM is loosing the big players from Formula 1…
    Honda, Toyota, BMW, Michelin and now Bridgestone… And don’t say that Virgin or HRT have more resources than any of the above…
    More than that, Magny Cours, Estoril, Nurburgring, Donington, Imola, Fuji, Paul Ricard – France or Indianapolis GP races are gone for the exeriments in China, Korea, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi… What a joke!
    Soon Bernie is going to move F1 entirely to Middle East, get the money from the TV rights and put the whatever left teams to compete in the desert…. Egipt, EAU, Yemen, Sudan and Iran are getting ready for Bernie…

  41. Must have been a great sight but all of us do get opportunities as exciting as this :

    In the UK we are really fortunate that Lord March started the Festival of Speed :

    Every year we see equally historic sights and can get close enough to talk to the drivers, touch the cars and then see them running up the hill.

    I will never forget the very first FOS : I went back to the paddock area at lunchtime and found it deserted.

    There was just me, alone, able to look over a priceless W196 Silver Arrow at close quarters. Out of respect I didn’t try the seat out but I wish I had !

    Hopefully if ever our grandchildren are down to their last hundred gallons of petrol they will be used at the FOS.

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