216 HALF A CENTURY

It often depends on a single person if remarkable things become possible or not; one of them: the Swiss Peter Sauber, the only one with a Formula 1 company in Switzerland – the country with the ban of circuit races (since 1955). It is a long story, beginning in 1970, starting modestly and developing for half a century, quite continuously.

Let us have a closer look at this story. According to the official website (please see recommendation) PP Sauber AG was founded in Switzerland, as an independent constructor of open two-seater racing sports cars in 1970. The first race car, the Sauber C1 („C“ stands for the first initial of his wife’s name, Christiane) won the 1970 Swiss Sports Car Championship. Sauber achieved soon international prominence with the C5, in which Herbert Müller won the 1976 Interserie Championship.

A very broad overview:   the eighties with Sportscars Group C, victory in Le Mans and the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in the World Sportscar Championship   /   1992 - 2005 Formula One Championship as a private team   /     2006 - 2009 Formula One, the BMW-Sauber era   /   2010 - 2017 Formula One independent Team   /   2018 Formula One Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team   /   2019 Formula One Alfa Romeo Racing.

Among the motorsport rookies who made their first notable steps with Sauber were Michael Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica (winner of the Canadian Grand Prix 2008 with BMW-Sauber), Sebastian Vettel, Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc, to name just a very few.

Be it reports in the media on Peter Sauber and his business, be it The Castiron’s personal talks with people from the world of motorsport: no complaints, just great respect – a rarity in this business.

The Castiron takes the hat off to Peter Sauber and his former, present and future staff; collectively many things are possible; furthermore – best wishes for the future!  

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.sauber-group.com/

214 MISERLINESS IS NASTY

Is an explanation necessary? Maybe, maybe not. Today, this topic in connection with human beings and cars – not a general broad approach.

Tyres, brakes, shock absorbers, to name just a few: a broad realm in relation to costs – and quality. Tyres, good looking, cheap vs. a rather expensive high reputation brand product: often huge differences, primarily in safety and durability. Brakes: on the whole more or less the same. Shock absorbers: also in this case, usually you get what you are paying for; the same key word, reputable manufacturer – cost, quality, safety. In a nutshell: worth the money!

For those who want to know more, The Castiron invites you to have a look at former subjects: tyres (blogposts 21, 22, 82), brakes (88), shock absorbers (166). Either way, miserliness is not helpful – in particular and in general, to yourself and to others. And, please have a look at today’s picture: nobody wants to end the ride in uncertainty.

Or, in other words, as someone once said: „Buy expensively, cry once – buy cheap, cry several times.“ Buying cheap may have consequences: from buying more than once to life-threatening in extreme case. Have a safe and effective drive, on the track or on the road!

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/all_blogs.html?year=2016

213 NORDSCHLEIFE 202009

Things go in cycles: spring, summer, autumn, winter – a fact on one hand, on the other hand the Nordschleife, always good for a surprise. Today, summer’s perspective, based on a comparison of two extremes.

Like the driver in today’s video, The Castiron attended the Nordschleife with a number of different cars, with quite different tyres, too. Also during summer, you are confronted with a quite wide range of external conditions – especially in temperature, besides all others which are typical for the Nordschleife. This year, a trackday with temperature closer to the freezing point than to summerly ones (combined with more or less heavy rain, humidity close to 100 percent); last year a trackday on a very hot day, both in July! 

Either way, it is demanding. In brief: cool and wet, all the high requirements already mentioned in former blogposts – really challenging, especially for the line knowledge and the tarmac conditions; on a very hot day it is a must to take adequate breaks and to drink, as far as possible. And: sometimes it is the combination of these two, apparently good weather and nevertheless track sections with rain showers or even thunderstorms.   

Nordschleife is and will remain Nordschleife! Keep in mind: do not underestimate the manifold challenges of this track and be aware, that also beautiful summer weather makes the job behind the steering wheel not simple. Do not become exuberant, be alert – have a safe and effective drive, on the track or on the road.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/links-en.html

212 ACCIDENTALLY ACCIDENTS

Is that so or not? It is not – more than 4 years after the very first blogpost it is opportune to have a closer look at this topic, not a very simple one. Quite a few of the past blogposts dealt with this subject, in a quite broad range: from minor accidents to the 1955 Le Mans disaster (please see at the end „Retrospective“). Accidents are not accidental.

Also The Castiron was not spared from car accidents, on road and track; till now, he always remained uninjured, thank the Lord! Every review, every analysis showed: the accident did not happen accidentally.

Some accident causes, to name just a few key points: inattentiveness, distraction, overrate oneself, lack of ability to drive and of car control – finally, almost always, it is human failure, even with rather seldom material defects (material made by people), even under difficult external factors (such as the weather, bad road surfaces, unpredictable racetrack conditions).

