Triumph & Tragedy
story by David Cook
Today's formula 1 fans enjoy their racing but it's hard to find anyone who doesn't yearn for the "good old days" when the sport was less commercial, more competitive and more, well, "sporting"!
The '82 season was one of those times, a season with multiple winners and lots of twists and turns. Unfortunately, the entire affair had the feel of a Hollywood tragedy due to the untimely death of Gilles Villeneuve and career-ending injuries to his Ferrari teammate, Didier Pironi.
Polistil issued a set of 1/55th-scale cars to mark this season, including most of the race winners. As usual with this brand, the shapes and markings are very true-to-life.
As you can see from the tables provided, 1982 was one of the most competitive F1 seasons ever. Four teams won multiple races, while three others were solo winners. However, no one team or driver dominated over the entire season, allowing Rosberg to win the driver's championship with only one win! Of course he scored lots of points with no less than 10 top-six point-scoring places and six trips to the podium.
Ferrari won the constructors championship with four different drivers scoring points for the team: Villeneuve, Pironi, Tambay, and a cameo appearance and third-place at Monza for Mario Andretti.
But the season will be remembered much less for Rosberg's consistency than for the tragic circumstances of Villeneuve's death.
This story begins with Ferrari running away with the San Marino race at Imola. Villeneuve was leading Pironi and cruising to the finish, confident in his position since he and his teammate had agreed before the race that they would not try to change positions near the end. But Pironi somehow forgot their bargain and passed Villeneuve in the final laps to record the win. Of course, the fiery French-Canadian felt robbed! At the next race in Belgium, Villeneuve died trying to beat Pironi's qualifying time in the final moments of practice.
Pironi then looked like the championship favorite until he suffered serious leg injuries in a practice accident for the German GP. Some saw the whole thing as a frightening display of karma at work.
Sharp-eyed readers will also note '82 as one of the best for F1 racing in the USA with no less than 3 GPs: Long Beach, Detroit and the short-lived but forgettable Caesars Palace race.
The only race-winning car missing from the Polistil collection is the
Lotus 91-Ford. The win for de Angelis will be remembered as the last for
Lotus founder and super design wizard, Colin Chapman. Can anyone come up
with a small-scale version of this car?
|Race Winners - Drivers|
Prost-Renault - So. Africa & Brazil
Lauda-McLaren - Long Beach & Britain
Pironi-Ferrari - San Marino & Netherlands
Watson-McLaren - Belgium & Detroit
Patrese-Brabham - Monaco
Piquet-Brabham - Canada
Arnoux-Renault - France & Italy
Tambay-Ferrari - Germany
De Angelis-Lotus - Austria
Rosberg-Williams - Switzerland
Alboreto-Tyrrell - Las Vegas
Didier Pironi - Ferrari
Gilles Villeneuve - Ferrari
Race Winners- Constructors:
Renault - 4
McLaren - 4
Ferrari - 3
Brabham - 2
Lotus - 1
Williams - 1
Tyrrell - 1