This disc contains 294 images starting with the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder in 1980 and finishing at the European Grand Prix at the New Nurburgring in 1984.
As the photographs show, the paddocks and pit lanes were still relatively relaxed areas in which to hang out. Despite virtually all circuits, (Zolder excepted), having drive-in lock up garages, the cars were still prepared in the pit lane whilst drivers, team personnel and the press debriefed and generally mingled about in the open.
The banning of ‘ground effects’ to reduce cornering speeds was countered by the turbo engine which produced some ugly looking cars with huge front wings and the driver sitting ever further forward. It was quite alarming to see some of these beasts ‘porpoising’ at full speed down the main straights. The turbo engine was the way forward and the photograph of the grid in Austria in 1984 records the start of the first all-turbo Grand Prix.
Alan Jones was the first world champion of the new decade carrying on from where he had left off the previous year. This was the first championship for Frank Williams. Rising star Nelson Piquet won 2 world titles, 1981 and 1983, and Niki Lauda came out of retirement and won the 1984 title, driving for his erstwhile arch rival, McLaren.
In 1982 eleven different drivers were winners of the sixteen Grands Prix. Ferrari had a tragic year with the death of Gilles Villeneuve in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, and then Didier Pironi who was looking to be the likely world champion ended his racing career with a serious accident at Hockenheim. Ultimately the Championship went to Keke Rosberg (Williams) with only a single victory to his credit. The collection contains a rather poignant photograph of Gilles sitting on the Zolder pit wall.
Two famous old circuits made a comeback. A shortened Spa-Francorchamps using much of the original circuit, still public road but with a new link through the valley in keeping with the circuit’s character was used in 1983. Hotel ‘La Source’ was a public bar in those days and for the price of two drinks spectating from the beer garden at the braking area for the hairpin was as close to the cars as you could get anywhere. On the other hand the ‘New’ Nurburgring was a purpose-built twiddly bit of track built on to the edge of the original, a sterile circuit devoid of atmosphere. However, to give the designers credit, they built it without emasculating the ‘Nordschleife’ and it is still in use today without any significant changes to its safety features.
The title photograph is a panorama of the magnificent Osterreichring , a view available for the price of a general admission ticket. A spectacularly fast circuit with hardly an Armco barrier, chain link fence or run-off area in sight. Although a purpose-built circuit it could have been a drive through the Austrian foothills.
Images are supplied on compact disc (CD) for playing on computers or compatible devices using Picasa Slideshow format (Picasa software included). All images are also supplied as individual files for downloading, saving and printing.
Note: Many of these images are taken from original prints, negatives and slides that are nearly 40 years old and are therefore not reproduced to the same standard as current day digital images. All reasonable attempts have been made to ensure these images are reproduced to the best possible standard, however, in some instances colour casts and blemishes may be present.