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PIRELLI MOTORSPORT: OVER 100 YEARS OF SUCCESS - page 5 / 6

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Englishmen who in the meantime were forcing the pace. It looked like an impossible feat, almost suicidal (since Nürburgring was already a dangerous track, even then) and in the first two laps after the pit stop he managed to gain only two seconds per lap on the Ferraris. But already after the sixteenth lap, the Maserati had recovered no less than seven seconds. And on the next lap the Argentine struck off another seven seconds from the gap. In the Maranello pits, everyone was getting nervous and Hawthorn and Collins were told to accelerate. Driving round the curves at 230 km/h but without raising his foot from the accelerator and cutting all the curves as much as absolutely possible without going off the track, Fangio got within sight of the two English drivers at three laps from the end. Seeing the Ferraris practically within reach galvanized Fangio even more, and he reached and overtook first Collins on the penultimate lap, and then Hawthorn's Ferrari, too, after a terrifying skid. The miracle, the feat which the Ferrari timing engineers had considered impossible, had been achieved.

Piquet’s victory number 13 makes Pirelli happy… It was 7 July 1985. To favor television viewing of the Tour de France, it was decided that the French Grand Prix, to take place at Le Castellet (and therefore a stone’s throw from the sea of Tolone, Marseilles, Bandol and Saint Tropez), would start at 1:15pm, which would actually be just after midday considering daylight-saving time, and under a burning sun hot enough to crack the stones. One of the angriest people was Nelson Piquet, fifth in the classification with the Brabham-BMW fitted with Pirelli P7 tyres, who was rightly worried about the heat that drivers and cars would have to stand for more than an hour and a half, and when there was the lethal Signes straight where Marc Surer could drive his Arrows-BMW at 338.4 km/h (210 mph). And Piquet’s worry was increased by the defect in the gears on the racing car, because of which he was forced to use the reserve car. Without Mansell (Williams-Honda, in hospital after a dreadful accident), the G.P. was about to start with Rosberg (Williams-Honda) and Senna (Lotus-Renault) in the first line. At the start, the two drivers controlled the situation, in front of Alboreto in the Ferrari, but the one who set off best was none other than Piquet. In the first two laps he overtook the Italian driver and Prost (McLaren-Tag) who had both left in front of him. The Ferrari engine broke soon after, while Piquet (with a full tank) was driving faster than everyone else. Already after six laps, Nelson had overtaken Senna, and he then went into the lead overtaking Rosberg the following lap. The heat caused defects in Senna’s gears, who started off again late, and Piquet left all his rivals behind, battling against each other. The Brabham in the lead continued to increase speed: the merit was also that of the Pirelli tyres which performed excellently on the rough, burning hot French track. The hard P7 tyres, developed during the winter in South Africa, allowed the Brazilian champion to carry off this exceptional exploit, and after 53 laps gave Pirelli its victory. For Nelson, who reached the finish exhausted but obviously happy, it was his 13th Grand Prix win.

Sainz and Pirelli overcome the Finns’ invincibility at the “1000 Lakes" With a foot wounded, Carlos Sainz was not at all sure that he would be able to take part in the 1990 "1000 Lakes” race. With his Toyota Celica GT-Four fitted with Pirelli tyres, the Spanish driver had dominated most of the season (and had check-mated the Lancia- Martini team several times). In Finland, Carlos also had the chance to make a serious bid for the Drivers' Title. But the pain in his foot was intense, and the Spaniard had never won in Finland. In any case Sainz decided to at least try to drive in the first special trials, to see whether the pain would be bearable and if he could still be competitive. In the first trials, it was Juha Kankkunen’s Lancia Delta Integrale which dominated the scene, battling against Markku Alen’s Subaru Legacy and the Mitsubishi Galants of Kenneth Eriksson and Ari Vatanen. Sainz trotted round behind the Scandinavians, also battling against

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