Carlos Reutemann

Do you want to post a tribute about your favourite retired drivers, perhaps you want to discuss the rantings of the MIT (men in tweed). They thought they were safer when they retired, perhaps not mumblers!! How about a tribute to those that are not drivers but still in the game?

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Carlos Reutemann

Postby plutoman » Fri 20 Jul, 2012 12:52 pm

I was reminded recently that 'Lole' is now 70 years old ...

When Ronnie Peterson died I needed a new favourite driver (as an impressionable 12-year old, it seemed important to have one in those days). Reutemann had a much lower profile than Andretti, Lauda and Hunt, which appealed to me - someone a bit more 'under the radar'. He also drove a Ferrari, had a suitably exotic foreign name and was a proven winner. At the end of '78 he switched to Lotus and I was sure I'd picked the next World Champion.

1979 started well enough, with Lole 'best of the rest' behind the Ligiers, but as the season went on the team slid into midfield and Reutemann left, disillusioned, at the end of the season. He signed as 'no 2' driver to Alan Jones at Williams, which would have been inconceivable a couple of years earlier.

1980 was a year of transition - a win at Monaco and plenty of points, but very low-key compared to Jones, who took the title. However, in 1981 things changed in Brazil when Carlos ignored his contract to win ahead of Jones, thus sparking a feud between the two that would last for the remainder of the year. With Jones suffering accidents and unreliability, Carlos racked up the points in the first half of the year and had a comfortable championship lead with six races remaining. Then it started to unravel.

An engine failure in Germany, an accident in Austria and bad tyre choices in Holland and Canada left him with a single point lead over Nelson Piquet going into the decider in Las Vegas. A stunning pole lap was a good start, but by the first corner of the race he was struggling, and when a sick and fragile Piquet overtook him he just faded away to an 8th place finish and the championship was lost.

After announcing his retirement, he back-tracked and lined up again with Williams in 1982. Brilliant in South Africa, indifferent in Brazil - the usual story. Then he walked away and that was it. That he went on to a high profile political career somehow seemed perversely apt.
"I ain't heard that much worth listening to. Just a lot of guys laying down a lot of rules and regulations."
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Re: Carlos Reutemann

Postby vikki » Sun 22 Jul, 2012 9:34 pm

i remember listening to patrick talking about reutemann in an interview before he retired saying that was the driver he had most regrets about.
most of the time you got the impression frank and patrick didn't give a toss if a driver didn't adapt to their, er, unique management style. patricks opinions on jv in the same interview for example were fairly direct. so it was interesting to hear patrick admit that about reutemann.
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