Part of my Motorsports in Academia crusade is about the quality of the sources, specifically film, and especially the free film on youtube. My refrain is that this is a dynamic history, where a few hours on youtube puts you on equal intellectual footing with the crusty historians and journalists who have written about drivers and races for decades. How good was Stirling Moss? Thanks to youtube, you can watch plenty of his races, and see for yourself how smooth he was, how much better his lines were than the others.
My point about the stunning quality of film on youtube was proven again last week when I stumbled into this remarkable piece. Apparently its from a German documentary and can be bought here.
If for some reason you’re not seeing the embedded film, the link is here.
My thoughts, in no particular order:
- Poor Moss! This race took place when Moss, the acknowledged Fastest Guy lay in hospital, clinging onto life, barely out of a coma. He would recover, but never race competitively again
- Poor Hill! You can imagine Dragoni’s phone call back to Ferrari in Maranello: “…and the Champion, he span at the hairpin…”
- The vivid color!
- The helicopter,
and the kind of shots are reminiscent of Frankenheimer’s seminal movie, Grand Prix. I wrote about Grand Prix here, the important thing is that great F1 sage Peter Windsor remembers, as a boy, that only through Frankenheimer did Formula 1 leap out of black and white text or grainy thirty second newsreel clips. Yet here is everything Frankenheimer did, three years earlier!
- Jo Bonnier’s beard – the quality is so amazing you can clearly see it as he follows the camera car up the hill to Casino Square!
- Driving the course in what looks like a Ferrari 250 Cabrio (?) during Formula 1 practice, good living !