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GP Week : Issue 23
Illustration by Heri Irawen and used with kind permission of The Red Bulletin Some material quoted from A Turn at the Wheel – Stirling Moss. 1961, William Kimber and Co. Tyred and Emotio WHILE tyres and tyre life are an important part of F1 success today, things weren’t that different 50 years ago, asWILL BUXTON relates But while running The sight of Lewis Hamilton struggling with his Bridgestone Potenza tyres has become something of a modern Formula 1 trend. There was the sudden delamination in Turkey last season, and the threat of the same thing happening this year in Istanbul. There were the flat spots in Hungary and the eventual puncture, and the notorious, potentially Championship-costing error of running his tyres down to the material at Shanghai 2007… 22 one’s tyres to the point of destruction may have cost Hamilton a remarkable world championship at the first time of asking, 50 years ago it marked the dawn of a new era, and formed the foundation for one of the greatest Grand Prix victories in history. In late 1957, the Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI), which formed part of the FIA, had decreed that new regulations would come into place to govern Formula 1 in 1958. The 2.5 litre restriction on engine size was to be carried over to 1960, and cars would have to run on aviation fuel. Crucially, however, the length of a grand prix was to be shortened from 500km to 300km. These new regulations would completely revolutionise racing, as a new breed of lightweight racers were born. Stirling Moss was due to drive once again in 1958 for the legendary Vanwall team, but a combination of a lack of certainty over the running of the South American season- opening races, and the short timescale put in place to adapt the Vanwalls to the new fuel type, meant that both Vanwall and BRM would be missing from the season-opening Argentine Grand Prix. “When Rob Walker offered me a drive in his 2-litre Cooper I was more than happy to accept; and although I was still retained by Vanwall, Mr. Vandervell had sportingly agreed to my doing so,”Moss wrote in his marvellous 1961 book, “A Turn at the Wheel.” And so it was that Rob