The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes
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The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

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Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Tyre technology has come on a bit since James Hunt used a sharp knife to cut grooves in his bald road tyres. I was reminded of this when reading George Russell's thoughts on the latest Formula 1 rubber. Russell was talking about the detailed preparations necessary for Montreal, some 55 years on from Hunt's desperate efforts to get his first car race-worthy for a club meeting at Snetterton.

The scrutineer refused Hunt an entry for a car built up from the stripped shell of a crashed Mini. Inadequate tyres were not the main problem. Neither was the front passenger seat being, would you believe, a deckchair held in place by bits of Meccano. The official took objection to the complete absence of windows in this so-called saloon car; a serious deficiency exacerbated by the driver saying – in all seriousness – that the regulations made no mention of the car needing windows in the first place.

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