Not for the first time this conclusion: participating in driver trainings are very helpful and of great benefit -  sometimes lifesaving! Latter is not guaranteed, but you never have full guarantee of life and death in this world here. Be alert and humble – have a safe and effective drive, on the track or on the road.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/instructor.html

 

Retrospective (Exzerpt)

12 NORDSCHLEIFE BERGWERK 1976   Niki Lauda    

45 TREMBLING HANDS   The Castiron     

60 NORDSCHLEIFE 201710   The Castiron    

61 MERDE   Sébastien Buemi     

86 JIM CLARK 1968     

112 NOT HUNDRED JUST NINETY-NINE   François Cevert     

120 PAUL WALKER 2013     

121 HUMBLE   The Castiron     

127 DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2018   Sebastian Vettel    

139 STEFAN BELLOF 1984     

141 JO SIFFERT – THE CHEQUE BOOK     

155 GERHARD MITTER 1969     

156 THE INDESTRUCTIBLE   Clay Regazzoni     

171 DRAMATICALLY OVERSHADOWED     

195 CIGAR HERBIE   Herbert Müller     

202 LE MANS 1955     

208 ON THE ROOF   The Castiron    

211 ONE YEAR AFTER

Last year, the last day in August, Saturday. It was the weekend of the F1 Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, including the Formula 2 race. Anthoine Hubert (22nd September 1996 – 31st August 2019) was killed in an accident, Juan Manuel Correa was very seriously injured. This day does not exist in the life of The Castiron; after a heart surgery the day before (with the risk of a cardic arrest), he was in a hospital bed in the intensive care, without consciousness till Sunday.

About a half year later, The Castiron was almost completely back to life; back on skis and in March back on track, in Hockenheim, with Eleanor V, his Ford Mustang. Also the pastor’s view has to be mentioned – just in brief: it is grace, thank God!

Juan Manual Correa had, and still has, a longer and harder way to recovery. His life was hanging on a thread of silk for quite a long time and many doctors fought for his life, and to preserve his right leg, too (www.motorsport.com; Juan Manual Correa: „Basically the doctor’s rebuilt my right leg, the left suffered much milder injuries ...“).

On a completely different subject. The coronavirus pandemic also falls into this time span. Common to all this is however: it does not take a year for things to change dramatically, be it because of an accident, an illness or even a pandemic.

The bigger questions are not easy to answer. Transient was the subject of blogpost 194 and blogpost 141 included in a minister’s quotation during a racing driver’s funeral service: „Où il y a le risque, il y a la mort – où  il n’y a pas de risque, il n’y a pas de vie“ (French; translated into English: Where there is a risk, there is the death – where there is no risk, there is no life).

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

210 PILOT OR PASSENGER

It has now been 4 years since The Castiron published his very first blogpost. Today just some basic thoughts in brief. And again, it is a good time to say thanks to everybody!

Grandfather, racing driver, instructor, pastor – all in one, one in all. The focus: sharing many things from many years and actual ones, with you! As life is, with daily business in different realms and topics. Often the question is being pilot or passenger. On the track, on the road, in daily life overall – who or what determines?

Or, in other words: to drive or be driven, challenges, challenges, challenges – you are faced with, again and again. Normally, being pilot pleases us, being passenger sometimes, too – when self-chosen; if not, often an accident or an illness (for instance) makes you a passenger. Then sometimes it gets tough. 

As mentioned: just some thoughts in brief! When you think, you have it in your hand, you can decide whether you are pilot or passenger – it is not so hard, sometimes even quite easy. When you are forced to be passenger – sometimes it can be very hard; probably it is a good occasion to give some thoughts about all this based on the pastor’s view – please see recommendation.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/pastor.html

209 STAY HUMBLE

Last week’s blogpost dealt with an incident without a happy ending – something not to be proud of. Competition unfinished, car crashed but repairable, mainly the roof needing to be replaced. Fortunately, The Castiron had then the chance to buy (as a bargain) a damaged vehicle of the same type as spare parts donor – today’s picture speaks for itself.

Stay humble – what has such a term do with unintended disliked incidents? Things like these can bring you immediately down to earth. From then on, it becomes a question of a personal attitude, a fundamental attitude. Stay humble – towards the vehicle and the track, opponents and other fellow human beings and before God.

It is mainly the pastor’s perspective, but not only – it is for the entire life. You have to see it for yourself, it is best to bear in mind, it is an on-going story – become humble, be humble, stay humble. The Holy Bible says „... To act justly and to love mercy und to walk humbly with your God“ (Micah 6, verse 8).

Last but not least: to be humble, to stay humble really helps – though easier said than done! The Castiron suggests casting a glance in the Holy Bible, for instance Proverbs 22, verse 4 (please see recommendation). A wise advice to this subject – one of many.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/NIV/Proverbs22%3A4

PS   For those who want to read more: unfortunate incidents and the question of the attitude are to be found in blogpost 121, too.