Previous Stuff

I have written two pieces that were used by podcasters.

The more recent was some topical comedy I wrote for Sidepodradio consisting of news headlines from the future which Mrs Christine recorded. Being topical, it’s up-to-date-ness was already slightly compromised when broadcast, and of course even more so now but I am still pleased with it. The three-minute .mp3 of the clean recording is ready to listen to on this page.

I also once submitted an article to the F1Weekly podcast on the first hundred drivers to win GPs, which was read out in it’s full seven minutes. The original podcast is here and it is about 22 minutes in. However, on hearing it read out, I thought it might have benefitted from being trimmed slightly and probably works better in written form as reproduced here:

100 Winners

With Heikki Kovalainen being the one-hundredth World Championship race-winner, here are a few facts and figures about this exclusive club.

Firstly, it transpires there are only 90 drivers with WC Grand Prix wins since Farina’s Alfa Romeo won the first round at Silverstone in 1950. Of course, in the early years, 1950 through to 1960, the Indianapolis 500 was offhandedly included in the World-Championship to make the series look more intercontinental, despite the Indy 500 being to different rules and impractical to enter without missing European events. Those eleven Indy 500s, with Bill Vokovich winning in both ’53 and ’54, add ten winners, completing the one-hundred.

Ignoring the anachronistic Indy 500 results, as F1 statisticians often conveniently do, this leaves a less climactic ninety Grand Prix winners from 785 races, meaning, in both senses, an average of approximately eight-point-seven wins.

The list encompasses drivers of 20 nationalities headed by twenty Brits, fourteen Italians, twelve Frenchmen, six Brazilians and five each from the USA and Germany.

Only drivers from Italy and Argentina won before the 1953 French GP, which saw British Mike Hawthorn’s career-defining victory over Juan Manuel Fangio in a Reims slip-streamer. It was 1955 when Trintignant added a French victory and ’59 when Brabham, Bonnier and McLaren won for Australia, Sweden and New Zealand.

Drivers that won the World Championship the same year as their debut wins include, of course, Farina in 1950, as well as Jack Brabham in ’59, Graham Hill in ’62, Denny Hulme in ’67, and Keke Rosberg in ’82.

Whilst Michael Schumacher greedily snaffled 91 wins, eleven-point-six per cent of the 785 Grand Prix, for twenty-three drivers, their virgin victories remain singular. These include Trulli, Button, Kubica and Kovalainen. Listeners can guess amongst themselves which will add to their tally.

Two of the twenty-three solo winners did not win solo. Back in the ‘fifties, a senior team-driver whose car had conked out could have a junior driver called in to annex his healthy car for shared points. The maestro, Fangio, won two races with drivers that never won another race, Luigi Fagioli for the ’51 French Grand Prix and Luigi Musso in Argentina in ’56. Only one other race was a shared win, the ’57 British GP, but Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss both won other rounds.

Moss was the first to win first on home tarmac, in the 1955 British GP at Aintree, when out of the last corner he waved by Mercedes Benz team-leader, Fangio, but did not lift off.

Unsurprisingly, Monaco is the most popular track to break the duck, with nine drivers doing so, followed by Monza with six.

1982 produced a record five debut winners in a season that produced an amazing eleven winners from seven teams in sixteen races. Ricardo Patrese’s first win at Monaco was book-ended by Group C Sportscar wins making him the only driver to win World Championship races on three consecutive weekends. The German, Austrian and Swiss GPs gave the only three consecutive first-time winners, Patrick Tambey, Elio de Angelis and Keke Rosberg. Michelle Alboreto won his first at the season-finale in Las Vegas.

It took Jenson Button 113 starts plus two DNSs and two races Honda were banned from to win in his seventh season at Hungary in 2006. In 1961, Italian, Giancarlo Baghetti won the first two Formula One races he had ever entered in a customer Ferrari, albeit non-championship GPs that the “works” team missed, but then won his first World Championship race, the French Grand Prix, after the three factory Ferraris had two engine failures and a spin. His gigantic mistake was not promptly retiring because the rest of his F1 results were comparatively awful.

The opening race in South Africa of the 1971 season saw Mario Andretti win his first F1 World Championship race with Ferrari. It was 82 rounds in the ‘championship and 5 years, 7 months, 18 days before he won his second with Lotus – the last of the 1976 season in Japan – the very famous, very wet race at Fuji in which Hunt raced to the title after Lauda retired from the conditions. However, transatlantic Andretti missed more than half the intervening races. John Watson, after winning the 1976 Austria GP for Penske-Ford, the team’s only win, took 75 starts plus one DNQ to notch up the second win in the 1981 British Grand Prix – the first win for the McLaren team under Ron Dennis and also the first for a newfangled carbon-fibre car.

Seven drivers followed up their first win with victory again at the next opportunity. Nigel Mansell took advantage of the 1985 South Africa GP being held on a Saturday to wait only thirteen days. Damon Hill and Mika Hakkinen both won their next two races.

So, who will be the one-hundred-and-first? Quick Nick for BMW, Vettel for Ferrari or Danica Patrick for Force India? Excluding the Indianapolis 500 results, is the hundredth driver to win listening to this podcast instead of doing their schoolwork? Has Ron Dennis already signed him? If we knew the answers, it wouldn’t be Formula One.

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